The Chicago Bears will welcome the Dallas Cowboys in a must-win situation on Monday Night Football. Both defenses have struggled this season, so it's likely the Bears will game-plan for a potential shootout.
The Cowboys are giving up 25.2 points per game. They have struggled to stop the pass. Dallas currently ranks 31st in passing yards given up, and it is dead last in the league in first downs given up.
This bodes well for either Josh McCown or Jay Cutler. We still don't know who the starter will be, but either guy can move the football with ease against this Cowboys team.
Look for Marc Trestman to take more shots down the field. His conservative play-calling late in games has been a big reason the Bears have dropped two in a row. Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall are the league's best receiver tandem, and it's time to stretch them out.
During McCown's run as starter, Jeffery and Marshall have done a great job of catching the ball underneath and running after the catch, but neither one has seen too many routes down the field.
The Bears need to use Matt Forte, Earl Bennett and Martellus Bennett as intermediate options in the pass options. Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee is coming back early from a hamstring injury. Test him out and see if he can cover Forte or Bennett one-on-one.
If the Bears want to beat Tony Romo, they are going to have to be the aggressors. There's no way this defense can shut down Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, DeMarco Murry and the rest of this Cowboys offense.
LM: #Bears are 3-0 in prime-time games and 3-6 in contests beginning at noon this season.— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 3, 2013
Sometimes you have to have the mindset of coming into a game literally just trying to out score the other team. Marc Trestman needs to have a goal of 30-plus points. The Cowboys have given up over 30 five times already this season.
The Bears will win this game if they play fast on offense. Go no-huddle and spread the ball around underneath to Forte, Martellus Bennett and Earl Bennett. It's time to take some shots down the field early and often. DeMarcus Ware has struggled with injuries and has only five sacks this year for Dallas. The team as a whole has 26.
Look for the Bears to finally come to the realization their defense is below average. Plenty of teams have won in this league by just putting a ton of points on the board. If the Bears want to win this game and the next three after, they will start thinking that way.
This, of course, is all thrown out the window if it snows on Monday night. After all, it is Chicago in December.