The Chicago Bears travel to Tennessee to take on the (3-5) Titans on Sunday. You may being saying to yourself that this should be another easy win for the Bears this Sunday.
Nothing is easy in this league.
The Titans have been showing signs of life over the past couple of weeks. Specifically running back Chris Johnson.
He has been the NFL’s leading rusher over the past five weeks with 550 rushing yards.
He started the season off slow being held to 24 yards or less in four of five games. Over the past three weeks however he has posted games of 91, 195 and 99 yards.
He is averaging 93.3 yards per game versus NFC opponents.
As well as quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has played over the last couple of years against the Bears (837 yards, six TD’s, 0 interceptions), the Bears main focus has to be stopping the run this Sunday.
The Bears don’t pride themselves on stats and awards handed out over a week’s or month’s span. Rather they base their performances off wins and points given up and so far its worked in their favor.
Despite allowing over 400 total yards to Carolina a week ago the defense allowed only 22 points to the Panthers, which included five field goals.
The Bears bring the best run defense in the NFL to Tennessee allowing a league low 77.9 yards per game and only one touchdown on the season.
The Titans rank just 25th in the NFL in run offense with an average of 91.2 yards per game and 4.4 yards per carry on the season.
Despite the low ranking, like mentioned before, Titans running back Chris Johnson has really returned to form lately.
But his latest success on the ground has come against lackadaisical run defenses in Buffalo, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh.
His most impressive performance came in a 38-14 loss to AFC powerhouse Houston, where he had 25 rushes for 141 yards.
The Bears’ defense has been shutting down the run this season better than anybody else and that’s a big reason why they sit atop the NFC North at 6-1.
With the likes of Houston, San Francisco, Minnesota and Seattle (a combined 21-10) coming up over the next four weeks the Bears can’t look past this game.
But at the same time they have to put another all-around performance together to help get this team ready for the tough schedule ahead.
The Bears’ defense has been the strongest part of this team, specifically the run defense.
They will need another shut down game against a hot running back in Chris Johnson this Sunday to preserve a 7-1 record heading into two straight weeks of prime time matchups (Houston, San Francisco).
It certainly won’t be easy, but the Bears have showed that they have what it takes to keep this winning streak going.
Pay attention to this matchup of Titans running back Chris Johnson against the Bears’ defense this Sunday.