The good news for the Bears is that the negatives of a loss of a day of recovery time is negated by the fact that they are playing the Panthers, and there is very little going right for the Panthers.
They are struggling to stop either the run or the pass, they fired their GM and their quarterback is rapidly approaching meltdown stage.
Where: Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois
When: Sunday, October 28 at 1 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Listen: NFL Audio Pass
Betting Line: Bears -9 according to Bet Online on Oct. 24
At the time of publication, the official injury report was not available.
Check out NFL.com for the report, as it should become available shortly, and it will be updated as the week goes on.
The fantasy mega star that is the Chicago Bears' defense should be played with confidence this week. The Panthers' offense has many issues right now, and one of those is that they are 25th in the league in turnovers.
This also means that it would be wise to stay away from playing any Panther in this matchup. The Bears are second in rushing yards allowed and they are second in yards allowed per pass. So that makes even Steve Smith a risky play here.
Panthers Player To Watch: Cam Newton
All eyes are on Cam Newton. The quarterback is on a slippery slope. His numbers are down from where they were as a rookie, and he is behaving increasingly depressed on the sideline and after games.
He seems displeased with the direction of his team, and it is at a time when he should be pointing the finger at himself.
Through all of this, he remains a dangerous weapon through the air or on the ground. He is just one good game away from turning all this negative talk back into superlatives about his other-worldly talent.
Bears Player To Watch: Jay Cutler
Cam Newton does not have a monopoly on QB attitude in this because he has smoking Jay Cutler on the other sideline.
Cutler's attitude has long been a popular talking point for those of my ilk. However, it is getting harder to talk about his negative attitude as the Bears continue to pile up wins.
Key Matchup: Cam Newton vs. Bears' Defense
The Panthers are going to have a hard time scoring in this one, and any success they do have will have to come from Newton. He is not only the leading passer but he also leads this team in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.
Newton's best chance to beat the Bears will come on broken plays where he scrambles to keep the action alive, and he has to be supremely careful protecting the ball against this ball-hawking defense.
On the Hot Seat: Ron Rivera, Coach
Ron Rivera's seat is so hot, it might be cold. I don't know how that works in physics, but in this case, it means Rivera might be a "fired coach walking."
Panthers GM Marty Hurney was abruptly fired this week, and it does not take a whole lot digging to come to the conclusion that axing the coach is the next step.
Prediction: Bears 24, Panthers 10
I don't see any reason to think the Panthers will turn it around. In fact, this could be getting a lot worse before it gets better.
The Bears' defense will suffocate the Panthers and make life easy for the offense.
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