Arizona Cardinals vs Chicago Bears: Five Questions with Bear Goggles On
By Scott Allen
The Arizona Cardinals are in Chicago to take on the Chicago Bears on Sunday
The Arizona Cardinals head out for one of five early Sunday games this season as they go to Soldier Field in Chicago to take on the Chicago Bears. Game time is at 10:00 a.m. Arizona Time.
This will be the first game between the two teams since Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians was courted by both the Cardinals and Bears in 2013. The last time these two tangled was in 2012 when Chicago beat Arizona 28-13 in Arizona. Arizona’s last visit to Chicago came back in 2009 with quarterback Kurt Warner and that resulted in a 41-21 Cardinals victory.
In week one last week the Cardinals defeated the New Orleans Saints 31-19 at home. The Bears lost at home to the Green Bay Packers 31-23. This is only the ninth meeting between the teams since the Cardinals moved to Arizona in 1988 and only the fourth time the Cardinals have had to go to the Windy City to play Chicago in the regular season since then.
To help us prepare, Mike Burzawa, editor of FanSided’s Chicago Bears site Bear Goggles On, has graciously taken some time to answer some of Raising Zona’s questions ahead of this week’s game. I also answered some of his questions and that link can be found at Bear Goggles On.
RZ: Assess Jay Cutler’s situation for us. The Bears players seem to have his back but is that reality? Are they just saying that to avoid the media circus like it was last year when Brandon Marshall was still around?
BGO: You’d be hard pressed to find a teammate have a bad thing to say about Jay. He was voted one of the team captains by his peers and I don’t think it was to pacify him or give him some false sense of security. I think Jay is viewed very differently from the national spotlight than he is locally and even more so, viewed differently outside the walls of Halas Hall than he is inside.
Marshall took some shots at Cutler on his way out the door. I think Cutler’s done a good job taking the high road in that situation while Marshall showed why he’s on his 4th team in his career with how he acted last season.
I think head coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase have a sound plan for Cutler – run the ball to take pressure off Jay and put him on the move to limit his reads when he does have to throw.
RZ: Matt Forte looked strong last week against the Green Bay Packers. He had 24 carries for 141 yards. He’s 29 and in his eighth season in the NFL. Can he produce like that week in and week out and do you think he can put similar numbers up against the Cardinals?
BGO: Forte has surprised me throughout his career and proven to be the Bears’ most consistent and reliable offensive player. Even as he’s aged, he continues to get better. He didn’t show his age at all in Week 1. I think he’ll face a much tougher challenge against a stout Cardinals defense this week than the Packers D he shredded in Week 1.
RZ: Who on the Bears defense should we look out for? Who on the Cards offense are you most concerned about?
BGO: The Bears defense is in a transitional year, switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 base defense for the first time in the franchise’s long history. There’s a lot of square pegs trying to fit into round holes as they try to get the personnel to play defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s scheme. The Bears brought Pernell McPhee in from Baltimore to play outside linebacker and to be a pass rusher. He’s been nursing a couple of minor injuries, so hopefully he suits up on Sunday. I hope he can put some pressure on Carson Palmer to make him a little uncomfortable in the pocket. If Palmer has time, I’m afraid he’ll be able to expose a shaky Bears secondary. John Brown matched up against the Bears rookie free safety Adrian Amos scares me enough to start Brown on my fantasy team.