The Chicago Bears welcome the Indianapolis Colts to Soldier Field this Sunday.
Andrew Luck, the #1 overall pick from the 2012 NFL Draft will be under center for the Colts. He will likely face an uphill battle against the veteran Bears defense.
The rookie quarterback has a shaky offensive line in front of him led by second-year tackle Anthony Castonzo. With the departure of center Jeff Saturday this off-season the Colts line lost its veteran leader.
The Bears should be excited for this matchup. They go up against a rookie quarterback, a questionable offensive line and a backfield led by an average back in Donald Brown.
Longtime Colt Reggie Wayne leads the receiving core, while Austin Collie comes into the game questionable (head) and Donnie Avery serves as the third receiver. Backing those starters up are two rookies (LaVon Brazil and T.Y. Hilton) and second-year man Kris Adams, who spent time with the Bears a season ago.
The 2011 Colts offensive line allowed 35 sacks and 81 quarterback hits. The offense as a whole was only able to rush for eight touchdowns.
The 2011 Bears defense ranked 19th overall in sacks (33) and sixth overall in interceptions (20). They were near the bottom of the league in sacks per pass play.
With that being said these are two very different teams. The Colts basically have a brand new offense. Rookie QB Andrew Luck is a very smart kid, but he will certainly be nervous in his first NFL start on the road in the windy city.
The Bears defensive line was led by Julius Peppers once again last season. Peppers recorded 11.0 sacks and three forced fumbles. With the addition of Shea McClellin and the return of defensive tackle Amobi Okoye this defensive line is much improved.
Getting pressure on Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck will be a big key to a Week 1 victory for the Bears. He will have his hands full with the Bears veteran defense, but could take some shots at the young secondary led by Chris Conte and Major Wright.
Israel Idonije and Shea McClellin will be asked to step up, while Henry Melton and Julius Peppers will likely draw double teams throughout the day.
The Bears will blitz more than usual this season, so if the Colts plan to be pass heavy or run heavy either way this defense should be ready.
Don’t be surprised to see the Colts try to throw off the Bears pace with some no-huddle packages with Luck under center.