Chicago Bears: Key Players to Watch Against Washington on Saturday
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Brian Urlacher will miss the rest of the preseason after having knee surgery earlier this week. And there still are some questions to be answered at key positions.
So here is what you need to look for when the Bears take on the Redskins this weekend.
Jay Cutler is making his first appearance for the Bears this year. He needs to shake off the rust from the offseason and have a strong game. Jason Campbell needs to put up better numbers than he did last week against Denver, too. And, the battle for the third string spot will continue between Josh McCown and Matt Blanchard.
The Bears' only ran for 36 yards as a team last week. This was mostly because of poor blocking by the offensive line, but there are some individual performers who can improve as well. Matt Forte is getting his first action after a long layoff. He needs to show that he is healthy and worthy of the new contract he received last month. Michael Bush fumbled on his first carry of the game, his performance suffered afterwards. Bush needs to bounce back from last week. Kahlil Bell, Armando Allen and Lorenzo Booker will be looking for more opportunities as well.
Brandon Marshall only had one catch last week, Devin Hester had none. With Cutler starting perhaps we can finally see what this passing game is made of. Alshon Jeffery was the best receiver for the Bears last week, look for him to have another big game. The rest of the receivers need to break out of their shells.
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This position was practically non-existent for the Bears last week. Chicago Bears football has always revolved around solid tight ends. These guys need to pitch in and be productive.
This was the biggest Achilles heel for the Bears last week. Poor pass protection allowed Denver to get six sacks. And, they were unable to create space on running plays. Every single one of these giants needs to pick up their game or risk being cut.
This group will have it's hands full with Robert Griffith III starting in front of them. His athletic ability and arm strength will challenge the front four big time. RG3 is expected to play at least into the second quarter. After the Redskins' preseason opener against Buffalo, RG3 said that practice is harder than games. I would love nothing more than to see the Bears d-line welcome Griffith to reality. Julius Peppers will be starting, and Shea McClellin will get another chance to prove himself. But the rest of the guys at this position will need to improve from last week's dismal performances.
Brian Urlacher won't be on the field, but the Bears still have guys to fill-in. Nick Roach is expected to start in place of the No. 54. Dom DeCicco, Blake Constanzo and Geno Hayes are all expected to get some snaps this weekend. I am also hopeful that J.T. Thomas will have another big game.
Hopefully with the insertion of Peanut Tillman in the lineup will improve this group from last week. Major Wright pulled a hamstring on the first series of the game last week. It'll be interesting to see how he holds up this week providing that he even plays. But regardless, these guys were hung out to dry last week. Let's see if they make up for it this week.
Let's see how all of this plays out on Saturday night.
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