Aug 25, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; St Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long (91) rushes the passer during the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE
Sunday’s matchup between the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams looked like it would be a cakewalk for the Bears. I don’t think that’s the case any more and I don’t think the Bears will think so either. St. Louis comes into Soldier Field at 1-1, like the vast majority of NFL teams. The Rams may be young but the coaching of veteran coach Jeff Fisher may have this group headed in the right direction. There are a few matchups that I’ll be watching closely on Sunday.
Brandon Marshall vs Cortland Finnegan
This is the featured matchup on Sunday. Marshall was taken away by the Packers’ 2-Man defense 10 days ago, so he’s seeking to bounce back strong on Sunday. In his way stands Cortland Finnegan, the tough, physical cornerback who’s been known to mix it up on the field and get opponents out of their game.
J’Marcus Webb vs Robert Quinn
Editor’s note: In the original posting, I mistakenly had Chris Long going up against J’Marcus Webb. Long will be matched up with Gabe Carimi, another tough matchup for a Bears O-lineman.
JWebb Nation faces another big challenge on Sunday while going up against young up-and-coming pass rusher Robert Quinn. The Bears have shown the willingness for change as they’ve just replaced struggling left guard Chris Spencer with newcomer Chilo Rachal, so another bad game and an upcoming date with DeMarcus Ware could slide Webb to the bench. Last chance anyone?
Danny Amendola vs Tim Jennings
Danny Amendola skyrocketd up fantasy rankings after a 15 catch game last week and has emerged as Sam Bradford’s favorite target. Tim Jennings has been the Bears’ defensive MVP so far, already tying a career high with three interceptions in a season. Size-wise, this matchup is a dead heat. I’ll take Jennings to slow down the only weapon on the Rams offense.
Lovie Smith vs Jeff Fisher
Lovie Smith is already drawing some early fire this season as the Cutler/Webb/DJ Moore shoving and talking about it issue has people questioning whether he has control of his locker room. Jeff Fisher is one of those names that always comes up when a potential Bears head coaching job comes up. He just signed on with St Louis, so he’s not really a viable candidate, but as an ’85 Bear and a long-time successful head coach, Fisher has a bit of a following in Chicago.
It will be interesting to see the styles of these two matching wits on the sidelines. Lovie will try to confuse the inexperienced Bradford with some mixed defensive schemes while Fisher tries to harness the youthful enthusiasm of his Rams to pressure Cutler into another meltdown.
Jay Cuter vs … Jay Cutler
There’s no denying Cutler’s talent. There’s also no denying Cutler is often his own worst enemy. After a poor showing vs the Packers, Cutler will look to rebound on Sunday vs a weaker Rams team. The Rams have a couple of really good cornerbacks in Finnegan and rookie problem child Janoris Jenkins. Can Cutler put his ego in check and take what the defense gives? Can he get his other receivers involved if Marshall and Jeffery are taken away? Can he avoid another meltdown?