Bears vs Panthers: Top 5 Matchups to Watch

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Sep 7, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) calls a play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Carolina Panthers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2. Matt Forte vs Luke Kuechly

Luke Kuechly is about the best going today when you talk about 4-3 middle linebackers.  He’s a tackling machine, leading the league in tackles through the first four weeks of the season.  All while, he’s getting the signals and making sure everyone gets into the right place.  Let me translate this for everyone – Kuechly is like Urlacher lite.  He’s pretty much all the Panthers have going on a defense that’s a shell of it’s former self.  Kuechly will need a monster game to help slow down the Bears.

Sep 28, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) runs with the ball during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packer at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Forte has very quietly become the second best running back in Bears history.  He won’t eclipse Walter Payton (who could?), but that’s some pretty elite company.  Forte eased some concern from Bears fans after a rough stretch over the last few weeks with a breakout performance against the Packers.  The Panthers run defense is ranked almost as bad as the Packers were when the Bears torched them for 235 yards on the ground.