Well this is the big one: all the rhetoric, all the promises, all the nonsense gets put aside for this game. We've been told that the defense is better...prove it. We've been told that the pass rush is fixed...prove it. We've been told that the offensive line's technique is sound...prove it. Results matter this time. You play to win the game! Let's see something to inspire hope, create momentum and give us some confidence!
Please see NiqueBears post on the DL + DB vs OL + WR matchup for some great info on what this game means for our defense.
79: Still the number of Bears on the current roster. The NFL roster cut down date to 75 is August 31st, so most of these guys will get 1 last chance Saturday night to make their mark.
4: Number of sacks by Kamerion Wimbley last week...needless to say that's a lot.
3: Number of quarters the starters might actually play...yay!
2: Position on the depth chart for hot-tube aficionado Matt Leinert.
BEARS: Major Wright-finger, Urlacher-calf, Roach-knee, Earl Bennett....still with the hammy, Hanie-shoulder.
CARDINALS: Larry Fitzgerald-knee, Early Doucet-abdominal strain...his tummy hurts - somebody get him some ginger ale and a saltine cracker.
When Arizona Has the Ball:
It's evaluate the defensive line day. Jarron Gilbert (#93), Henry Melton (#69), and Corey Wootton (#98) need to show what they got because one of them (and possibly 2) won't make the roster. Beanie Wells & Tim Hightower provide a nice 1-2 punch at running back. It's a nice test for these guys against the run.
Against the pass, the Bears are going up against Derek Anderson (and later Leinart). Neither of these guys are fleet of foot, but the Arizona line only yielded 26 sacks last season (6th in NFL). This is a nice test to see if the Bears "new" defensive line can get to the quarterback.
Key Matchup: AZ Guards Alan Faneca & Deuce Lutui vs. Tommie Harris, Anthony Adams, Marcus Harrison & Matt Toeaina.
X-Factor: We played Arizona in the 3rd preseason game 4 seasons ago...and then again in the regular season, I'll let Dennis Green explain:
The Bears are what we thought they were. Th-they're what we thought they were. We played them in preseason. I mean, who the h*ll takes the third game of the preseason like it's b*llsh*t? B*llsh*t! We played them in the third game, everybody played three quarters... the Bears are who we thought they were! That’s why we took the d@mn field! Now, *hits microphone* if you want to crown them, then crown their a$s! But, they are who we thought they were, and we let them off the hook!
Youtube link. That never gets old
When Chicago Has the Ball:
Can we please now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational offense?
Key Matchup: Our offensive line, especially Chis Williams vs Darnell Dockett (DE) & Joey Porter (OLB)
X-Factor: Khalil Bell and Garrett Wolfe are playing for their future here.