They’ve done a solid job at stopping the pass allowing just 199.3 ypg through the air, which ranks fourth.
However they haven’t found a way to stop the run this season. They rank 28th allowing 136.5 yards per game on the ground.
The Chicago Bears need to capitalize on the Cardinals weaknesses early and often on Sunday afternoon.
This is a must win game for the Bears, who are calling the next two weeks a “tournament.”
Matt Forte and recently re-signed Kahlil Bell will be called upon to rack up some big yards in this game.
Forte has 903 yards and three touchdowns on 212 carries. He is averaging 4.3 ypc. He also has 41 receptions for 312 yards and one touchdown.
He is averaging just 65.5 ypg and 3.9 ypc in his last four games as the Bears have gone away from the running game rather early in games.
He has to be a focal point of the offense this week. It seemed as if he was going to be against the Packers a week ago, but the Bears’ offensive line once again failed to give Forte many open running lanes.
Bell returns after spending the last month with the New York Jets. He appeared in two games with the Bears earlier this season rushing 12 times for 32 yards, averaging just 2.7 ypc.
He could earn time in goal-line situations with Michael Bush (ribs) out for the season. Also, Forte has failed to capitalize to punch touchdowns in as of late, so that could mean more carries for Bell in the redzone.
They could also bring Armando Allen into the mix this week. The 5’8″ speed back has 22 carries for 100 yards and one touchdown this season.
He was used in the screen game for the first time a week ago reeling in one pass for 15 yards. Don’t be surprised to see them use Allen a bit especially in passing downs.
The Bears have a big task ahead of them this Sunday against a Cardinals team that have gone 1-9 in their last 10 games.
Nothing will be easy for the Bears. They’ve scored 20 points or more just once over their last six games.
Jay Cutler and the Bears’ offense have to make sure they get things going on first and second down or they could be faced with long third downs yet again.
Long third downs have plagued the Bears’ offense all season long. They went failed to convert a single third down a week ago against the Packers in nine attempts.
With the return of wide receiver Earl Bennett to the offense it will certainly help out Cutler in those third down situations.
But the key to this game is getting Forte going in the running game. Bell and Allen will be leaned on at times and they’ll have to make the most of their opportunities if they want to win.
The Bears have take control of the game from the start. The Cardinals defense isn’t as bad as many think, but their run defense is very vulnerable.