1) The Play of Jon Bostic
Let's get this one out of the way right now, because it's going to be a big one. Jon Bostic makes his first career start on Sunday against the Redskins and it comes as the Redskins are just remembering their dual-threat offensive identity. Bostic can play the run really well, but he needs to not bite when Robert Griffin III and the Redskins offense goes to play-action and opens the hole behind him for Jordan Reed.
2) Shea McClellin and the Ends
Because of the danger of that run game, the ends really need to have their best game of the year. Low bar, I know. But McClellin's got the speed to chase down Griffin in the open backfield, which given the Redskins' rushing game last week. I wouldn't be surprised to see McClellin dropped to keep an eye on him. The ends otherwise should be doing what they can to keep Griffin in the pocket. They'll pick up a sack or two by virtue of tackling the running Griffin behind the line of scrimmage, but the defensive line will need to pick up the pace especially against the run.
3) Kerrigan and Orakpo
The Redskins' defense isn't that good, but Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo are very good. Kerrigan's got five sacks on the year and Orakpo's got three, and both come after the quarterback on nearly every play. The Bears' pass protection has been much better this season between getting the ball out and keeping a cleaner pocket, but Kerrigan and Orakpo are going to be tough to handle. Then again, this isn't the first time the Bears have faced a formidable pass rush.
I guess long story short of those above two points, win the line of scrimmage, win the game.
4) Finish Drives
The Bears have done a decent job so far of scoring (if 3rd overall in scoring is "decent"), but this week against a Redskins defense that hasn't performed on the back-side at all, the Bears should be able to get some downfield action going. Provided Jay Cutler hasn't gotten sacked, that is.
5) Where Will DeAngelo Hall Be?
I'm not saying go after DeAngelo Hall. But the last time these two teams faced off, Hall picked off Cutler four times. Cutler probably won't do that again this week, but the Bears also have better weapons now than they did back then, and the ball can be spread around more - something that's been key to the Bears' success so far. When Brandon Marshall is covered, Alshon Jeffery gets two hundred yards. Last week, Marshall got two touchdowns. How will the Redskins cover the Bears' weapons this week?
6) The Redskins have weapons too.
They really do. Pierre Garcon, the aforementioned Reed, Alfred Morris and Santana Moss can all do some things. Nobody on, say, the level of a Brandon Marshall, but Morris ran for 1613 yards last season with 13 touchdowns, Garcon has 408 yards receiving already, and Reed and Moss are tied for second on the team in receptions with 17 (with Leonard Hankerson). So the Bears are in the same position, with the added difficulty of a running quarterback. Again, defensive line play will be key, as will tackling and closing on plays.