Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
It’s Week 8 and we still don’t know what to expect from our Chicago Bears. This week, it’s Bears vs Patriots at Gillette Stadium. As unpredictable as these Bears are, you just don’t know what might happen. If you look at the matchups, it doesn’t look good for the Beloved.
When the Bears Have the Ball
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The Bears and Patriots were tied for the 2nd ranked scoring offense last season. While the Pats have slid down to the 7th ranked scoring offense this season, the Bears have fallen off the cliff, going from 2nd to 18th in scoring. It doesn’t get any easier for Jay Cutler and the Bears offense.
Bears Rushing Offense (24th, 95.3 YPG) vs Patriots Rush Defense (24th, 126.3 YPG)
Oct 19, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) reacts after a touchdown during the second half at Soldier Field. Miami Dolphins defeat the Chicago Bears 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
On the surface, this looks like a wash, 24th ranked rushing offense vs 24th ranked rush defense, but it goes a lot deeper. The Bears have underachieved in running the ball. They’re a lowly 28th in rushing attempts this season, only attempting about 23 runs per game. Matt Forte has shown the ability to get loose even against highly ranked rushing defenses that the Bears have faced in the early going of the season.
After halftime of last week’s loss to the Dolphins, Marc Trestman took some of Jay Cutler’s options away from him and dictated more running plays and the results spoke for themselves with some good, balanced scoring drives. Look for more runs again on Sunday. For the Patriots, they’re down a couple of starters in their front-7 including linebacker Jarod Mayo. This makes an already susceptible Patriots running game even more vulnerable.
Bears Passing Offense (10th, 254 YPG) vs Patriots Pass Defense (1st, 208 YPG)
Welcome to Revis Island. Darrelle and Brandon Browner will be handing out lei’s to Jay, Brandon and Alshon. The Patriots boast the top ranked pass defense, which will make things difficult for the struggling Jay Cutler offense. If there is any glimmer of hope, the Pats will be without their top pass rusher, as Chandler Jones (who should have been a Bear!) nurses a hip injury. I think the Bears will still be able to move the ball through the air, especially if Martellus Bennett is good to go, but temper your expectations for Marshall and Jeffery.