2. Cover! Cover! Cover!
The Bears were glaringly weak at cornerback to start the season, and it proved to be the Achilles heel last Sunday. TY Hilton had a field day against the battered secondary with 171 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps the worst part of Hilton’s success is because he is a receiver the Bears match up well with for the most part. Their secondary is full of athletic playmakers with solid speed. Hilton is a smaller wide receiver who uses his speed and agility to create separation and stretch the field. As the stat line shows, the matchup did little to help the defense. This week will a significantly harder test for the Monsters of the Midway.
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The Jaguars have not one, but two big name receivers coming into town. Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns both have over 200 receiving yards on the year and pose matchup threats across the secondary. Both have height on par with Alshon Jeffery which is exactly what the Bears don’t want.
Tracy Porter, Harold Jones-Quartey, Jacoby Glenn, and Cre’Von Leblanc all measure in at 5’11 on the Bears’ official website. Fade routes now put the Bears at an automatic disadvantage, and we haven’t even talked about the Jags’ 6’5 tight end Julius Thomas!
There is a bright spot at least. Jacksonville’s running game has been borderline abysmal this season. The Bears need to take advantage of this and drop at least 6 if not 7 players into coverage every play. The pass rush has struggled to get home this season anyways, so it seems to be a rather small sacrifice for the time being. With the extra men in coverage, the Bears need one interception and 4 pass deflections to earn this key.