So I was wrong about It's Your Dime. Not going to be on til 10 central. I forgot we can't do prime time if we do not have a premium account. We will be going to prime time once we do.
Chicago Bears host Cincinnati Bengals in 2013 opener
- Updated: September 6, 2013
We made it! The long offseason is finally over, and real NFL football is back! Say goodbye to your significant others for the next four months — it’s time to shift our attention to what really matters: the NFL.
The Chicago Bears open their season—and kick off the Marc Trestman era—at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. This will be a tough test for Chicago, as Cincinnati has a talented team that has made the playoffs two years in a row. But the Bears matched Cincinnati’s 10-6 record last year, and both teams think they are better this season, so this should be a good litmus test all around.
Let’s take a look at some key issues for this game if the Chicago Bears want to start the season off with a victory.
Protect the quarterback
If the Chicago Bears offense is going to get anything going in this game, it will begin with keeping quarterback Jay Cutler on his feet. This is an extremely difficult task going against a ferocious Cincinnati defensive line led by All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins. The Bengals tallied 51 sacks in 2012, good for third in the NFL.
Chicago’s new-look offensive line, which features two rookies and a total of four new starters, will have their work cut out for them here. Look for Trestman to do what he can to help them out with a combination of using the running game and quick passes and having tight ends and running backs help block.
Unleash the unknown
New coach Marc Trestman will be calling plays for the Chicago Bears this year, and nobody really knows exactly what his offense will look like. He hasn’t been in the NFL for over a decade, and deliberately kept things very vanilla in the preseason. It is reasonable to suspect that Trestman may just have a few tricks up his sleeve that Cincinnati has no way of preparing for, and a few surprises could just be enough to help the Chicago Bears get a few crucial points in what should be a closely contested game.
Of course, the flip side of this is that the Chicago Bears are still learning a new offense, meaning that there are likely to be some mistakes and kinks to work out. Chicago hopes the surprises they can spring on Cincinnati will outweigh the mistakes.
Harass the quarterback
On the defensive side of the ball, the Chicago Bears have a good chance to make life difficult for Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton. The Bengals have a good offensive line, but starting left tackle Andrew Whitworth is expected to miss the game as he recovers from offseason knee surgery. That means Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers will be going against a backup, something that will certainly help him — and the rest of the defensive line should Cincinnati shift more attention towards Peppers.
Tillman vs. Green
Much like the Chicago Bears, the Bengals passing game relies upon one primary target: wide receiver A.J. Green. Green is entering his third year and has already established himself as an upper-echelon wide receiver, grabbing 97 balls for 1,350 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012. Green is big and fast, in the same mold as other top receivers like Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson.
Chicago cornerback Charles Tillman did excellent work against those Johnsons in 2012, limiting them to a combined 12 catches (on 35 targets) for 141 yards in three games. Limiting Green in a similar manner would go a long way towards helping stop Cincinnati’s offense.
Return to form for Hester?
Longtime return man Devin Hester is no longer playing wide receiver for the Chicago Bears this year, and buzz has been building in the Windy City that this may help return his return game to its previous dominant level. Hester did look explosive in limited work in the preseason, as he averaged over thirty yards per kickoff return. A big play or two from Hester on special teams would really help spark the offense in what looks to be a defensive struggle.
I see this as a fairly evenly matched game featuring two extremely similar teams. Both have defenses that are better than their offenses, but offenses that are expected to improve this season. I give the Chicago Bears a slight edge in this game due to being at home and having an unknown offense that Cincinnati could have trouble preparing for. The offense struggles but shows some flashes, while the defense plays well and makes a few big plays to give Chicago a tight win.
Final score: Chicago Bears 20, Cincinnati Bengals 17
"I'd rather get fucked in the ass in prison than do that role again!" -- John Goodman on his role in the FIinstones
@niemerg1 Yabba dabba doo him in the butt
Delmas and Jones better play
@It's queen... to make a funny AVENGE ME
@jwoude23 Bear Down Clown4Clowney
So, someone mentioned this at work and I found it funny. Peyton Manning threw 7 TDs in one game. The 2012 KC Chiefs threw 8 in a year.
@BearsSaveLives Jimmy Clausen threw 3 in a year, BOOM BITCHES!
@aciddragon Thanks for bringing that up, Dick!
Chicago is also one of only a few teams where the all-time leading rusher has more yards than the all-time leading passer.
@jwoude23 Bear Down Two years..
Cutler only needs 2395 to pass Luckman.
and 4435 to pass Payton
And he's loaded.
@FalconsFan0125 This seems like a full sentence, but...
@It's Reggie....To make a funny. How does this guy find this stuff out on the fly?
@Childerz... Exactly 4.5
@Childerz... Under but barely
@BearsSaveLives Aaaaaaaaaaand nobody cares.
@BearsSaveLives You're listed as doubtful
SF secondary is not as good as they were the last few years.
Jordy, no question.
Mike Wallace detracts from hartline.
@RBB-DGAF I chose Jordy over Wes Welker in one league. He'd better not let me down.
@Lionskillpack Rodgers has shown the ability to spread the ball around. Moreso than Tannehill.
@←sgunderson17→ Will Rodgers have time to throw it?