Seven players who must perform for Bears
December 16, 2012, 10:09 am
We've all enjoyed the build up, trash talking and hype which normally precedes the most storied rivalry in all of sports: Bears vs. Packers.
Tension was kicked up a notch after Packers tight end Jermichael Finley spoke disrespectfully of Brian Urlacher. Now the division is on the line and players will perform accordingly to what's at stake, but there are seven players who will be key to the Bears upsetting the Packers.Jay Cutler
Cutler hasn't performed well in past matchups against Green Bay. His 16 interceptions do not generate much confidence in fans, the team and Cutler's own confidence. Furthermore, losing five of the last six games, while contributing with poor play, is something Cutler is looking to rectify.
The Bears don't need Superman at quarterback, but they do need smart play from Cutler who must play a turnover-free game.Matt Forte and Michael Bush
It doesn't matter who's running the football when it's in Chicago's possession. Whether it's Forte or Bush, they must make guys miss or push the pile forward for the offense to stay on schedule. Negative runs on first or second downs will destroy Cutler's bid for a mistake-free game if he's dealing with third and long situations.
During the Bears-Packers matchup earlier in the season, Green Bay played mostly 2-man coverage on third downs and Forte left the game early in the third quarter with an ankle injury. To beat 2-man coverage, a quality route running, receiving running back is needed to beat linebackers in the backfield.
Forte most likely will be a big key today on third downs. The Bears cannot afford to lose him again.Defensive linemen
Again, it doesn't matter who is in the lineup of when, but the Bears' front four defensive linemen must be dominate. There is a reason Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers leads the league with 42 sacks; his team is just not very good at pass protection right now with a makeshift, rag-tag offensive line.
If all other positions play their normal game and the aforementioned seven positions step up to the challenge, the Bears' chances of upsetting the Packers improve greatly.
A special teams play might help too. Wasn't it the Packers who converted a fake field goal for a touchdown in the first matchup? It might be time for Devin Hester to come through for an ailing team with something special too--make it eight positions!
Tags: Michael Bush
, Jay Cutler
, Matt Forte
, Chicago Bears