Saturday, April 1, 2023

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Bears face Steelers looking to get back on track

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Last week’s defeat to the 49ers left the Bears with a 3-5 win-loss record. To make matters worse, my backing of the Bears in last week’s predictions has slapped me with my first loss of the season, taking my predictions to 4-1. I’d backed the Bears to make something of that game because as we’re about to find out, this week will be a tough ask.

As the Bears come into week 9 from a 3rd straight loss, the Steelers are coming in with a 3rd straight win after stomping the Browns with a great defensive performance. The pass rush got 4 sacks and 6 hits on the QB, T.J. Watt himself getting 1.5 sacks, 6 tackles, 3 QB hits and a fumble recovery which he recovered downfield late in the game.

That is a scary prospect for both our attack and defense. Last week was a poor showing from the defense, putting no pressure on the QB at all, meaning the 49ers didn’t have to punt a single time. Not only that, but the offensive line, though improved, still allowed 4 sacks and 5 QB hits.

Those sacks left a staggering 30 sacks on Bears QBs for the season, which puts us dead last in sacks allowed throughout all of the NFL. This constant pressure being allowed on the QBs is obviously not helping us in the passing game, as Fields only managed 175 yards for 1 TD with an average of 6.5 yards per attempt.


This isn’t terrible, but we are coming up against the Steelers. Their passing defense didn’t allow Baker Mayfield or the Browns to throw any TDs at all last week, holding them to 225 yards throughout the entire game.

The silver lining to all this is that Justin Fields ended last week as Chicago’s best rusher. 10 carries, 103yards and a TD with an average of 10.3 yards per carry is pretty amazing going for a player whose main purpose is to throw first.

Then look at the great work that Khalil Herbert has done in recent weeks and it screams at you that you just need to run run run the ball. The Steelers run defense is only around the middle of the pack in terms of yards allowed per game. Plus, it keeps the Pittsburgh offense off the field.

For all the good that Khalil Herbert has done, Pittsburgh have Najee Harris. Need I say more really? And then you have the threat of Big Ben sat in the Steelers’ pocket ready to unleash his cannon of a right arm, without any worry of pressure if you go off what I said earlier about the Bears DLine from last week.

It just feels like a mismatch this week. Not for the want of trying but I fear for another heavy loss against a team on the rise, versus a Bears team very much on the fall. I hope I am proved wrong and Chicago come up with a surprise, but I feel that this is another tall task this week.

Bears 13 – Steelers 27

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