NFL Picks Week 13: Chicago Bears vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Bryan DietzlerSenior Analyst IDecember 4, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Caleb Hanie #12 of the Chicago Bears in action against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on November 27, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Coming off a 25-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders, the Chicago Bears will host the Kansas City Chiefs, who themselves are coming off a 13-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Bears experienced their first game without Jay Cutler this past Sunday, and while portions of the game were pretty solid, there were some mistakes and poor decisions that cost Chicago the game. 

Hopefully with some additional experience, Hanie and the rest of the Bears' offense will play a much better game this time around.

And with the Chiefs playing like they are, the Bears should have a much easier time winning this game than they did against Oakland.

But nothing is ever for sure, especially when it comes to the Bears.

So, can the Bears win this game on Sunday?

Will Hanie have a better showing this weekend?

Will the Bears defense be able to support them like they did against the Raiders, and perhaps a little bit better?

Let’s find out, as we preview the Bears vs. the Chiefs, coming this Sunday at Soldier Field.

When the Bears Have the Ball

Hanie made a lot of simple mistakes against the Raiders last Sunday, and if he could curtail the mistakes, then he can play much better.

He must remember to throw the ball away if the throw isn't there.  He should also learn to run with the ball more.  There were a few instances in the Raiders game where Hanie could have moved the ball effectively on the ground, but chose not to do it.

Perhaps that's Mike Martz telling him not to run with the ball.

The receivers had a couple of drops against the Raiders, and they really need to step it up and help Hanie out.  He's good on those short and intermediate routes (and hit big on that long throw to Knox), and the receivers need to catch the ball and give him some help.

The passing game can work with Hanie, as long as all of the other pieces are working properly.

The running game seemingly jumped back to life against the Raiders, and the Bears could use it to help them get past the Chiefs this Sunday.

Both Matt Forte and Marion Barber had some decent runs last Sunday, so getting them more involved in the offense would be a good idea.  It would help them control the ball much more as well as help in taking some of the heat off of Hanie.

So, the short controlled passing game, along with the running game going strong, should be able to give the Bears the better offense this weekend.

When the Chiefs Have the Ball

The Chiefs offense hasn’t been able to generate much as of late, either through the air or on the ground, and they'll be going though another quarterback change when they meet the Bears this Sunday.

Former Chicago Bear Kyle Orton, recently claimed off waivers, will most likely be the starter for the Chiefs this Sunday, leaving an interesting undertone to this matchup.

It would be the first time the Bears will have met Orton since they traded him away for Jay Cutler.

The Bears have lately had good success getting to the quarterback, or at least putting pressure on the opposing quarterback, and this is something they'll need to do against Kansas City. 

Forcing the quarterback to make mistakes that the Bears can take advantage of would go a long way toward helping out the defense.

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Carson Palmer #3 of the Oakland Raiders throws a pass presured by Julius Peppers #90 of the Chicago Bears at Coliseum on November 27, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Field position was a critical component of their game against the Raiders, and in order for the Bears to win, they have to avoid the mistake they made last week, and keep good field position. 

The Bears, for the most part, did a good job of keeping the Raiders out of the end zone, but they allowed them to score field goals. Kicking a lot of field goals can win the game on its own, and this contributed to the loss.

The Bears can’t afford to allow any points, due to the problems they're having on offense. Their defense needs to stop the Chiefs from being able to work between the 20s or kick field goals. 

With the way the Bears offense is operating right now, they can't allow a single field goal.

The Chiefs had one of the best rushing offenses in the league last year, but without Jamaal Charles, injured earlier in the year, their running game has been stagnant.

They may try to run against the Bears early in this game, but Chicago should be able to shut their running game and make them throw the ball.

This will allow the Bears' defense to tee off on the passing game and make some plays.

Good play out of the defensive line will go a long way towards the Bears' ability to do something positive against the Chiefs' passing game.

As far as the secondary? The Bears will have to cover an experienced receiver in Dwayne Bowe and a rookie in Jonathan Baldwin.

The Bears have done a good job of coverage in the past couple of games, minus the effort by Tillman against Vincent Jackson, and they should be able to do a good job of it against the Chiefs.

Special Teams

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears in action against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on November 27, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In order to get good field position, the Bears will need to get a strong effort out of their return teams, so Johnny Knox and Devin Hester will have to have a big game to help give the Bears the field position they need.  Fortunately, they're fully capable of doing this.

One thing that will hamper the Bears is the fact that the Chiefs have a pretty good punter in Dustin Colquitt.

The special teams unit found out just how damaging a good punter can be last week against the Raiders, so hopefully, there are some opportunities to return punts in this game to give the offense some good field position.


It’s likely that Chiefs head coach Todd Haley’s job is on the line, and winning this game could be important for him to hang on to his livelihood.  He'll try whatever it takes to win this game.

The Bears' coaching staff is a smart group and understands what needs to be done to win games.  As long as Martz doesn’t try a lot of crazy stuff that Hanie can’t execute properly, the Bears coaching staff should win the day.


This could be a make or break game for Hanie.

With Josh McCown having some potential, and quite possibly, close to having a start, Hanie has to do something to prove that he can stay in the lineup and help the Bears win.

He should be much calmer in his second start this week, and he faces a team who's played poorly over the last few games.

The Chiefs have to win, and will pull no punches. so the Bears need to be cautious.

The Bears are playing this team at a good time, now that the Chiefs are undergoing some changes at quarterback.  If the Bears can take advantage of this confusion with their defense, then they will win this game.

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Johnny Knox #13 of the Chicago Bears celebrates after scoring on a twenty nine yard touchdown pass against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on November 27, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

It all comes down to how Hanie plays.

The defense has to try to get some turnovers in this game to help the offense out, and must help keep field position in favor of the Bears.

The defense will play an important role in this game, and after doing a pretty decent job of containing the Raiders, it’s hard to see them being a big factor in beating the Chiefs.

The Chiefs are going to try as hard as they can to win this game, to possibly save their head coach's job.

The Bears realize that they need this game to make the playoffs.

The game is being played at Soldier Field, which gives the Bears a pretty nice advantage and may give them an edge in this game.


There are just too many issues for the Chiefs to overcome in this game.

Thanks to the experience that Hanie has gained, he should be that much more capable of winning this game this week.

The Bears' defense will step up, and should help them win this game much like they came close to doing against the Raiders.

Run the ball, hold onto the ball and play strong defense and the Bears will win.

Chicago 17, Kansas City 10


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