Chicago Bears: What You Need to Know Heading into Week 11

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Chicago Bears: What You Need to Know Heading into Week 11
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Having missed out on a chance to take control of the NFC North by losing to the Detroit Lions last Sunday, the Chicago Bears will look to regroup this week before hosting the Ravens this weekend.

Here's what you need to know about the Bears heading into Week 11. 

 

Charles Tillman's loss a major blow

News came out Monday that Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman is likely done for the season with a triceps injury. That further adds to the Bears' mounting injuries on defense, leading the team to likely turn to Zach Bowman to fill in for Tillman. 

The question now has to be whether Tillman has played his last game with the Bears. He is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. 

 

Marc Trestman will learn from first major mistake

It was evident that Jay Cutler was a different player in the second half against the Lions. His injury really hampered the Bears on offense and was the main reason Chicago could not pull out a win in a game it was in all day. 

Whether is was Cutler's own lobbying or Marc Trestman putting full faith in his quarterback, it was a mistake—one that Trestman has already learned from and will be wiser from it. 

Trestman later admitted, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com, that he probably should have pulled Cutler sooner.

 

Matt Forte and offensive line have to be better against Baltimore

Matt Forte averaged a paltry 1.9 yards per rush against the Lions. The Bears offensive line struggled to move the Lions defensive line off the ball, and Forte was taken down by some tackles he normally breaks. 

Forte had gained more than 90 yards from scrimmage in every game this season until Sunday, so it's safe to say that he will bounce back.

No matter who will be Chicago's quarterback this Sunday, the Bears will need to rely more on their running game against a Ravens team that loves to get after the quarterback. 

 

Defensive line noticeably better against the pass

The Bears had no sacks against the Lions, but their defensive line still made an impact on quarterback Matthew Stafford. They applied pressure on Stafford, forcing him into poor passes, and came away with a handful of deflected passes. As a whole, the defense had seven passes defensed. 

That's two weeks in a row of solid play against the pass for the defensive line. It has benefited from having Shea McClellin back from a hamstring injury. He had three sacks the week before against Green Bay

 

Corey Wootton becoming an unsung hero

As injuries on the defensive line have piled up, Corey Wootton has stepped into a role he's not used to being. The pass-rushing defensive end has been kicked inside and done a nice job at defensive tackle. 

Whether it's against the run or still getting after the quarterback, Wootton is the Bears' unsung hero on defense. Wootton has 14 tackles for loss this season after totaling 20 all of last season. 

 

Chris Conte better, but Major Wright still a problem

Play at safety has been poor at best all season for the Bears, but at least one guy did what he could to fix that. Chris Conte did a better job of making plays and staying in position against Detroit.

He had an interception and a big pass breakup in the end zone against Calvin Johnson. 

Major Wright, on the other hand, continues to be a problem. He looks completely lost on the field and does nothing for the Bears against the run or pass.

Wright joins Barry Church in Dallas and Morgan Burnett in Green Bay as the league's worst starting strong safeties. 

 

Looking ahead to the playoffs

As of now, the Bears are on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs. Carolina's sudden surge and Arizona's run have dropped the Bears into eighth overall in the NFC postseason hunt. 

The 49ers currently hold the final playoff spot at 6-3 while Dallas has thrown a wrench into things because of its poor record. Unfortunately, somebody has to win the NFC West and it will result in a better team missing the playoffs.

If the Bears want to go to the postseason, they will likely have to win five out of their final seven games. That's no easy task with a tough schedule coming up and a possible return of Aaron Rodgers at the end.

 

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