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Three Keys Against the Rams: Defense

If Danny Amendola's receptions continue at their current rate, Charles Tillman's going to be a busy man on Sunday.
If Danny Amendola's receptions continue at their current rate, Charles Tillman's going to be a busy man on Sunday.

1) The Defensive Line Needs To Continue

So, in the offensive keys, I mentioned Robert Quinn and Chris Long. The Bears have a nice set of defensive linemen themselves, through two weeks. This Rams offensive line is a long ways removed from the days of Orlando Pace and the Greatest Show on Turf - and that was before they suffered the injuries resulting in Wayne Hunter at tackle, who himself is pushing J'Marcus Webb for the Worst Starting Offensive Lineman Ever title. Seriously, he's not very good.

So the Bears need to take advantage of this lineup as badly as the Rams need to pound on the Bears' line. If Julius Peppers can be Julius Peppers, Corey Wootton continues this minor resurgence of his, Shea McClellin continues to improve in his rookie season, and Israel Idonije handles his business, the Bears should be able to make their own pressure on Sam Bradford and add onto his own six sacks taken. Unlike last week though, I expect Matt Toeaina to be active, since the Rams' running game is still a major focus on their offense, and he, Stephen Paea and Henry Melton can put a hurting on that plan.

2) Danny Freaking Amendola

Danny Amendola leads the team in catches. No real surprise there. What's surprising is he has 20 catches, and no other member of the team has more than six. In fact, in passing touches, Amendola has almost half of the entire team's receptions. That doesn't mean the team is devoid of options - Lance Kendricks is a fairly good tight end option, and Brandon Gibson has 104 yards on his six receptions with two touchdowns. But Charles Tillman will need to stick with Amendola and make sure he doesn't get another ten receptions - he's an emergency out for Bradford, and Bradford will be looking for him quite often.

3) 3rd Downs

The Bears are a solid team with respect to getting off the field on third down. Sam Bradford has been great this year in converting third downs. The Bears can't allow the Rams to continue drives by converting third downs, and with Steven Jackson, Daryl Richardson, Amendola and Kendricks, they have the tools to grind out these long drives. Is it a great offense? No. But it's been good enough to get 54 points out of 702 yards, and converting 23 first downs against Washington isn't the world's easiest feat either. (Hey, that's more points and yards than the Bears.)

So when the Bears have the chance to get off the field, do so, because Bradford has made far fewer mistakes since his rookie season.