As we do every week, Ramblin’ Fan has crossed enemy lines to get the inside scoop on the how Da Bears are feeling about the upcoming game against the St. Louis Rams. Taking the questions for the Chicago Bears is the Fansided.com editor and lead writer over at BearGogglesOn.com, Mike “Boomer” Burzawa. He takes a shot at how the Bears will cover Amendola, if Jay Cutler will rebound, the Matt Forte situation, and a host of other questions.
After throwing for 4 interceptions again a mediocre Green Bay pass defense, how do you feel Cutler will respond against a much tougher Rams secondary?
Cutler has usually responded well and bounced back after a bad outing. Bears fans know, he’s had plenty of them in his tenure here. The Rams have a couple of good cornerbacks, so it will definitely be a challenge for him. The biggest key is to take what the defense gives him. Cutler thinks he can fit the ball into some tight windows, which often leads to interceptions.
The other factor that’s led to Cuter interceptions has been bad mechanics. When under duress, Cutler will regress to some bad mechanics, throwing off his back foot instead of stepping into his throws. The pressure will be on the Bears offensive line to give Cutler a clean pocket so he can make good throws.
After the soft zone worked miserably for Washington last week, how do you think Love Smith and the coordinators will game plan for Danny Amendola defensively?
The Bears specialize in the Cover-2 defense where they’ll basically allow the underneath throws and rally to the ball to make the tackle for short gains. Ultimately, the goal of the Cover-2 is to prevent big plays. I expect this to be the Bears’ MO on Sunday too. Amendola put one on the carpet last week, so he’d better keep an eye out for Charles Tillman, who specializes in forcing fumbles. Tim Jennings, playing opposite Pro Bowler Tillman, has had a stellar season so far, with three interceptions and a few passes defensed. He could get some time against Amendola.
Brandon Marshall was a non-factor Sunday and Matt Forte will likely be out this week. What player needs to step up on offense to help the Bears move the chain and get points on the board?
First, I expect Marshall to have a bounceback game despite the Rams tough secondary. The Bears got the big, physical wide receiver to make big plays. If the Rams insist on taking him away with double coverage, it should open things up for rookie Alshon Jeffery who had a big day in Week 1 before stumbling a bit in Week 2. Earl Bennett should be able to do some damage in the slot and on underneath routes.
With uncertainty about Matt Forte’s contract status in the offseason, the Bears invested in a top notch second running back in Michael Bush. He’s had a ton of success filling in for the like of Darren McFadden, so I expect a heavy dose of Bush on Sunday. Although he’s a bigger back, he has some pretty nifty moves and catches the ball well out of the backfield. I don’t expect a big dropoff and in fact expect the Bears to feature the running game heavily to open things up for Marshall and the passing game.
Julius Peppers and Robert Quinn both have two sacks so far this season. Who do you think will be able to wrangle the opposing quarterback down more this Sunday?
I can tell you who I hope will have more sacks. The biggest challenge that Peppers faces are double and triple teams besides the fact that he’s held on virtually every play. That opens things up for rookie Shea McClellin, who’s brought in on passing downs as a pass rush specialist. Also look out for Henry Melton to bring pressure up the middle from the defensive tackle position.
The Bears have struggled to keep Cutler upright so far this season. Aside from exchanging Chris Spencer in favor of a waiver pick-up, what changes do you see the coaches making to the protection scheme?
In the offseason, the Bears promised that we’d see moving pockets and designed rollouts to give Cutler more time. So far, we haven’t seen too much of that, so if the pressure is on, I expect the Bears to get Cutler on the move. Otherwise, the Bears need to go with some shorter passes and the running game to take the pressure off.
Which will be more of a factor for the Bears mentally, coming off a tough loss to a divisional opponent or coming back and playing at home in front of the Chicago crowd?
Honesty, I think both of those combined with 10 days since their last game will give the Bears a big boost. It’s been a long week of talking about the Cutler and J’Marcus Webb “shove-gate” so just getting back on the gridiron is welcomed. The home crowd is always enthusiastic, sometimes a little too enthusiastic when the Bears offense has the ball. Cutler had to plead with fans after Week 1 to keep it down while the Bears are in the Red Zone. I’ll be curious to see if that request is met this week.
Predictions for the game? Final Score?
The Rams are a lot tougher than I expected when I previewed this game in the preseason. Jeff Fisher is the perfect fit for a young group to get them to believe in themselves and play solid football. He’ll have his team well prepared and ready to play. That said, the Rams are still a team on the rise and the Bears are better. Cutler and the Bears offense bounce back after a tough loss to the Packers while the defense gets key turnovers to slow Sam Bradford and the Rams offense. Bears 27, Rams 19
Ramblin’ Fan also fielded some of the Bears questions, which you can check out on their site under the title “Chicago Bears Vs St. Louis Rams: 5 Questions With Ramblin’ Fan.” Make sure to give the link a click!