CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 11: Staley, the mascot of the Chicago Bears, sits under an inflatable bear before player introductions for a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
While the Green Bay Packers have been pretty consistent (scoring a lot of points on offense and allowing a lot of yards on defense) over their first two games, it's been anything but consistent for the Chicago Bears. After a dominant performance against the Falcons, they followed it up with a stinker against the Saints. I asked Kev H from Windy City Gridiron about that inconsistency, and about the player the Packers have to stop on Sunday.
Q: What player or unit has exceeded your expectations so far this season?
A: Matt Forte. Which is great, because I had pretty high expectations for him. While his rushing yards are at 117 over the first two games, he already has over 200 receiving yards. He showed flashes of greatness in the Atlanta game, especially on the screen play. As we mentioned, he needs to be getting more opportunities on the ground, because he is averaging 4.5 yards/carry right now. Getting him going, and maybe spreading the offense out, will help this offense look more like the offense against Atlanta, and less like the abomination that got off the bus in New Orleans.
Q: What did the Bears do right against the Falcons that they couldn't get right against the Saints?
A: How long did you want this answer to be?
They cut the rushing attempts in half in Week 2. That's not going to work.
They gave up six sacks in a quarter and a half. The line gave up 3 in all of game 1. (There were 5 on the record, but 1 was Cutler getting hit, the ball knocked out, and him falling on it--because he should have gotten rid of it.. The other one is also on Jay, but it's actually a smart move-on the run, he slid behind the line of scrimmage to keep the clock running, instead of throwing away and giving the Falcons a free time out.
Pressure From the Front Four
I know I don't need to harp on this--it's the thing the Bears defense is absolutely predicated on. Julius Peppers and Henry Melton built a small, two-story home in the Falcons backfield, but they just couldn't get to Brees the same way they did Ryan.