The 4-7 Chicago Bears host the 9-2 Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, and on paper that makes this is one of the bigger mismatches in the NFL this week. But the weather forecast is showing a strong chance for a sloppy Soldier Field, so that might help slow down the explosive Arizona offense.
We asked a few of our staffers to give their keys for Chicago to pull off the upset, and with the disappointing way this season has gone it was tough to muster up the passion and excitement for this game.
Here’s what we had to say.
Josh Sunderbruch: So, I originally had a thing going with motivational stuff from training scenes with movies. That was fun while I felt like the seasons or even the games mattered. Now, my keys are simple. Fire Pace. Fire Nagy. Purge the roster of bad contracts. In a couple of years, beat the Cardinals when it will matter.
Robert Zeglinski: In advance of the Bears very likely getting molly-whopped by at least four scores, courtesy of the NFC’s best team, it’s prudent they remember what’s important.
If you’re about to do something, like call a seven-step drop on third-and-very-long after running the ball on first and second down, think, “Would an idiot do that?”
And if they would, do not do that thing.
Also, I have been doing random quotes from anything in my keys, because earnestly analyzing what this staff and this regime wants to accomplish in any given game is pointless to me. They don’t learn from previous efforts, ever.
Everyone here seems to put in more effort with a few thoughtful paragraphs than Nagy/Lazor/Desai, and it’s often the same answer every week. I will continue that until Nagy and Pace are gone. Can’t wait for Ryan Day/Sean Payton/Byron Leftwich.
Sam Householder: The best shot they have is running the ball, protecting the quarterback, playing keep away and getting after Kyler Murray. Without Roquan Smith, asking this secondary to cover Hopkins, Green, Ertz and Kirk downfield for more than 3 seconds is a stretch and contain Murray is an impossible task.
... I literally just take whatever my takeaway is from writing the game preview and the numbers say the way to attack the opponent is mixed with what the Bears do well. Unfortunately the Bears don’t do anything well so I end up with 1994 football takes like “Run the ball and get after the quarterback” week after week.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: Sam stole my run the ball and get after the quarterback key this week so...
I honestly don’t see any way the Bears can win unless the rain comes down in buckets and makes this game an absolute mess. Arizona is coming off a bye, and in their last game back up QB Colt McCoy put up 328 yards passing and 2 TDs against the Seattle Seahawks. If Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins both return, and it looks like they will, it could get ugly.
You guys think the Bears have a shot?