On the surface, Sunday's matchup between the ball-stealing Chicago Bears and the offensively challenged Jacksonville Jaguars appears to be somewhat of a mismatch. After all, the Bears are standing tall at 3-1 while the Jags are slumping over at 1-3.
Ah, but looks can be deceiving. This is the NFL, after all, where anything can and will happen. If the Bears think they can win this game by simply throwing their helmets on and going through the motions, they could be in for a surprise.
Recognizing that, there are keys to the game and those keys can either unlock a victory for Chicago, or can "turn" into disaster for the Bears.
To be sure, this is a game the Bears should win and must win. But while Jacksonville has lost three of its four games thus far, their opening-week loss to the Minnesota Vikings, by a mere three points incidentally, doesn't look so bad now that we know the Vikes are better than we figured.
Plus, their second game was against a legitimate Super Bowl contender, and while they got clobbered by the Texans, lots of teams will get beaten by Houston before this season fades into obscurity.
So while we're not talking about a great team here, it is a team that, at home, has an outside chance of beating Chicago, unless the Bears play well. The Bears are good, but not good enough to simply throw their helmets on the field and go play.
Recognizing that, let's take a look at the five main keys to the game, as I see them.