This past Monday night the Chicago Bears showed America just how dominating a 13-7 win can look when they stifled the Detroit Lions for four quarters. There were many things the Chicago Bears did well, especially on defense where Charles “Peanut” Tillman held Calvin Johnson to just three catches and 34 receiving yards. The Chicago offense didn’t exactly light it up, but Jay Cutler’s ability to come back after a vicious hit from Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and finish the game was a great sign to Chicago Bears fans, who have been critical of Cutlers toughness ever since the 2010 NFC championship game debacle. The 5-1 Chicago Bears take on the 1-5 Carolina Panthers this Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago, and it should be an interesting match-up.
Whenever Cam Newton steps onto the football field he is almost always going to be the most exciting player out there. This Sunday against the Chicago Bears should be no different. Despite his early season sophomore slump, Newton still maintains the ability to make plays when it appears there isn’t a play to be made. Containing Newton should be essentially the only concern for the Chicago Bears defense seeing that Carolina’s top two running backs have combined for fewer than 320 rushing yards this season and Steve Smith, their top receiving threat, has yet to catch a touchdown pass. While the Chicago Bears defense should not have too much trouble with the Carolina offense, it may be a different story for Jay Cutler and company.
All of the turnovers and touchdowns scored by the Chicago defense over the past few games has somewhat diverted attention away from a Chicago offense which has not lived up to lofty preseason expectations. They haven’t been anemic, mostly thanks to the combination of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, who appear to have rekindled their Denver magic, but given the additions this off season most people expected them to look more like the Green Bay Packers and score 40 points per game. While this has not been the case so far this season, it is possible that the game Sunday against Carolina could be a launching pad for the Bear’s offense. Carolina’s defense is below average in most statistical categories, which means if the Chicago Bears maintain a balanced attack they should be able to torch the Panthers.
It is clear that each of these teams go as their quarterback’s go, and since Jay Cutler and Cam Newton have both been criticized this year for their attitudes it will be interesting to note how each quarterback handles themselves when things don’t go their way. This game could easily come down to which quarterback is able to put his attitude aside and bounce back from mistakes like a true leader.
The Chicago Bears should have no problem handling Carolina, who have had a slew of problems within the organization as of late. The only way the Carolina Panthers will be able to keep this game close is if Cam Newton plays more like he did in his rookie season, and the Chicago Bears offense takes a huge step backwards. This is going to be too much to ask from the Carolina Panthers, and the Chicago Bears should cruise to an easy win at Soldier Field.