With a week before a their bye, the Chicago Bears (4-2) travel to Washington to take on the Redskins (1-4) in what could be a big game for both teams.
The Bears look to continue their winning ways into the bye week with a big NFC North showdown against the Packers in week 9. Heading into the bye at 5-2 and at least a share of the NFC North lead is crucial for the Bears.
For the Redskins, this could be their season.
The ‘Skins sit at 1-4 in a crazy NFC East conference and need a win to salvage their season. A loss would dig them a bigger hole in contending for the NFC East division championship.
Here are six key players for Sundays game in Washington.
Robert Griffin III
RG III is returning to form week-to-week. The Redskins offense runs through RG III and they would love to get their run game going early.
RG III could be a nightmare for the Bears on the second and third levels of the defense if they can get their rushing attack going. That will open up the passing game for the ‘Skins and RG III will make you pay there too.
Sunday should be another good test for RG III on his road back to full recovery.
Cofield is a force on the inside for the Redskins defense. With the Redskins covering the center with Cofield it could cause problems for the Bears offensive line.
Bears center Roberto Garza will have the task of blocking Cofield and should receive some help from guards Matt Slauson and Kyle Long. If Cofield can win his individual matchup and get pressure on Cutler it could be a long day for the Bears offense.
The rookie middle linebacker out of the University of Florida will get his chance to shine starting with Sundays game in Washington. Bostic is taking over for D.J. Williams who is out for the season.
After an impressive showing in the preseason, Bostic looks to elevate his play. And the Bears will need him too.
Bostic plays a key part in the defense that has been under some scrutiny for their poor play, especially on the defensive line. It will be interesting to see how Bostic reacts to coverages throughout the game.
Peppers continues to appear on my list mainly because I’m waiting for him to make a serious impact at some point this season. The Bears defensive line continues to struggle and eventually will hurt them. So far the bad defensive line play has been bailed out by the secondary and the offense’s ability to score points.
This week the Bears face a mobile quarterback who can make plays throughout the air and on the ground. It’s key the Bears get a consistent pass rush from their defensive line or it could be a long day for their secondary.
That consistent play must start with Julius Peppers.
It’s safe to say that Hall has Jay Cutlers number. The last time the two met in Chicago, Hall picked off Cutler four times including one returned for a touchdown.
The Bears have bigger and more physical receivers than they did in 2010 but Hall is still a dangerous corner back.
Hall will have the task of slowing down Bears receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, if he is successful, it could be another long day for the Cutler.
Cutler has played well in the Bears new offense thus far this season and a big game going into the bye week can go a long way for the Bears season. Cutler will go against another physical defense that will bring pressure and look to make it rough on Cutler all game.
With weapons like Marshall, Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte, there is no reason for Cutler not to go out and have big games week after week.
If Cutler can continue his solid play, the Bears will come out winners on Sunday.