Bears vs Steelers: Game Day Preview and Prediction

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Chicago Bears (2-0)

Sep 15, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears cornerback Tim Jennings (26) celebrates with teammates including Devin Hester (23) and Lance Briggs (55) after returning a Minnesota Vikings interception for a touchdown during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears head to Heinz Field riding high on a couple of 4th quarter comeback wins.  They’re making Marc Trestman look like a genius, but Bears fans realize they could easily be 0-2 had it not been for a few plays here and there.

On offense, the biggest change for the Bears is the revamped offensive line.  They feature a pair of rookies Kyle Long and Jordan Mills on the right side of the line, who will be road tested by the blitzing Steelers defense.

The wide receivers are mostly the same as what you saw last season; it’s all about Brandon Marshall.  Alshon Jeffery continues to grow and Earl Bennett is just getting in the swing of things in Marc Trestman’s offense as he’s coming off a preseason concussion.The Bears overhauled their tight end group and Martellus Bennett has been dynamic in the early going, with three TD’s in the first two weeks.

The Bears have been featuring Matt Forte heavily on the ground and through the air.  The screen game could be challenged by the Steeler’s zone blitzing game.  Michael Bush has been limited to mop up duty and a few touches, far less than what we’ve seen in recent years.

For the Bears offense, it’s all about the trigger man, Jay Cutler.  Has he really matured under Trestman?  Is he really becoming Mr Fourth Quarter, as Brandon Marshall called him after last week.  The Bears will go as far as Cutler will take them.  If he can avoid turnovers and keep his cool, the Bears could go far in 2013.

Sep 15, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (center) catches a pass between Chicago Bears outside linebacker Lance Briggs (left) and cornerback Charles Tillman (right) during the second half at Soldier Field. Chicago won 31-30. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bears are in a state of transition.  Sure, they’re still playing their signature Cover-2 defense, but Brian Urlacher and Lovie Smith have departed.  Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman and Julius Peppers are still around, but the end of the road can’t be too far off.

The defensive line is under the most scrutiny of any other group over the first two weeks.  Julius Peppers and Henry Melton account for about $26 million in cap space but have been MIA over the first couple of weeks.  Lance Briggs is the only holdover from the linebackers, but newcomer James Anderson has been a bright spot.

The secondary has been steady with Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings continuing their ballhawking ways.  Tillman is questionable for the game, so that could create an opportunity for the Steelers receivers.  Zack Bowman and Isaiah Frey are quite a dropoff from Tillman. 

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