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Chicago Bears hit road to take on Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field

Can Jay Cutler (6), Brandon Marshall (15), and the Chicago Bears offense score enough points for their third win in a row?

Can quarterback Jay Cutler (6), wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15), and the Chicago Bears offense score enough points for their third win in a row?

For the first time this year—and first time ever under head coach Marc Trestman—the Chicago Bears (2-0) hit the road to experience the joys of playing in a hostile environment. Though the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-2) do not appear to be a formidable opponent, the Bears can take nothing for granted at Heinz Field and must show up prepared for a physical, grind-it-out game that will not be easy.

The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

Here are some keys to the game that will help ensure the Chicago Bears leave Pittsburgh with a shiny 3-0 record.

Julius Peppers and his defensive line mates need to step up for the Chicago Bears.

Defensive end Julius Peppers and his mates need to step up for the Chicago Bears.

Dominate on defense

Pittsburgh’s offense has been terrible so far. Through two games, they have scored a total of 17 offensive points while gaining a meager 472 yards of offense.  Their running game has been particularly atrocious, gaining a total of 75 yards on 31 carries (2.4 yards per carry). Their offensive line has surrendered seven sacks.

With injuries to key players like Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey and starting running back LeVeon Bell, this unit simply doesn’t have the firepower to be a dynamic offense.

It can be argued that the only above-average player Pittsburgh has on offense right now is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.  The Chicago Bears should focus their defensive attention on making his life as miserable as possible.

Unfortunately, Chicago’s defensive line has struggled through two games, notching only two sacks and bringing minimal quarterback pressure.

Nevertheless, they should be able to have a breakout performance against this sub-par run game and offensive line should. Roethlisberger is a big man (6’5”, 240 pounds) who is difficult to bring down, so it will be essential for the defensive line to play through the whistle and work hard to finish plays.

Troy Polamalu and the Pittsburgh defense will be looking to do everything they can to help their anemic offense.

Safety Troy Polamalu and the Pittsburgh defense will be looking to do everything they can to help their anemic offense.

Avoid turnovers

The easiest way for Pittsburgh to win this game will be to score points on defense or at least force turnovers that set the offense up in excellent field position. It will be essential for Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler—who has turned the ball over four times through two games—to avoid these mistakes.

The Steelers have only given up 36 points through two games, so it will not be easy for the Bears to score. With an anemic Pittsburgh offense on the other side, the Chicago Bears offense likely won’t have to put up 30 points to win, but they need to be careful not to hurt their cause by giving the Steelers easy scoring opportunities.

Communicate along the line

An important part of avoiding turnovers is getting solid play from the offensive line, which will help keep the quarterback from being hurried and forced into bad throws.  The Chicago Bears offensive line has generally done a good job of this through two games, but playing on the road will be a whole new challenge for them.

Crowd noise will make communication — in particular, relaying pre-snap audibles — more difficult, especially on the right side, where rookies Kyle Long and Jordan Mills are heavily dependent on instructions from veteran center Roberto Garza. Add in that this is the first 3-4 defense they have faced this season, and this could be a recipe for disaster.  A costly miscommunication or two could easily result in an unblocked blitzer, which could lead to a big play for Pittsburgh’s defense that could help them win a close game.

Will Chicago Bears return man Devin Hester continue to shine in primetime?

Will Chicago Bears return man Devin Hester continue to shine in primetime?

Devin Hester

One area where the Chicago Bears appear to have a clear advantage is special teams, thanks to the return to prominence of return man Devin Hester.  Through two games, Hester appears to be on a roll, having returned six kickoffs for 280 yards and a cool 46.7-yard average.

His efforts in Week 2 earned him the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week Award for the thirteenth time in his illustrious career. Add in the fact that eight of Hester’s 19 career return touchdowns have come in primetime games, and it’s certain to say that Chicago Bears fans will be on the edge of their seats every time Hester touches the ball on Sunday night.

Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin is certainly aware of Hester, saying he wants to “try to limit (his) exposure to (Hester).”  I’m sure Pittsburgh will punt and kick away from him as much as they can. which will in and of itself help Chicago’s field position, but one big return could easily be the deciding factor in this game.

Prediction

This should be a hard-hitting, physical game that features a lot of defensive highlights but not many points. The Chicago Bears clearly appear to be the better team thanks to a decidedly better offense (how weird is it to say that?), but Pittsburgh is at home and desperate to avoid going 0-3.  It won’t be easy for Chicago, but I simply don’t see the Steelers scoring enough points to win.  The Chicago Bears win ugly in a close game for the third week in a row.

Chicago Bears 17, Pittsburgh Steelers 10

289 comments
adambballn
adambballn

I downloaded the first Weezer album on iTunes today... haven't listened to this album since high school, forgot how good it is.

UnModded Reggie
UnModded Reggie moderator

Interesting Injury list for the Saints:

Evans: Q

Ingram: Q

Harper: O

IAQ: O

Bunkley: Q

Johnson: Q

Walker: Q

Foster: Q

adambballn
adambballn

My favorite part of GTA 5 is when Eddie Murphy "Party All the Time" comes on my radio when I'm driving around.

aciddragon
aciddragon

at this rate the Eagles will run the equivalent of 24 games worth of plays, they'll wear themselves out by the end of the year

UnModded Reggie
UnModded Reggie moderator

If Ingram goes on IR, I'd be ok with that.

aciddragon
aciddragon

@rocketman6969 if i had kids that did this they wouldn't be allowed outside the house till they were 18, and if they were 18 they wouldn't be in my house. 

jmac3444
jmac3444

have to watch out for her

FalconsFan0125
FalconsFan0125 moderator

Do they still have the Karuma car? I havent plyed GTA in a LONG time

rocketman6969
rocketman6969

@aciddragon It's the D that's gonna die. Something about being on the field twice as much as the O.

adambballn
adambballn

@jmac3444 @adambballn 

They played a free concert in San Diego after the races at Del Mar a few weeks ago... I went... forgot how good they were.  Can't believe this album came out in 1994.

adambballn
adambballn

@F*** it Dude, let's go bowling.

Everything now is more based on what you see driving down the streets currently... I'm not sure what the names of the cars are though.  There's a couple bad ass sports cars I love driving though.

aciddragon
aciddragon

@rocketman6969 @aciddragon i just see injuries piling up, you don't have the 80 man rosters you do in college so players aren't going to be fresh. the gimmick won't work too long 

aciddragon
aciddragon

@Dr. Prof. Reggie, M.D. @aciddragon BTW thanks for doing so cause even though Sherrod hasn't played in 2 years, he is a massive upgrade over Ingram and the Packers would have picked him if he were available