Friday, October 8, 2010

And so begins the "easy" part of the Bears' schedule

I put "easy" in quotes because last season's "easy" stretch of Cincinnati, Cleveland, Arizona and San Francisco took the Bears from 3-2 to 4-5. You just never know. And on top of that, the Bears are only three-point favorites as they head to Carolina.

But a punchless Panthers team that's 27th in the NFL in offense and relies on the run should be a good matchup for the Bears. They lost last time they went to Carolina in 2008 and the time before in 2002, and while they beat the Panthers at home in 2005, they lost in the playoffs that year when Steve Smith had 850 receiving yards.

That's unlikely to happen this Sunday, partly because Jimmy Clausen will get the start. He's completed just 49 percent of his passes in two games, though he did do enough last week to keep his team in the game against the Saints. In reality, Carolina's a rushing team, though their 4.0 yards/carry puts them in the middle of the pack in the NFL. DeAngelo Williams has been decent while Jonathan Stewart has yet to reach his weight in rushing yards (89 total this season). With the Bears still a top ten team in rush defense, they should be able to force the Panthers to rely on Clausen, which should lead to a positive outcome. It's a game the Bears need badly if for no other reason than this is a game they're absolutely supposed to win.


Will Todd Collins be any good? Cutler has been F**K ruled out of the game due to his concussion, which means GOD DAMMIT Todd Collins will get the start. He hasn't SON OF A B**TCH started a game since 2007, and he's started only THIS IS BULLS**T 20 games in his NFL career. Can he be at least moderately OH JESUS OH JESUS effective?

Contain Steve Smith. Heard of Mike Goodson? How about Dante Rosario? Maybe David Gettis? Those three have the second-, third- and fourth-most receptions for the Panthers behind Smith. So, yeah, just stop Steve Smith.

Homecoming king? Julius Peppers is from North Carolina, attended UNC and played his entire career in Carolina before coming to the Bears. Will he make the locals miss him, or will the pressure get to him?

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