"Lemme at 'em! Lemme at 'em!"
We started doing this a little late last year, but we'll continue to provide (at least in my opinion) three keys on each side of the ball that hopefully the Bears can use as a guide to victory. So, my three keys to beating the Colts from the defensive side...
1. Aye, laddie, we're busting out the shillelagh and layin' out a whuppin' on ye!
Okay, pardon the horrific attempt at typing an Irish accent, but I wouldn't be opposed to this being a game where the pass rush shows up and puts a footprint on the Colts, especially from Shea McClellin picking up his first sack. As a fan of a team with a bad offensive line, I think we're well qualified to know one when we see one - and the Colts' offensive line has a few new parts in it, and combined with the few parts that survived last season, is currently described as bad.
Regardless, though, against a rookie quarterback, you have to go after him to see what he's capable of under pressure, and in last year's kickoff against Atlanta, the Bears' defensive line built a small house in Atlanta's backyard with how much time they spent in the Falcons' backfield.
2. Brian Urlacher's bum knee can't be a bum
Urlacher's still all set to play on Sunday, with his effectiveness to be determined. But if he's not 100% out there, and the knee is hampering his ability to cover, Luck could find himself with a more open middle of the field. Urlacher needs to be able to take away the middle, and if he can't, he'll need some help. I don't expect Urlacher to be fully healthy, but I do expect him to be healthy enough to play his position. He'll need to be able to.
3. Play the defense
The Bears force the opponent to make many plays to get down the field, increasing the number of chances for the quarterback to make mistakes - a real test for a rookie. Luck may be one of the greatest passing prospects to come out of college since sliced bread was invented, and that may be true, but he still hasn't seen an NFL defense for four quarters, particularly one that's as tough for rookies to play against as the Bears' defense has been. I expect Luck to play well, but the Bears need to force him to be patient, check down, and not allow him to make a big play.