The oddsmakers sure aren’t giving the Chicago Bears much of a chance this week against the Los Angeles Rams, and the majority of our WCG staffers aren’t either, but that doesn't mean we can’t come up with a scenario where the Bears pull off an upset.
Any given Sunday and whatnot...
Here’s what our team of content creators have come up with for their keys for a Bears victory on Sunday Night Football.
Jack R Salo: The Bears offense needs to stay on the field, which means convert third-downs, win the turnover battle, and use David Montgomery whenever possible to move the sticks. The Bears defense can get after Matthew Stafford if they can stop the short stuff and make Stafford drop back and go through reads. Don’t let Rams receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp get into a rhythm over the middle of the field.
Josh Sunderbruch: The Bears know all there is to know about trick plays, so there’s no sense in them going down that same old road again. To beat this team, the Bears need a passing game – they don’t have it. And their O-line can’t open lanes, so hard running is out. And they don’t have a true box safety, and they’ve got a lack of experience at both corners, so relying on the secondary is out.
So, what they’ll be calling on is good ol’ fashion blunt force trauma. Sack power. Heavy-duty, cast-iron, pile-driving quarterback hits that will have to hurt so much they’ll rattle Stafford’s ancestors. Every time he takes a snap, it’s gotta feel like he tried kissing a Mack truck. Yeah. Let’s start playing with some pass rush!
Bill Zimmerman: I can’t see this Bears’ offense suddenly magically coming together with Andy Dalton at quarterback and scoring 34 points. This offense is going to struggle to score points which means the defense is going to have to keep them in this game (sound familiar).
With Matthew Stafford at quarterback, Sean McVay is going to want to show off his new toy, which means with Chicago’s less-than-stellar secondary, the group up front is going to have to dominate the Rams’ offensive line, get in Stafford’s face and disrupt the passing game. That’s going to be the key, disrupting the Rams’ offense with a strong pass rush, if that doesn’t happen, we’re all in for a long night.
Patti Curl: Part one of the plan has already been laid out beautifully: keep rising star Kindle Vidor under wraps by advising him to deliver uninspiring preseason performances. Lure McVay and Stafford into attacking that “weak” CB2 spot in the Bears defense.
For part two, Vidor will pounce for three interceptions which he returns for what will be referres to as his “pick eighteen” game during hall of fame discussions at the end of his career.
T.J. Starman: For the Bears to capitalize on their slim chance of victory, Sean Desai’s defense will have to practice what they’ve preached all off-season and win the turnover battle. With the Chicago offense expected to be largely inept against a loaded Rams D, they’ll need the benefit of short fields and/or defensive scoring in order to leave L.A. with a low-scoring victory.
Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter: Believe it or not, a win for the Bears is not as far fetched as the odds deemed against the navy and orange. Matthew Stafford has always turned the ball over at a high rate against Chicago through his career. He’s also winless all-time against Chicago in season opening games.
For a win to happen, Matt Nagy must be balanced on offense, and sustain long drives to keep the defense rested. I have a strong feeling we will see Justin Fields in some capacity as well. Remember, the Rams are going through a transition of their own on defense, and I don’t expect that to be seamless.
Aaron Leming: The Bears don’t have a lot of margin for error heading into this game, which means they can’t make many mistakes. In order for that to happen, they are going to have to win the battle in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Containing Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd offensively and getting after Matthew Stafford defensively has to be priority No. 1 if they want a chance in this game.
Sam Householder: Pray. OK, maybe it’s not that bad, but keep in the mind that the Bears have scored 32 COMBINED points in the last three games against the Rams and Los Angeles has scored 47 points. Since that 15-6 Bears win in 2018, the Rams have outscored Chicago 41-17. Chicago’s best chance lies in another low-scoring affair. The defense has to play perfect, but that’s going to start with Kindle Vildor who is going to get targeted heavily opposite Jaylon Johnson. On offense: can Darnell Mooney show up Jalen Ramsey or is an offseason of that one clip going to wake the sleeping giant and shutdown the Bears’ big threat?
Robert Schmitz: Find some way to succeed through the air. The Bears’ offensive line won’t be able to run the ball, so passing against a Rams defense that lost 2 important DBs (Troy Hill & John Johnson) and their DC (Brandon Staley) might realistically be the Bears’ best shot at generating offense on Sunday Night. Given Dalton is Nagy’s 3rd QB choice in an offense yet to bear fruit (pun intended), this offers another opportunity for Nagy to prove himself as a passing coordinator — I doubt even 24-27 points guarantees a win, but at least it’d lead the Bears into Week 2 with some offensive momentum. There hasn’t been enough of that in Chicago recently.
Ken Mitchell: Offense - Honestly, just do the best you can with who is playing against a very good defense. Limiting turnovers to zero is CRITICAL to be in this game to the end.
Defense - Get after the quarterback, attack, attack, attack. Stafford is good, but he can be rattled. It’s time long past for Robert Quinn to earn his money, if Quinn really wants to change the perception of him as a complete FA bust there’s no better time for him to start now.
Fans - Root for the laundry. I’ve got a good friend who I thought was the biggest Colts fan in the history of the team. The day Peyton Manning left, he donated all of his Colts clothing (except a framed Manning autographed game-worn jersey) to a charity that provides clothing for the homeless. He was the fan of a single player, not the team. Don’t be that guy/gal.
Jacob Infante: I’m going to repeat the sentiment given by many of my colleagues and emphasize the importance of the Bears putting pressure on Matthew Stafford. With a suboptimal secondary going up against a talented group of Rams receivers, it will be crucial for Chicago to force Stafford to get the ball out before routes have the chance to develop. Offensively, the Bears need to play mistake-free football. With the Rams’ offensive firepower on paper, coughing up the ball and putting them in favorable positions to score could hurt the Bears when they don’t have the top-tier offense needed to put up big numbers on a weekly basis.
Robert Zeglinski: Leave Los Angeles with some measure of dignity intact.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: With Stafford primed to flourish with a real team surrounding him, I would expect the Rams to dial up a pass heavy game plan against the suspect Bears secondary. Nagy can not get pulled into a shootout. He needs to ease his new quarterback into the offense with a boring and methodical clock killing game plan. A heavy dose of the run game, eat up the play clock on each possession, basically anything to keep the Bears defense on the sidelines, because I don’t trust Chicago’s cornerbacks to slow down the Ram receivers.
Defensively I am excited to see how Desai’s scheme will incorporate some of Vic Fangio’s stuff, while also staying true to how he wants to call a D, but I fear the only hope for them this week is for Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Robert Quinn and company to have incredible games up front.
What are your keys for a Bears victory this week?