The Bears lead the all-time series 51-35-3.
The last time these two teams squared off was in 2009, when the Bears won 17-9 at Soldier Field.
The Bears have bounced back from big losses pretty well as of late. They’ve won 14 of 18 games following a loss by 10 or more points since 2006.
Unfortunately will be without starting running back Matt Forte (ankle), who was injured in the second half of the Week Two loss against Green Bay.
At 1-1, the Bears are one of 20 teams to start the 2012 NFL season with that record, which is a first in league history.
With Matt Forte out, the next man has to step up. Luckily, the Bears added a solid backup in Michael Bush this off-season. He will get the start while Khalil Bell and Armando Allen will see limited time behind him.
Expect to see a lot of run plays drawn up this week after the Bears allowed seven sacks a week ago in Green Bay.
Jay Cutler had time in the pocket in a number of those sacks, but didn’t have any open receivers and just wound up getting sacked. He needs to not be afraid to use his legs and scramble. Offensive coordinator likely informed Cutler that exact thing during practice this week.
If Brandon Marshall can have a bounce back game it would likely propel the Bears to victory against St. Louis.
It won’t be easy.
St. Louis (1-1) has looked pretty solid through two games. They have Chris Long, Robert Quinn and James Laurinatis who are all up and coming stars on their defense.
The Rams aren’t afraid to blitz and they likely will dial up some after watching how shaky the Bears’ offensive line was in Week Two.
Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins could be the best cornerback duo in the league right now, so the Bears have to be aware of them.
On the offensive side for St. Louis, they have a talented running back in Steven Jackson and a solid receiver in Danny Amendola. The Bears must get pressure on Bradford forcing him to make mistakes. Amendola has been his favorite target this season and the Bears are going to try their best to contain him today.
The Bears need to run to set up the pass rather than the opposite. Bush and Bell will get plenty of carries and if they can be successful it opens things up for the receivers.
Don’t be surprised to see Devin Hester and Earl Bennett targeted often throughout this game.
Hester has had success in the past against St. Louis not just on offense, but on special teams as well. In 2006, a then rookie Hester returned to kickoffs for touchdowns.
It would be nice to see Hester break one off against St. Louis once again.
Players Who Must Step Up:
1. Earl Bennett- He had a dreadful game against Green Bay. Three of Jay Cutler’s interceptions were passes intended for Bennett and two of them were completely his fault. He is the most reliable target on this offense, but he needs to make sure he is in the right spot at all times or it could cost them once again. Look for him to be focused and ready to redeem himself in this game.
Prediction: Four catches, 54 yards.
2. Brian Urlacher- This is certainly a guy who hasn’t played up to his caliber just yet. He hasn’t looked to be 100%. He has made some plays, but its time for Urlacher to step up and really dominate a game. This could be that game for him up against a young quarterback in Sam Bradford. Look for this to be Urlacher’s breakout game of this season.
Prediction: 11 tackles, one interception.
3. Amobi Okoye- He has certainly been impressive so far this season. Despite knee problems he has shown why he is a perfect fit for this defense. He will have another solid day today stopping the run. Don’t be shocked to see him record a sack or two in this one.
Prediction: Five tackles, 1.0 sack.
Final score predictions
Jake Perper: Bears 30, Rams 17.
Matt Eurich: Bears 27, Rams 13
Weather.com weather forecast:
Today, mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 50s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph.