Friday, October 22, 2010

Bears face third NFC East foe in near must-win game

The Bears are 4-2, so why would they need a win already? Because they still have to head to Lambeau this season. Because with a quick look at their schedule, you'll see teams like the Patriots, Jets and Eagles listed. There are only so many wins left on the docket, and with the Bears currently laying three points in a home game against the beatable Redskins, it's darn close to a must-win game.

Washington has been close to the definition of average so far this year. They stay in virtually every game but don't have the firepower to put away all their opponents. They beat a good Eagles team with strong defense but gave up 30 points to the Rams. They beat Green Bay in overtime but couldn't pull out a win against Indy. A blowout on either side in this Sunday's game seems unlikely--my guess is one team will need to make a big play late in the fourth to win it.

The two teams haven't locked horns since 2007, a 24-16 win for Washington at FedEx Field.


Wrap up. Important in any game, of course, but especially against Donovan McNabb and 218-pound bruiser Ryan Torain at running back. If the Bears get to McNabb, they need to bring him down. And the defense will need to gang tackle Torain and hit him low--he's not a big fan of falling down.

Run the ball. It's becoming painfully clear (literally) that the Bears need more balance on offense. It's one thing to believe (as I do) that balance is key to any successful offense, but the fact is, Cutler's gonna find himself in the ER if the Bears don't start keeping defenses honest. On top of that, you can run the ball on this Redskins team--they allowed Joseph Addai to run for 128 yards last week, his highest total since 2007. If the Colts can run the ball against Washington, the Bears can too.

Chris Cooley and Lance Briggs. Both are hurt, but both will probably play. Cooley is the Skins' second leading receiver while Briggs is key to the Bears' D. If either is significantly less than 100 percent, it's likely to impact the final score.

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