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Dwayne Gratz vs. Brandon Marshall
Dwayne Gratz has been my breakout player for the Jaguars all summer, and now the second-year cornerback gets an opportunity to show off his ability against one of the best receivers in the league, Brandon Marshall.
Gratz gives up five inches to the 6'4" Marshall but plays with a strength and physicality that might allow him to challenge the Pro Bowl wideout. This matchup could be a barometer for Gratz to show how he will fare against the game’s elite.
Last week Marshall racked up five receptions on six targets and 31 yards. He projects to see a lot of action, so expect Bears QB Jay Cutler to look to Marshall and test Gratz early.
On the other hand, Gratz was able to hold Tampa Bay's Vincent Jackson to one reception for 18 yards last week. If he can continue to show shutdown ability against big-name players, it could be a big year for young corner.
Mike Brewster vs. Bears’ Interior Pass Rush
Brewster seemed to struggle against the Buccaneers sending two snaps over quarterback Chad Henne’s head for big losses.
But that wasn’t the most concerning part.
In reviewing his game film, I thought Brewster struggled against interior linemen. In a few instances he looked completely overmatched against Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and, in general, looked uncomfortable identifying pressure.
Brewster badly needs a rebound game to prove to the coaching staff that he can be the man in the middle. Chicago features some strong interior defensive linemen in Jay Ratliff and Stephen Paea—both will test Brewster’s skill and resiliency.
Marqise Lee vs. Bears' Secondary
After drawing some criticism from the coaching staff, rookie wide receiver Marqise Lee will have to prove the team was right to select him in the 2014 NFL draft.
The Bears won’t make it easy on Lee, as veteran cornerback Charles Tillman figures to shadow him all over the field. Tillman has long been one of the best cover men in the league and will make Lee work for every inch.
What you’re looking for out of Lee here is for him to run cleaner routes, identify and exploit coverage and learn to maximize his skills to create options for the offense.
A successful day for Lee would be a few receptions and a good effort when run blocking.