It's no secret that the Chicago Bears need a win this weekend. After absolutely crushing the Indianapolis Colts 41-21 in the season opener, fans were riled up for a quick turnaround game when the Bears went to Green Bay to play the Packers just four days later. However, the game did not turn out as well for the Bears as they would have hoped. The Packers attacked the Bears, not allowing their offense to get going, and held he Bears to just one touchdown in a 23-10 victory over Chicago.
This week, it's no secret that the Bears need to get their offense going early and often if they want to rebound and have a huge week against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. To do this the Bears are going to need a game plan to come at the Rams with.
On first down, the key is going to be getting Michael Bush involved. The Bears went out and got Bush this past offseason for two reasons: to be a strong third down back and also to provide some depth at the position. Now that Forte is hurt, however, Bush is going to have to step up and be the leading rusher on the team, a feat that everyone knows he is capable of. On first downs, it will be absolutely crucial to continue giving the ball to Bush. Expect them to shove the ball down the throat of the Rams again and again, forcing them to load the box and try to stop the run. While the Bears may not have the best offensive line in the league, during Week 1 the Bears put up 112 yards rushing, and scored three touchdowns on the ground between their two backs. By running the ball constantly and consistently, the Bears open up other options for themselves on the later downs in the series.
After the run has been established early, then it will be time for Cutler to go to work on second and third downs. We've seen what Cutler can do when defenses are skeptical of the pass and planning for the run. We've also seen what Cutler can do when he uses his targets efficiently, with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett getting targeted 15 times, and gaining 249 yards with two touchdowns shared between all three of them in Week 1 vs. the Colts.
If Chicago can get Bush established and scare teams into having to stack the box, Cutler has the targets to get the ball to and dump the ball off on a short yardage pass, and even has Devin Hester to help with long yardage passes, knowing that Hester has speed that is almost unmatched and all he has to do is hang onto the ball. With the receiving core that Chicago has at it's disposal, and with a bad game to work out the kinks already under their belt, the Bears are going to need the pass game once the run has been established.
The final piece to the puzzle in this game is going to be the play calling on offense by Mike Tice. Tice cannot be afraid to take chances, make risks and try new things this week against St. Louis. We've seen that the Bears have weapons all over the field, and that the players can step up and make plays. Keeping the defense guessing and throwing tricks at them will be a perfect way to silence any doubters of the offense in Chicago, and prove that he is the right man for the job running the offense for the Bears.
The Chicago Bears need a win this weekend, and while the Rams may not be the best team in the league, they are on their way up, and come into this weekend hot after defeating the Washington Redskins last weekend. The key to defeating the Rams lies in the play of the offense, and if they can keep these three things in mind, and execute the game plan effectively, then they should have no problem handling St. Louis, and improving their record on the season to 2-1.
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