Bears vs Cardinals: Five Questions with Raising Zona
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The Chicago Bears welcome former head coaching candidate Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals to Soldier Field on Sunday for the Week 2 matchup of the Bears vs Cardinals. Talk about franchises headed in opposite directions. Since then-GM Phil Emery went against the grain and chose Marc Trestman as the Bears head coach and Bruce Arians fell into the Cardinals’ lap, the franchises have plotted very different courses. Arians has led the Cardinals to a 22-11 record overall and a playoff berth in 2014. Meanwhile the Bears have gone 13-20 in the same span including a 5-11 implosion last season that led to both Emery and Trestman to be fired.
The Cardinals impressed with a solid 31-19 win over the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 while the Bears exceeded expectations but still dropped yet another game to the Green Bay Packers to open the season 0-1. With a trip to Seattle coming next weekend, the Bears will be desperate to eek out a win to avoid an 0-3 start while the Cardinals will look to keep pace in the uber-competitive NFC West.
To help us get primed for the Bears vs Cardinals matchup, we enlisted the help of Scott Allen, longtime editor of Raising Zona, our FanSided sister site for our Five Questions.
Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
1. Cardinals fans should be sending gift baskets to Chicago to thank the Bears for hiring Marc Trestman instead of Bruce Arians. What makes Arians such a good head coach? Do you think he’ll have anything special in store for the Bears to let them know just what they missed out on?
Arians will be honest with you. He doesn’t bull you or beat around the bush. He will give a guy every opportunity to win his job but if it isn’t working, he notices it quickly and won’t hesitate to find someone who can get the job done. Very personable, a guy every player wants to play for. Its easier to win for a coach who is your champion and has your back. As for the Bears game, good question. I think he has a few things up his sleeve every week we don’t see coming. The first 15 plays or so are generally scripted but after that it’s all out on the table.
2. The Cardinals come to Chicago a little shorthanded in the running back department, with Andre Ellington injured. Who fills in for him and what can the Bears expect from the Cardinals rushing attack? Fantasy owners need to know!
Chris Johnson will start with rookie David Johnson backing him up. They can both get the job done. David Johnson is Andre Ellington 2.0, except more durable. He has a bigger frame but just as versatile. The Cards will continue to throw but also throw in a balanced attack. As long as it is close, they won’t abandon the running game. I know some people that have picked Chris Johnson up in fantasy this week. I already have David Johnson. I’d save him for deeper leagues though. So many weapons on offense for the Cardinals.
3. Which matchup do you think favors the Cardinals most on Sunday? (Is it the Cardinals wide receivers vs Bears secondary or a certain player against a certain Bears player or position group?) Which matchup favors the Bears the most?
I think for the Cardinals honestly you hit it on the head. The Cards receivers. They are fast. I mean FAST. Watch out for guys like J.J. Nelson and of course John Brown. For the Bears, their defensive line vs the Cards offensive line appears as the best matchup for them. The Cards o-line played very well last week not giving up a single sack. Quarterback Carson Palmer only got hit once.
4. The Bears finally unveiled a little bit of their style under John Fox last week against the Packers, rushing for 189 yards while trying to limit the damage that Jay Cutler can do through the air. The Cardinals, meanwhile, showed off the best rushing defense in Week 1, only allowing 54 yards in their win over the Saints. Who wins that matchup on Sunday?
Cardinals defense. The run defense is no joke. The pass defense still has work to do and if the Bears want a chance, take shots in the air.
5. Complete this sentence: The Cardinals will win the game against the Bears on Sunday as long as they…
…walk out of the locker room on time. Seriously though, find a good balanced attack and limit turnovers.
The Bears can upset the Cardinals on Sunday if they..
…get to Carson Palmer. Many say as Palmer goes, the Cards go. There is some truth to that.
Bonus: Who wins on Sunday and what’s the final score?
It’s in Chicago so anything can happen. However, I will take the Cardinals 34-20.
Thanks to Scott and be sure to check out Raising Zona for even more insight behind enemy lines and check out my answers to his questions.