clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bears Vs Patriots: Six-Pack Keys to Victory

We're offering our six keys for the Bears to emerge victorious tomorrow.

John Konstantaras

1) Turnover-Free Game With Protection

Let's get this one right at the top, because it's true - playing a turnover-free game would go a long way towards getting things done offensively. Jay Cutler's going to have to make plays through the air through the statistically-ranked-number-one passing defense (I've outlined my argument against it in PTMY this week); sacks and forced fumbles have hurt the team as well, especially in squelching potential comebacks. So ball security and Cutler's protection are essentially 1 and 1A this week, especially that right side of the line with Jordan Mills struggling.

2) Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall

The Bears used to be incredibly good at getting both of those guys the ball; that's struggled to materialize the majority of this season, especially Marshall. Only two receptions for 9 yards for Jeffery (on 7 targets) is not productive football. Neither is 117 yards in four of five games (Atlanta excluded) from Marshall. It should go without saying that when a team's top two receivers aren't getting it done, the offense itself doesn't do much.

3) Ka'Deem Carey

I'm not worried in the slightest about Matt Forte's touches, but the rest of the running game has cause for concern; since Carey's supposed coming-out party against the Packers, he's gotten 6 carries for 21 yards. I'm not going to say that Carey needs a ton of snaps going forward, but perhaps the Bears could use Carey more early to give Matt Forte a little more burst late.

4) No More Read Option!

Well, until Bill Belichick starts calling read option plays just to mess with the Bears, but I don't see that working with the more traditional Tom Brady.

Brady's not the most mobile passer, the run game is a little less healthy,and the Patriots' offensive line is pretty well cobbled together and a little vulnerable. And the Bears have been a little better about getting after the passer this season, and particularly the last couple weeks, given Jeremiah Ratliff going off against the Dolphins. A few sacks of their own can set things pretty well for the Bears' defense.

5) Young Linebackers

Christian Jones will fill in Lance Briggs' spot this week as opposed to Khaseem Greene; it also means Shea McClellin stays on the strong side and DJ Williams roams the interior. I'm still more worried about Williams in that grouping than I am about Shea (Yes, I'm aware McClellin played poorly last week, but let's not single him out in a defensive unit that flat out played poorly), but with Jones and McClellin coupled with the older and slower Williams, how the corps responds could go a long way to deciding the game.

6) Gronk

Yes. Gronk. Just Gronk. He appears to be fully back and recovered, and back to his spot as prime receiving target in the Patriots' offense. Part of the Patriots' offensive resurgence these last three weeks is in no small part due to Rob Gronkowski's increased use, as he's seen at least nine targets in each of the last three games, with one 100-yard game in there and barely missing another. It may well be Chris Conte's job to play him (which means hopefully he can avoid breaking from simply touching him), or Shea McClellin might be asked to run with him. Either way, the Bears need to find a way to shut him down.