This Sunday, the Chicago Bears (3-1) will face the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) down in Florida for the sixth meeting in their histories (Bears have won three). Jaguar fans are known for avoiding EverBank Field at all costs, so expect to see a lot of the Bears faithful in attendance.
The last time the Bears and Jaguars were mentioned in the same sentence, Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew was calling Bears QB Jay Cutler a quitter via Twitter. The two have brushed off the incident since, but you know the Bears defense wants to get a little payback for Jay. The Monsters of the Midway already lead the league in takeaways (14), are second in stopping opponents from converting third down (73.9 percent of the time), are third in sacks (15), third in rushing yards allowed per game (67.3), and have only allowed one rushing touchdown all season.
After a big Monday night win, the Bears looked primed to stomp on a Jaguars team that is deprived both offensively and defensively. They average a league low 254.3 yards per game and 15.5 points per game, while giving up 404.8 yards per game and 24.3 points per game. That’s a recipe for disaster in my book. Let’s take a look at how the rest of the matchup adds up.
1: Number of times Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert has had a QB rating over 100.00 in 19 career games. Also, the number of times Gabbert has thrown for over 225 yards in a game.
2: Sacks by the entire Jaguars defense in 2012 (both came in Week 1).
2.5: Sacks by Bears DE Israel Idonije in Week 4 against the Dallas Cowboys.
3: Number of quarters that the Bears have been outscored by their opponents this season.
4: Number of takeaways (two interceptions, two fumble recoveries) by the entire Jaguars defense in 2012. Also, the number of takeaways by Bears CB Tim Jennings (four interceptions) in 2012.
6: Number of AFC running backs that have rushed for over 100 yards in a game against the Bears since 1999.
9: Number of times Cutler has compiled a perfect QB rating (158.3) in a single quarter, most recently in the third quarter on Monday night in Dallas when he went 8-for-8 for 133 yards and a touchdown.
10: Number of red zone scores by the Bears (five touchdowns, five field goals) in 10 attempts this season.
11: Games since Devin Hester has had a kick or punt return for a touchdown.
39.2: Percentage of Jaguars total yardage gained by RB Maurice Jones-Drew (435 out of 1109 total yards).
17-2: Bears record when they score a defensive touchdown in a game since the 2005 season.
21-5: Bears record when Robbie Gould makes three or more field goals since the 2005 season.
65.9: Opposing quarterback’s QB rating when Major Wright and Chris Conte start at safety for the Bears (10 games, 181 of 296 for 2,632 yards, seven touchdowns and 19 interceptions).
164: Receiving yards by Bears WR Alshon Jeffery this season, ranking him first among NFL rookie wide receivers.
Not much to say here other than, on paper, the Bears are far and away the better team. That being said, this is the NFL and you never know what is going to happen week to week. Look for Brandon Marshall and Jeffery to have big games, and the Bears secondary to be deflecting and intercepting passes left and right. Cutler will finally get some long awaited payback on Jones-Drew.