3. Never fall behind by more than 10 points
Some teams are capable of playing from behind. The Chicago Bears are not one of those teams. Chicago currently performs best in a slug fest. Play bend and not break defense, and then pummel the opposing team with a vicious run game that controls the clock. It’s not flashy football, but it’s a formula that has made John Fox successful in the past, and it’s what fans should expect.
Should the Bears fall behind by 14 or more, their run first game-plan becomes significantly harder to execute. Bears’ quarterback Brian Hoyer functions best as a game manager, not the quarterback who throws for over 350 yards and 4 scores in a comeback bid. It’s borderline impossible to stay committed to the run when the deficit reaches past 10 points.
The Colts have been a momentum team so far this year. They fell behind 21-3 against Detroit, but came back and nearly won the game. They pulled within 3 points of the Denver Broncos, but then allowed 11 points in the span of 3 seconds to lose the game. There will be plenty of opportunities against the Colts, but Chicago needs to be weary of their vicious counterpunches.
In order to play the Colts close, the Bears will need to eclipse 20 points for the first time this season. While the 17-14 win against the Lions was great, the Colts pack significantly more firepower than Detroit. That doesn’t mean that Hoyer needs to launch deep passes into double coverage, but it does require the Bears to finish drives more often. That extends from kicker Connor Barth connecting on easy field goals to the offense converting one more first down to get into field goal range. It could also mean going for a fade route instead of a quick screen or draw play.
Those are the keys to victory for the Bears this week! Go Bears!