The Chicago Bears look to avoid starting the season 0-2 for the first time since the 2003 after losing to the Green Bay Packers 31-23 on opening weekend. This week they prepare to take on the Arizona Cardinals who beat the New Orleans Saints 31-19 in their opener. The Bears are underdogs again at home for the second straight week as Vegas set the Cardinals as 2 point favorites with an over/under of 45.5 points.
When Bears are on offense:
Last week, Matt Forte lead the the way for the Bears offense with 166 total yards(141 rushing and 25 passing) and scored a touchdown. Forte and the Bears will be going up against a tough defensive line this Sunday. Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell and defensive tackle Frostee Rucker will pose a challenge for the Bears running game. This means that the Bears may have to rely on Jay Cutler and the passing game if they want the upset win. Cutler will be expected to throw a lot anyways if they are behind anyway.
Cutler and the Bears might be without number one wide receiver Alshon Jeffery this weekend. He did not practice on Friday and is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. If Jeffery does not play look for tight end Martellus Bennett and wide receiver Eddie Royal to get majority of the team’s targets. Bennett is coming off a solid week where he grabbed 5 passes and one of those being a touchdown. Cutler must be extremely careful of cornerback Patrick Peterson, who is one of the best in the game currently. This game could come down to whoever protects the football better.
When Bears are on defense:
The Bears will face another talented offense led by Carson Palmer this week. The key for the Bears will be to get pressure on Palmer which they were not able to do last week. Another potential blow to the team could be the status of outside linebacker Pernell McPhee who is currently listed as questionable like Jeffery. Palmer has playmakers in: Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown in the passing game. The running back position will be a question mark when the game starts. Starter Andre Ellington left last week’s game due to a sprained PCL. Chris Johnson will replace Ellington as the team’s starter if nothing changes before 1pm on Sunday.
I foresee another close game for the Bears again this week against the Cardinals. I think that Cutler will have a solid game with over 250 passing yards and a couple touchdowns. In the end though, the Cardinals will get the best of the Bears with a score of 28 to 24.