The Mack Attack Invades the Desert
The Chicago Bears (1-1) head west to face off against the Arizona Cardinals (0-2) Sunday afternoon. Chicago opens up as a 5.5 point favorite according to sportsline.com. In 2015, the last time these teams met in the regular season, Arizona dominated the Bears by a score of 48-23.
The Bears may have something special in the making. This year’s defense is showing signs of greatness. It’s too early for predictions but it’s reminiscent of the early Lovie Smith years known for a dominant defense. The rumblings of bringing back the nickname, “Monsters of the Midway,” has been on the minds throughout the Windy City since a solid Week One showing.
Chicago experienced victory for the first time with a 24-17 win over Seattle. This time they were able to finish the game using another strong first-half performance before Seattle started to gain momentum in the second half. Unlike in Green Bay, a pick-six by Prince Amukamara sealed the victory in the fourth quarter. Coach Matt Nagy is learning and making adjustments weekly, it was evident throughout his play-calling in Week Two.
The team and its Head Coach are not complacent with one victory. HC Matt Nagy told chicagobears.com, “I don’t care who we’re playing. We just need to worry about how we play and that’s hard for four quarters.” The fourth quarter has been a struggle for the Bears as they’ve been outscored 35-17.
“I don’t care who we’re playing. We just need to worry about how we play and that’s hard for four quarters.” HC Matt Nagy
Enter the Cardinals. The Arizona offense has struggled since day one, leaving seven of eight frames empty in two games. The only score came in the fourth quarter of game one when star RB David Johnson ran it in from two yards out. But they failed to convert on the two-point conversion capping them at six total points scored. They struggled to get anything going on either side of the ball in Week Two against the Rams losing 34-0.
The Tale of The Tape
Currently, Chicago’s 185 Yards Per Game and Arizona’s (121.5 YPG) are two of the worst passing offenses in the league ranking 29th and 32nd, respectively. But the Bears have a clear advantage rushing the ball as they rank 14 (112.5 YPG) while the Cardinals rank 31 (61.0 YPG). This suggests the Bears have the advantage at the line of scrimmage. But the Club has put up 33 offensive points to Arizona’s six.
The Bears are currently defined by a defense that ranks eighth overall in total yards. They enter Week Three with a league-leading 10 sacks in addition to two defensive touchdowns. They rank 19th against the pass allowing 251.5YPG and rank 4th against the run, holding opponents to 71.5YPG. The Bears defense have outscored the Cardinals 14-6 just to put things into perspective. Arizona’s defense is similar to the offense ranking 27th against the pass (294.5YPG), 28th against the run (136YPG) and 30th overall in total yards. They have surrendered 58 points in two games.
Chicago has dominated on the defensive side of the ball while the offense has efficiently moved the ball to take a lead outscoring opponents 27-3 through two games. But the second half has demonstrated a stagnant offense and a defense that is on the field too much allowing the opponent to stay in the game. The Bears have been outscored 35-17 in the fourth quarter this season.
WR Allen Robinson told chicagobears.com, “Right now we can’t be satisfied with one win, two wins, three wins. Our goal is to win this division and keep playing.”
“Right now we can’t be satisfied with one win, two wins, three wins. Our goal is to win this division and keep playing.” WR Allen Robinson
Exactly…Bears win this one, 28-9.
Until then, stay thirsty. JT out!