Chicago Bears vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Week One Pre-Party Open Thread

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week one has finally arrived! We're getting ready for the first game of the season!

What's this? Is this the regular season I see on the not-so-distant horizon?

Yes, in just under three hours, all the theorization, all the guessing, all and what-if and could-be... we'll finally start getting some answers. And the NFL really couldn't have given a better proficiency test than the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bengals are in a prime spot right now - the AFC North won the Super Bowl last season (something about the Ray Lewis Retirement Tour, I'm not too certain on the details...), but the Ravens might not be the same team as they were last year, the Steelers aren't quite as good as they've been, and the Browns, while they might surprise, aren't projected to win the division or anything. And finishing at 10-6 last year, with a solid defense and an offense which added a couple playmakers in Giovani Bernard and Tyler Eifert, the Bengals are looking to snag an opportunity to win the AFC North.

The Bears, meanwhile, the same thing could be said about them. A solid defense returning many familiar faces, an offense adding a couple playmakers (as well as an entirely new offensive line except for Roberto Garza), and possibly an opportunity to win the NFC North if the offense plays as advertised under new head coach Marc Trestman.

Anybody else ready for some football?

Spongie has you covered on all the weekend and gameday linkage in the September 7th, Weekend Bears Den.

Lester thinks the Bears should start D.J. Williams over Jon Bostic.

Here's the game's injury report, as well as the game's TV information and other ways you can watch the game.

Dane exchanged questions with the proprietor of Cincy Jungle - Check those out here!

And if you wanted our preseason predictions for how the season will play out as well as our staff picks for the week? Well, click those links too!

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Here's the ESPN Chicago preview for today's game. As well as their Five Things to Watch (not as refreshing as a Six-Pack of Keys to Victory).

The Bears also named their captains yesterday - Julius Peppers and Lance Briggs on defense, Jay Cutler and Roberto Garza on offense, and Patrick Mannelly on special teams (like there was any doubt).

That's all I've got for you - Spongie has all your linkage covered in the aforementioned Den, which is the single-most comprehensive gathering of linkage ever compiled in a single place on the Bears.

Propers for today's game: The first game thread will launch at noon central time (this is a noon game, of course) and all subsequent game threads will pop as the game advances on. Upon the conclusion of the game we'll have your quick recap thread along with Notes and Scribbles in the morning, as well as other Open Threads for you to enjoy the other games on tap today.

And with the propers out of the way, Bear Down, my friends.

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But that's not all, my friends. This morning (and if this does well, probably more times through the season), I'll be doing a special Madden Pregame Show over on my Twitch channel! At about 9:30 AM CT, this additional embedded video will carry some Madden, but more importantly, I'll be sharing my thoughts on the game along with our other esteemed contributors (at least those that happen to have Skype and are at their computers this fine morning).

And, we want to respond to your thoughts and comments! You can ask questions and give comments through WCG's platform (I'll be scanning those frequently) as well as my Twitch chat (SJS_illini), through Twitter (@SJS_illini), through email (sjschweickert [at] gmail [dot] com), or through Skype (sjschweickert [at] bus [dot] illinois [dot] edu). I'll try to take over the first comment of the thread here, so primarily reply to that one. But, overall, just make it apparent that you have something you want to say to us or a response to us, and we'll respond!


Watch live video from sjs_illini on TwitchTV
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