Chicago Bears: Week Three Preview

Nathan VenegasCorrespondent ISeptember 17, 2008

After being the only team in the NFL to start the season with two road games, the Chicago Bears finally get to open up Soldier Field when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Just like last week, there will be a couple of familiar faces in this contest. Brian Griese will most likely get the start for the Bucs, and the Bears will also face John Gilmore, a former tight end in Chicago.

The Bucs are an aging team that is struggling with injuries and a lack of playmakers.

The Bears' offense needs to keep doing what it’s been doing: Move the ball consistently. This time, however, they need to finish with TDs instead of field goals.

Orton will get shots down the field and he needs to hit those; there's no other way around it. The coaching staff has been saying how much better Orton knows the offense since his rookie year in 2005. He needs to prove it with his arm this week.

To be fair, Orton will need some help. I will say this until it happens. Someone in the Bears receiving corps needs to step up. They need read the defense and run smart routes.

If this doesn’t happen soon, teams will put more emphasis on the Bears' ground game, adding pressure on Matt Forte and Kevin Jones. Booker is the likely candidate to step up, but he hasn’t shown any spark so far this season. Brandon Lloyd has flashed signs of playmaking ability and Rashied Davis and Mark Bradley have been very quiet.

Forte could have trouble running on the Bucs' interior line, but if he keeps pounding there's no reason why he wouldn’t get a second 100-yard game.

Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks is reporting to have a strained hamstring, but will play. Exploiting his side of the line is a good start for the Bears.

Tight end Greg Olsen needs to have a short memory and forget about his two fumbles against the Panthers. He remains a threat in the passing game if the Bears can get into the red zone.

Lining up Olsen and Desmond Clark is the optimal situation for the Bears when they get into scoring position. This will be a good test to see how the second-year Olsen responds after a poor game.

With Devin Hester likely out, someone will have to step on kick returns. Though Hester hasn’t had a stellar couple of games returning kicks, his mere presence changed the way teams have kicked to the Bears. It’ll be interesting to see how special teams coach Dave Toub handles this.

The Bears open Soldier Field hosting a team with a lot of question marks hanging over their heads. This is a good opportunity to rebound and correct some mistakes from last week.


Players to Watch

Adewale Ogunleye

He’s matched up against a taller, heavier lineman in Jeremy Trueblood. Look for Ogunleye to use his speed to put pressure on Griese and have a big day.

Joey Galloway

This aging wide out still has some speed in his step. The Bears cannot allow him to get behind the defensive backs. Last week Tillman and Vasher did a good job limiting shots down the field, so I expect more of the same this week. Just don’t underestimate Galloway’s speed.


Key to the Game

Putting Pressure on the QB

Brian Griese has never been good outside the pocket. The Bears need to get in his face early and often to slow the tempo of the game.

Look for Urlacher to line up over the center early and for Briggs and McGowan to come in on the edges. The Cover-2 defense was born in Tampa, so the Bears will need to disguise packages like they did against the Colts.