Cardinals defense should handle inept Bears offense
By Jim Koch
The Arizona Cardinals defense should have an easy time of it with the less than scary scoring attack of the Chicago Bears.
Over the course of the 2021 NFL campaign, the Arizona Cardinals defense has had to go up against some of the most potent offenses in professional football. The scoring attacks of teams like the Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings posed a huge challenge for Vance Joseph’s group when they met earlier in the season.
Things shouldn’t be as scary for the Cards’ defensive unit when they take on the Chicago Bears in Week 13. In fact, Joseph’s crew could outright dominate a Bears offense that ranks near the bottom of the league in the yards-per-game category.
To be specific, the Chicago attack is ranked 30th-overall in total offense through 12 weeks. The Cardinals, for their part, currently own the fifth-best defense in the National Football League. On paper, this is a matchup that strongly favors Arizona, as head coach Kliff Kingsbury‘s crew vies for the number-one seed in the NFC.
Arizona Cardinals should succeed in keeping Week 13 foe’s offense in check
The Cards will be taking on a Bears passing game that ranks dead-last in the NFL. As of this writing, it’s not yet known which quarterback will be under center for Chicago this weekend. But in all honesty, neither signal-caller should cause a sleepless night for any Cardinals defender.
Justin Fields, a rookie who was the 11th-overall selection in last April’s draft, is recovering from some broken ribs that he suffered back on November 21st. The 22-year old did practice on Wednesday, but it was veteran Andy Dalton who took the first-team snaps. The 34-year old will get the start versus Arizona if the Bears decide to keep Fields sidelined for another week.
The 6-foot-3, 228-pound Fields has struggled in his first year as a pro. The former Ohio State University product has completed just 58.1 percent of his passes, and he has thrown twice as many interceptions (eight) as touchdowns (four) in his 10 appearances (eight starts) for Chicago. Fields can do damage with his legs, however, as evidenced by the 311 yards and two scores he has registered on the ground.
Dalton started the 2021 campaign as the Bears’ first-string passer, but he had Fields looking over his shoulder from day one. In five appearances (three starts), the 6-foot-2, 219-pounder has completed 64.3 percent of his throws for 788 yards, with four touchdowns and two picks. On Thanksgiving Day, Dalton was credited with 317 yards passing and one score during a 16-14 win over the Detroit Lions.
The best weapon on the Chicago offense is Darnell Mooney, a second-year wide receiver who has tallied 46 catches for 694 yards and three touchdowns this season. The Bears have a trio of running backs (David Montgomery, Khalil Herbert, Damien Williams) who have combined for 988 yards and six scores this year.
When it comes down to it, Chicago just doesn’t possess enough playmakers on offense to put a scare into the Redbirds’ much-improved defense. Joseph’s contingent should shine, and it would be very surprising to see the Bears add much to the scoreboard when they host the Cards this coming Sunday.