Sep 9, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson (13) makes a catch while being defend by St. Louis Rams defensive back Cortland Finnegan (31) in the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US Presswire
The Bears face the St Louis Rams in Week 3, eager to move on from last Thursday’s awful performance against the Packers. As we prepare to move forward with our coverage, it’s worth noting that one of the big challenges the Bears faced was the Packers’ coverage that took Brandon Marshall out of the game and knocked the Bears offense off it’s axis. Don’t think the Rams didn’t take copious notes during the nationally televised game. They’ll be looking to take Marshall away and they might have just the cornerback to do it, Cortland Finnegan.
Finnegan followed head coach Jeff Fisher to St Louis this season after a tumultuous era in Tennessee, where he was involved in a number of on-field incidents. His own Wikipedia page calls him “one of the dirtiest players in all of sports.” Besides a number of fines for unnecessary roughness, Finnegan has been known to throw down on the field, like in this incident with the Texans’ Andre Johnson where both players were ejected:
You can count on Finnegan to try to instigate Marshall and make some noise at Soldier Field on Sunday. He’s the straw that stirs the Rams’ defensive drink. It may not take a 2-Man coverage to take Marshall out of the game, Finnegan may try to do it on his own, one way or another.
Finnegan and the Rams are off to a common 1-1 start in 2012, looking better than expected in the process. The Rams gave the Lions all they wanted in Week 1 while keeping Calvin Johnson out of the end zone and went on to beat RGIII and the Redskins in comeback fashion. Not exactly world-beaters, but they’re better than the speed bump I expected in my preseason analysis.
Regardless of whether or not Matt Forte plays (and it’s my opinion that he won’t), the Bears should be working on a game plan to run the ball and spread it around to other receivers besides Marshall. I’d hate to see Mike Tice get caught off guard like he did last week with the Packers.