NFL Week 14 Preview: Bears Look to Slay AFC’s Best
The Chicago Bears (9-3) enter Sunday’s showdown with the New England Patriots (10-2) looking to prove that they are the best team in the NFL. According to Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, the Bears are the best team in the NFL. Well Sunday they get that chance to prove it.
The Bears haven’t beat New England since 2000, and lost the last time these two teams played in a game this big. That game was in 2006 in New England, and Rex Grossman and the Bears couldn’t get it done.
The Bears defense welcomes the Patriots dynamic offense into Soldier Field, in what is sure to be a great match up to watch.
Winners of five straight games, Chicago has the media beginning to believe that they are a legit contender. The Patriots have proved that they belong in elite company in the NFL. The Bears have four tough games left including a critical game against the Packers in Green Bay in week 17. That game could determine the NFC North Championship. It’s key Chicago plays well down the stretch and win these games.
The match up to look out for in this game is going to be the Bears defense and how they match up with the Patriots offense. The Bears bring the third ranked total defense into the game. Including their second ranked rush defense.
New England brings their 13th ranked, but are ranked first in points per game. This is setting up to be a great game to watch for both teams.
With play makers like Danny Woodhead and Wes Welker, the Bears defense will be tested again this season. Last time the Bears had a game of this magnitude, the Bears came out and took care of business against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Bears will need to get pressure on Tom Brady and force him into bad decisions. Julius Peppers and the rest of the defensive line will need to step up. Brady has been playing spectacular lately, and it will be tough for the Bears to shut him down. If they don’t get pressure from their front four, Brady will torch the Bears defense.
The Bears have play makers of their own, just not known as well as New Englands. Devin Hester and Johnny Knox are speedsters who can get through the Patriots secondary. Chicago will need their play action to work effectivly and let Cutler establish a rhythm early on.
Chicago has dealt with problems on their offensive line all season. New England on the other hand has seen their offensive line play well. They have allowed just 18 sacks on Tom Brady, ranked first in the NFL. The Patriots offensive line will be tough to get through, but Chicago can force some disruptions up front and change the game around.
On the other side of the ball, New England doesn’t have a great pass rush. The Bears offensive line should be able to hold up. If they can do so, the Bears could be successful.
With bad weather approaching Solider Field, the run game could be a huge factor for both teams. Matt Forte and BenJarvus Green-Ellis could play huge roles in the offensive game plan. Even though Green Ellis has played well of late, I feel like Chicago has the edge in the battle of running backs.
This game could be another game changer for Jay Cutler. Cutler has strung together a few good games for Chicago as of late, and led them to big wins. Sunday is another chance for Cutler to prove that he can lead Chicago.
With a game of this magnitude the Bears will need to feed off the Soldier Field crowd and not let the Patriots get ahead early. If they can do that, and play a mistake free game, Da Bears will prove that they are for real. Yet again.