The Monday Night Football showdown features two teams that are vying to become NFC powerhouses, trying to meet the expectations of their talented rosters.
Both teams have stout defenses and offenses that are struggling to find the consistency needed to compete each week.
With that in mind, let’s have a look at the keys for the Bears to come out with a victory over the Cowboys.
The Seattle Seahawks were able to dominate the Cowboys with one strategy, running the football and sticking with it. The Seahawks employed a simple zone-run concept, and no matter the result of the run, they kept mashing it up into the line.
Marshawn Lynch’s stat line for the first half: nine carries for 20 yards in the first half.
That's far from an impressive stat line for the Seahawks' ground game to start the game. Most people would probably argue for a need to abandon the run all together when you’re not having success. Instead, the Seahawks stuck with it, slowed down Rob Ryan’s blitz and stunt calls and eventually found their rhythm.
The final tally for the Seahawks in the ground game was 41 carries for 182 yards and a big victory for rookie QB Russell Wilson, in only his second game starting.
Matt Forte is listed as questionable for the game but went through practice on Saturday without a problem. Michael Bush will play and should be used in the same way Lynch was, by getting those tough yards up the middle.
Setting up the pass by running the football, protecting Jay Cutler the same way and presenting a strong rushing attack will slow down the stunts and blitzes from the Cowboys.
The Bears need to pound the rock with Forte and Bush and wear down the Cowboys' front seven. The one thing the Bears’ offensive line has done well this season is run block; they just haven’t made it an integral part of their game plan through three games.
Brandon Carr is going to match up with Brandon Marshall. Rookies Alshon Jeffery and Morris Claiborne will duke it out on the other side. Despite both Jeffery and Claiborne being SEC players, they never faced each other during their college careers.
This marks their first head-to-head matchup, so it will be interesting to see which one is further along in the early part of their NFL careers.
Jeffery leads the NFL in rookie wide receiver production, and it would be great to see him come in and have a big game against Claiborne. Jeffery has the size advantage, so that should be the first thing he uses in this matchup.
Devin Hester made it known to the Bears media this week that he’s not happy with his role on offense and expects to get more touches. Hester has two catches through three games and has yet to rip off a big return.
The best way for Hester to solve this problem is to make this the game in which he earns extra touches going forward. This game is likely going to be a defensive slugfest, and Hester can play a key role with what he does best.
If Hester can get loose on some punt returns, then he’ll help the Bears offense by putting them in position to score. Even better, it would be nice to have Hester notch his first punt or kick return for a touchdown on the season.
In a game like this, special teams can be a major X-factor, and Hester can bolster the Bears' chances of winning with a ridiculous performance.