Bears v 49’ers, Here we go again
Before we dive into this weeks game, I went and did a quick review of the PFF and Football Outsider grades from the Bills game. Not surprisingly, they weren’t bad. I am not going to take up space here going through each one but overall the Bears fared well. Two interesting things though, I had mentioned in Tuesday article that the linebackers were not very good, well, they all scored positives with PFF (They are not perfect but a good guideline). The other grade that confirmed my other observation was the corners all graded negative. Otherwise the defense is ranked 22 overall and the offense sits 12th.
Now to week 2 and our road trip to San Fran. Nothing better than being on the road against a playoff team, grand opening of their new stadium and coming off a tough loss. Regardless if the Bears win or lose, it will test their mettle as a team. So let’s set a realistic expectation. Can the Bears win? Yes. It will take an exceptional effort, tremendous discipline, and getting the breaks instead of giving them.
There is no point extolling on how good the 49’ers are, we know that. Are they perfect? No. They have weaknesses and I am sure the Bears will to attempt to exploit them. On the Bears side, the expectation is for continued improvement on both sides of the ball. I have no delusions that we will see a great leap in performance, but if we gradually eliminate the little mistakes that turn into big plays for the opponent, I would be happy regardless if we lose. Hey, not accepting defeat but am practical here. we would need a magical moment and it could happen, but why set myself up for a heartbreak.
So to that end, who should we be watching?
Jared Allen: He was a none factor against the Bills. Another zone read QB and a better one this time. So we need Jared to really brings his game. If Allen fires, this will open doors of Young and the Dline in general.
Lance Briggs: Man is this guy getting blasted left and right by the overreaching Chicago media. I admit I think Lance is done but not due to effort, but age. Even Urlacher was slow his last season. Lance needs to focus and show leadership. There is no inherent leader right now, no one has shown that fire to motivate and challenge the players. If Lance has anything left, he needs to take charge.
Santonio Holmes: He along with Morgan are going to see targets and Holmes needs to assert himself. If there was a time for Holmes to show he is still is a go to guy this is it!
Martellus Bennett: Good game against the Bills. It would not surprise me to see Cutler look his way more often. He is big and tough to bring down and he is suited for a grinder game like this one. It will also take pressure off the receivers.
Brian De La Puente: Ranked third best C by PFF after week one. I expect to see BDLP to put a stranglehold on the position and emerge as a key player to the success of the offense. He was a smidge rusty against the Bills, but he should dominate against the 49’ers. It was a tough break for Garza, but he’ll finish his Bears career from the sidelines now. One of the brilliant moves by Emery in signing BDLP on the cheap.
This is one of those games that will really show what we need to do as we rebuild, where we are truly improving. A win would be marvellous, but no matter what, showing continued improvement would be a huge step in the right direction. The Bears need to eliminate the two steps forward and one step back, so here we go again …