Beardown’s Chicago Bears Game Preview: at St. Louis Rams 24th November 2013

dating fart barrier go to link Chicago Bears Game Preview: 2013 Regular Season Week 12 – at St. Louis Rams – Sunday 24th November @ 12:00 CT / 18:00 GMT

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frau sucht mann in owl Last week we opened with a reminder that, despite the hex with injuries and the sensation of being brought down to earth with a bump by a home defeat to Detroit, especially after the euphoria of a win in Green Bay, there was still plenty to play for and the opportunity to take a prized scalp. Well the bigger they are the harder they fall. If the Chicago Bears needed another excuse to not give up on a season that has thrown up as many kicks in the teeth as it has celebrations, they got it in the form of a hard fought 23-20 overtime victory over the reigning Superbowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens, coupled with the sweet feeling of all of their NFC North rivals tasting defeat.

go to link Thanks to that combination of results the Chicago Bears join the division leading Detroit Lions on a 6-4 record, but with the Lions still hanging onto first place thanks to their series sweep of the Bears, with the Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers falling further behind in the standings at 5-5 due to a three game losing streak.

see This week the Bears head into the home of another team that is struggling without their injured starting quarterback, the 4-6 St. Louis Rams. Although calling them struggling as a result of Sam Bradford’s season ending torn ACL may be doing them a disservice, as last week they had chance to heal some of their wounds off the back of an impressive 38-8 rout of the 6-3 Indianapolis Colts.

modele premier message site de rencontre With Bears QB Jay Cutler continuing to be pacing the sideline in a walking boot, as is becoming a recurring theme for the Bears this season we are about to experience another battle of the backups. So who is going to come out on top as the second strings face off against each other, we’re going to try and figure it out as we head into the latest installment of the 2013 season of the Beardown Chicago Bears Game Previews.

rer c rencontre Chicago Bears vs St. Louis Rams Regular Season History

opzioni binarie miglior sito This will be the 91st time that these two teams have faced each other in regular season action, which joins the rivalry that the Bears have with the now Arizona Cardinals as the mot played series between the Bears and any teams outside of the NFC North. In the 90 games played so far, the Bears hold a comfortable 52-35-3 advantage, including the smallest of winning margins in the match ups where the Rams have been the home team, with the Bears leading 22-21-1 courtesy of two straight wins in the most recent of their road trips.

opcje binarne narzedzia Those road trips have taken in three cities and states, with the Rams moving from Cleveland Ohio to Los Angeles California before coming to their latest home in St. Louis, Missouri. And as for the stadiums, those Bears at Rams fixtures have taken in the sights of the Cleveland Stadium, L.A. Memorial Coliseum, Anaheim Stadium, Busch Stadium and now the Edward Jones Dome (formerly the Trans World Dome). The series in the dome in Missouri kicked off in 1997, with the Bears edging the Rams 13-10. That was the first of five games played between the two teams on Rams turf, with the Bears holding the edge 3-2. You have to go back to 2002 to the last time the Bears lost in St. Louis (21-16), with the 2006 and 2008 visits resulting in very comfortable margins for the Bears, 42-27 in 2006 and 27-3 in 2008. Add in home wins for the Bears in 2009 (17-3) and 2012 (23-6) and you are looking at an impressive four game winning streak heading into Sunday.

conocer mujeres barinas We’ll get back to last season’s continuation of the streak, but it’s worth tipping the cap to the memorable 2006 performance while the Bears were marching towards a 13-3 record and the NFC championship. After managing to clinch the division at home against the Minnesota Vikings despite some seriously awful play from their starting quarterback, Rex Grossman (1.3 QB rating), the Bears and their embattled passer headed into St. Louis needing to make a statement. Well Rex rebounded in the best way, protecting the football while passing for over 200 yards and two scores. But while kicker Robbie Gould was uncharacteristically missing two field goals in the same game, rookie force of nature Devin Hester returned two kicks for touchdowns, becoming the sixth player in NFL history to achieve that feat and taking his total for the season to six, breaking the single season NFL record for combined return touchdowns with three regular season games still to play. As a result of busting the game open against the Rams he earned the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week Award.

hester vs rams

Last Time Out

Last week we were complaining about the losing pattern of the game recaps from the twilight of the Lovie years. Well thankfully this is going to be the opposite.

In a powerhouse defensive performance, the Bears held St. Louis without a touchdown, amassing six sacks and generating two takeaways, returning an interception for a touchdown. The Bears defense held the Rams to just 160 yards total offense and 12 first downs, with their 28 yard line the closest the Bears allowed the Rams to their endzone.

The precious turnovers came from the secondary, with cornerback Tim Jennings recording the fourth interception of his season and also providing the assist on one for safety Major Wright by deflecting the ball prior to Wright picking it off and bringing it back 45 yards for a pick six. The defensive masterclass didn’t stop there, with Rams running back Steven Jackson held to just 29 yards on 11 carries plus QB Sam Bradford held to 18 completions from 35 attempts for just 153 yards. With the current Bears run D still struggling by comparison, such a performance would be very welcome indeed.

jennings interception vs rams

And as for the other side of the ball the Bears didn’t have it all their own way, with QB Jay Cutler having an unspectacular day with one interception and no touchdowns, completing just 17 passes from 31 attempts for 183 yards. In a twist on the injury status in the Bears backfield compared to this year’s match up, starting RB Matt Forte was on the sidelines due to a sprained ankle. In his absence the Bears rushed for 103 yards, but managed only three yards per carry, with Michael Bush totalling just 55 yards on 18 attempts while elevated to the starting role.

Rams who were Bears

There’s a rich history in this one of former Bears who have now found their way down Route 66. For a start, current Rams head coach Jeff Fisher spent four seasons as a Bear after being drafted by Chicago 177th overall in 1981. And it was while on injured reserve in 1985 he caught the first full dose of the coaching bug, assisting legendary Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan with his famous 46 defense.

jeff fisher bears

The Rams haven’t stopped there with former Bears on their coaching staff, with their current assistant head coach, Dave McGinnis, spending the decade between 1986 and 1995 coaching the Bears linebackers, including Hall of Famer Mike Singletary. Under the coaching of McGinnis, Samurai was awarded NFL defensive player of the year (1988) and was voted to the Pro Bowl seven times.

Fisher also has a former Bear as his defensive coordinator, with Tim Walton spending the summer of 1998 serving as an intern with the Bears defense under the eye of soon to be sacked Dave Wannstedt, who lost his job at the end of that season as a result of a second straight 4-12 finish. Walton has another former Bear on his staff, with Clyde Simmons his assistant defensive line coach and Dennard Wilson his defensive quality control coach. Simmons played for the Bears from 1999 to 2000, recording 7.5 sacks, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in two full seasons, while Wilson was a pro scout for the Bears from 2008 to 2011.

Onto the other side of the ball, Rams tight ends coach Scott Boras held the same role for the Bears between 2004 and 2009, coaching such players as Dez Clark and Greg Olsen, plus two seasons of Kellen Davis thrown in to add to his resume.

Finally, while we are on the subject of Bears that failed to impress, St. Louis is the current home for former Bears offensive lineman, Chris Williams. Williams was drafted 14th overall in 2008 by Jerry Angelo, the first lineman drafted in the first three rounds by the former Bears GM in what felt like a lifetime. Selected to be the Bears left tackle for the next ten years, his medical red flags and lack of a mean streak came back to bite him and his GM. Williams failed to hold down the left tackle position, shifting around the line as he started 38 times in 50 games, filling in on the line everywhere except center. Williams is listed on the Rams roster as a tackle and has started all ten games, but is currently listed as their starting left guard. Now if only the Bears had a healthy defensive tackle to go up against him…

Bears who were Rams

Good job there were so many ex Bears to talk about, as the Rams are another one of those teams that Emery has so far declined to dip into while rebuilding the Bears roster in his image.

Bears/Rams Connections

There is one really strong connection in this one that will see a lot of discussion and column inches leading up to the game and be a focus during the broadcast of the game, and that’s the fact that there will be brothers lining up opposite each other in the trenches. In the blue and gold corner, out of the University of Virginia, 2008 second overall pick defensive end, Chris Long. In the navy and orange corner it’s his little(!) brother, out of the University of Oregon, 2013 20th overall pick and offensive guard, Kyle Long. 2/3 of the sons of Hall of Famer, former Raider Howie Long, will face off in what could be a classic battle and sibling rivalry but, since the ongoing success of the offensive line will once again be key to the Bears and Josh McCown’s hopes of success. More on the line later, but for a more in depth look at the Longs check out this great piece by Brad Biggs over at the Chicago Tribune.

chris long vs bears

Whether or not the Rams have a view into the minds of the Bears offensive coaching brain trust remains to be seen, but it’s worth pointing out that head coach Marc Trestman (2001-03), offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer (2001-03) and running backs coach Skip Peete (1998-2003) were all in Oakland while current Rams defensive line coach Mike Waufle was coaching for the Raiders in the same capacity.

There are several more tenuous links between the two staffs and rosters, but we’re going to end this part of the preview with a shout out to someone that, thanks to taking advantage of the growing injury list on the defensive line, last week made headlines for the first time in his young career after tipping a Joe Flacco pass and returning it for a pick six. Hailing from St. Louis, rookie DE David Bass, acquired after being released at the end of preseason by the Oakland Raiders, attended high school in the city and played college ball at Missouri Western State. Here’s hoping that he can follow up last week with some more highlight reel plays, this time infront of a home crowd.

Bears/Rams Plotlines & Keys to the Game

Four Quarters

Bears Number 1 White

Last week we opened with the Bears injury report and, while we were hoping for better news this week, we’ve been hit with the further revelation that NT Stephen Paea is on the verge of missing his second game of the season due to being “week to week” (Trestman’s words) with a recurrence of a big toe injury. Paea was withdrawn from the action just 20 plays into the game against the Ravens. And while he was on the field for the opening 47 yard touchdown run from a previously struggling Ray Rice, there was no doubt that he was missed as Rice continued to pick up first downs on his way towards his best output of the season, 25 attempts for 131 yards and a 5.2 yard per carry average. The last time that Paea was out the Bears rush defense coughed up a hundred yard game for New York Giants RB Brandon Jacobs, a player who was previously thought to be on downward spiral.

St Louis Rams v Chicago Bears

So, and with the continued loss of captain and weakside linebacker Lance Briggs, how will the Bears run defense fare against Zac Stacy, a unheralded fifth round pick out of Vanderbilt whose 537 yards rank behind only the Packers Eddie Lacy (696) for rookie running backs? Well, although the injury report hasn’t yet been released at the time of writing, the Bears have to hope that at least one out of their injured defensive linemen, DE Shea McClellin (hamstring) and DT Jay Ratliff (knee), chose this week to return to action. While Bears marquee DE Julius Peppers returned to Pro Bowl form to lead the Bears defense to victory on Sunday (11 combined tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 QB hits and 2 sacks), it might be a stretch to assume that he can carry the load vacated by three missing tackles (Henry Melton, Nate Collins and now potentially Stephen Paea).

As for the Rams, we’ve already mentioned their IR’d franchise QB Sam Bradford and his torn ACL, but the players that are currently listed as unable to practice include guard Harvey Dahl (knee), who had started all eight games that he participated in, plus cornerback Cortland Finnegan (eye injury), who had recorded 27 tackles and an interception in seven games (five starts).

Bears Number 2 White

Last week we looked at the potential battle of the second round middle linebackers, the Bears Jonathan Bostic and the Ravens Arthur Brown. Well while Bostic was pretty well blocked on several plays he still contributed 5 tackles, including one for loss, plus a pass deflection and more importantly a key pick while he was dropping deep to cover Ravens TE Dennis Pitta. All this while Arthur Brown was a non factor on the stat sheet.

bostic vs ravens

We’ve already looked at the running back that he will be trying to contain, but what else do the Rams offer in offensive weapons that Bostic will have to react to and help deliver in the huddle the schemes to counter them?

While the Bears have two players in the top 20 in the league for receptions (Brandon Marshall 5th overall with 64 plus Alshon Jeffery 18th overall with 54) plus another in the top 30 (Matt Forte 26th overall with 49), you have to continue down the receiving charts and well past Bears TE Martellus Bennett (39th overall with 42) to 76th before you get to the first of the Rams (WR Tavon Austin and TE Jared Cook with 33). Austin in particular had been a big disappointment. Considered one of the elite playmakers in the draft despite a smaller than ideal frame for receiver (5’8″ and 176 lbs), the Rams took a big chance on Austin at 8th overall out of West Virginia. Despite starting the season with a few games where he caught six passes in each he’d been reduced to a bit part player in the previous few weeks, drawing a blank in the receiving game in a defeat at Tennessee before being held to two receptions in the win over Indianapolis. But more on those receptions shortly.

tavon austin rams

The Rams were expecting Austin to have a breakout game at some point to justify his lofty draft status, even though his drop in production had initially coincided with the insertion of career backup passer Kellen Clemens into the starting lineup. In the big win over the Colts, Clemens finished with a very credible 140.6 rating, thanks in part to two touchdown passes with no turnovers, but connecting on just 9 or 16 passes, but with the rating exploded by the 9 completions going for a massive 247 yards.

If Clemens has a particular weakness, it could be his ability to turn the ball over through fumbles, with at least one in each of his last four games, losing possession in three of those games. More on that from CSN Chicago, which will also touch on some of the plotlines for his opposite number in this match up, Bears QB Josh McCown, which we’ll elaborate on later.

But, back on Austin, those two receptions of his that we mentioned from Clemens against the Colts resulted in 138 yards and two touchdowns (not to mention the fact that he also contributed a score in the return game), so Austin’s now going to be a stiff test for a defense lacking key starters in each defensive position group.

Bears Number 3 White

Last week we focussed on the battle between Bears tackles Jermon Bushrod and Jordan Mills versus Ravens edge rushers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil (who had combined for 17.5 sacks in total, more than the entire Bears DL depth. We knew then that it would be crucial to the Bears hopes of victory to keep QB Josh McCown protected on the edges of his pocket. Well somehow the veteran and the rookie pulled it off, holding the cornerstones of the Ravens defense to a grand total of zero sacks, one QB hit and one tackle. And that’s not each, that’s in total.

As we’ve already seen, as far as the media are concerned, this week is all about Long vs Long, and while the following article (again, from Brad Biggs of the Tribune) focuses on (Kyle) Longs perspective in a key scoring play from the overtime win over Baltimore, it gives an interesting perspective on how the first round pick is evolving and growing, plus the level of understanding that the line as a whole have been developing over the course of the season. Quite something for a line containing two free agents, two rookies and a new coach, all operating under a new system. The proof in the pudding? Only two teams in the NFL have allowed less sacks than the 6-4 Bears so far this season (16), the 9-1 Denver Broncos (13) and the 6-4 Detroit Lions (12). Plus the Bears currently sit 7th in the league in yards per carry (4.5).

So what can they expect from the match up against the St. Louis Rams? Well the Rams defensive line is 6th overall in the league for sacks (32) and is second in the league (three behind the Bears) for forced fumbles (15). While Chris Long has contributed his fair share to an improving Rams defense (14th overall in pass defense and points allowed, 18th in rushing defense) with his 26 tackles, 6.5 sacks and a forced fumble, it’s his fellow starting defensive end, Robert Quinn, that’s making even more headlines. In his third NFL season, Quinn enters this week with 12 sacks, leading the NFC and ranking second in the NFL to Indianapolis Colt Robert Mathis, who has 13.5.

Chris Williams, Robert Quinn

Bears Number 4 White

In each of the last few previews we’ve looked at Matt Forte’s progress in reaching key statistical milestones for the franchise. Well this week is no different in that he now only needs 66 rushing yards to overtake Neal Anderson (6,166) for second most in franchise history.

That particular stat is a strong contender to get a mention in Sunday’s broadcast, but even more likely is the Bears stand in quarterback Josh McCown’s ongoing ability to maximise his talents and the schemes given to him, move the ball downfield and protect the football. In three appearances in relief of the injured Jay Cutler, McCown has not turned the ball over once. He’s not just done that by not taking any chances, he’s delivered key passes under pressure (rewind to the touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall in the win over Green Bay, plus possibly the game winning deep pass to Martellus Bennett in overtime against the Ravens).

He’s not going to be able to keep the ball out of the hands of his opponents forever, but the longer he can keep that streak going, or at least avoid the multiple turnover meltdowns that the franchise quarterback that he is relieving has occasionally been prone to over the years, then even with a badly beaten up defense the Bears still have a chance of keeping the playoff push alive.

CT Bears_28.JPG

And that’s critically important as, despite being tied with the Lions on record alone (but losing out on the tiebreaker), their 6-4 record currently has them outside of the playoffs should the season end now.

Time for little brother to show that he’s all grown up, if he wants the family to come to see him in postseason action.


Thanks for reading this Beardown Chicago Bears game preview.

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About cornish

Fast approaching 30 years as a Bears fan, oh man does that make me feel old. With only one Superbowl win to show for it, oh man does that make me feel depressed. But Lovie says this is the most talented roster he's had, oh man does that make me feel... like deja vu? Anyway, Go Bears!!!

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