Last week, in the first Pick Three of the season, I focused on two offensive and one defensive player. I really thought that if the Bears were going to upset the Packers they needed Matt Forte, Kyle Long and Pernell McPhee to show up big.
Well Forte did his part and Long was hit and miss, but McPhee was basically a no-show and the Bears lost.
With the high flynin' Arizona Cardinals coming to town, this week I am going to take a slightly more defensive-heavy approach in my pick three.
These are the three players I believe need to stand out and have big games in order for the Bears to beat the visiting Cardinals.
Jared Allen, OLB
I was going to go right back to McPhee this week because I believe he does need to have an impact, but then he sat out yesterday's practice and I worry he might actually be in doubt for the game. Allen is a guy who has been a disappointment here in Chicago and he's playing out of position (depending on who you ask) or certainly a new position. However, there is one thing he has been doing well his whole career and that's getting after the quarterback. He needs to do it Sunday and big time. Unlike Aaron Rodgers last week, Carson Palmer is not as mobile, but he can be similarly deadly. Last week he was 19-of-32 for 307 yards and three touchdowns. The Bears need a pass rush to be successful on defense and if Palmer has time in the pocket, success will not be had.
Adrian Amos, S
Amos was impressive last week, consistently around the ball and not obviously blowing coverage, which is a big thing for a fifth-round pick starting his first NFL game. Amos will feel the pressure even more this week as he has work on the back end against the downfield attack of Bruce Arians. Amos will be making sure that John Brown doesn't take the top off the defense or that Larry Fitzgerald can't work some of his future Hall of Fame magic against the secondary. This is a big test for the rookie, as I expect him to get tested. Can he pass the test?
Martellus Bennett, TE
I was going to have Alshon Jeffery here but then I remembered that Jeffery will be seeing a lot of Patrick Peterson on Sunday. If Jeffery is indeed 100 percent healthy after a week of practicing without limitation, which I have my doubts about personally, he will need to be able to stretch the Cardinals' defense more than the Bears did last week. Since I do have my doubts about that, I picked Bennett. Bennett will be working underneath and down the seam with the Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu lurking, but with Peterson on the outside, this will be the area that Adam Gase will likely look to exploit, especially with a stacked box after Arizona saw what Matt Forte was able to do a week ago.
Bennett might be in for a big game Sunday because of the Arizona's defense and the players they have to match up with Chicago's receivers.
Honorable mentions: Kyle Fuller (He will get picked on as well), Jeffery, Forte, Jay Cutler, Will Sutton
Do you agree or disagree with my picks? Which players do you think will be key?