Biggest Questions Facing the Chicago Bears in Week 1 Contest with Bengals
The roster is set, and the team is preparing for its first game. The Chicago Bears will host the Cincinnati Bengals in their opener. As they prepare their game plan, there are still some burning questions with this team.
Whether it's a rookie head coach or star receiver, there's a cloud of doubt surrounding this team right now. Everybody is anxiously waiting to see how they come out and respond in Week 1.
Here are the five biggest questions surrounding the Bears going into the start of the season.
Is Brandon Marshall Ready?
Brandon Marshall voiced his frustration near the end of training camp. His hip is still bothering him, and he had a subpar preseason.
Marc Trestman gave his star receiver some much needed time off to regroup physically and mentally. The Bears know they need Marshall for the long haul, and it starts in Week 1 against the Bengals.
Marshall will show up to Soldier Field against Cincinnati refreshed and ready to go. Nobody will remember his recent rant when he goes for over 100 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Will the Rookie Starters Hold Up?
The Bears will rely on Kyle Long and Jordan Mills to anchor the right side of the offensive line. The team will also look to Jon Bostic to fill some pretty big shoes at middle linebacker.
Long and Mills looked very crisp in the preseason, but the Bengals boast one of the best defensive lines in the league. The two rookies will have their hands full the entire game with a unit that includes Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap.
Bostic made a lot of noise in the preseason with his bone-jarring hits and knack for finding the football. He will be face to face with a Bengals offense that will have a new running game on display led by shifty rookie Giovani Bernard.
Bostic will do just fine because of the solid veterans around him. As of now, everybody should be cautiously optimistic about Long and Mills. Best believe Marc Trestman will put them in an early position to succeed.
Who's the Slot Receiver?
Earl Bennett missed most of training camp and the preseason due to a concussion he suffered in practice. There's a good chance he will be ready to play Week 1, but how much will he contribute?
If Bennett can't give the Bears what they need, they will likely look to rookie Marquess Wilson. Wilson has made an early connection with Jay Cutler, and the quarterback trusts the young man already.
Joe Anderson also had a solid camp and preseason. As of now the Bears don't have one solid third option at receiver, but they have a couple of guys who can step up and take on the role.
Is Jay Cutler Ready to Be Elite?
The biggest season of Jay Cutler's career starts with the matchup against the Bengals. Cutler needs to come out early and prove the naysayers wrong.
Cutler will be pitted against a veteran Bengals defense with solid corners and a relentless pass rush. It's up to Cutler to set the tone early of not panicking and making smart decisions.
If Cutler can come out in his first game against a playoff-caliber team and perform well, then the optimism will be very high for the season. Should he have a bad game, it will be a very long week in Chicago.
What Will We See from Marc Trestman and His Offense?
No more preseason games or practice. This game counts, and Marc Trestman will be in the spotlight. How will the rookie head coach do in his first game? What will this offense everybody has been waiting for look like?
It's important for Trestman's offense to get off to a quick start. He needs to show he can game-plan for a quality defense, and he needs to build confidence in his offensive unit.
His in-game decisions will be important too. How will he handle time out situations, replay challenges, two-minute drills and in-game adjustments?
Trestman is a very cerebral man who should have no problem handling the duties and pressure of being an NFL head coach. He should be able to win the chess match against Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.