Bears-Patriots NFL Game of the Year
Last year about this time, I wrote an article calling the 2005 Chicago Bears the Modern Day Monsters of the Midway, but an early exit in the playoffs did not leave them looking so monstrous. Despite the ups and downs of Rex Grossman, it is remarkable that the 2006 Chicago Bears are a better offensive football team and a win at New England against a proven champion this Sunday could be our first sign that the Bears are good enough to get back to the big one. Chicago will be hiring for some of that same magic which handed the New England Patriots a 46-10 loss in Super Bowl 20.
Chicago's defense has transported the Bears on its recent road trip with back to back wins at the Meadowlands over the Giants and Jets. The Bears will need more than just good defensive play this week as the Patriots boast the league's second best scoring defense giving up just 13.1 points per game. Rex Grossman is going to have to be the Bears Jim McMahon this week. Last week, against the Jets, Grossman looked very unsteady when facing a barrage of Jets blitzers. Sometimes, the often-injured youngster is having flashbacks of another knee injury every time he sees a 275 pound defensive end running full speed at him off the corner. You can bet that Belichick is going to bring plenty of heat off the outside in the form of corner blitzes just as the Jets did and Grossman is going to have to step up in the pocket and deliver the football.
The Bears head into this week's heavy weight title bout undefeated on the road because Urlacher and the Modern Day Monster have stepped it up away from Soldier to atone for, at times, sub par offensive play. New England is surprisingly 2-3 at home with losses to the Broncos, Colts, and Jets. The Patriots lost their last two home games before blowing out the Packers on the road last week. The only pattern I can see is that when the Patriots offensive line protects Tom Brady, they usually win. In last week's 35-0 rout of Green Bay, Brady was sacked just twice and did not throw an interception. In New England's three previous games, two of them losses, Brady was sacked seven times and six six interceptions. The Patriots offensive line will have their work cut out for them against the best defense in football.
The Patriots best offense might just be a running attack this week. The Bears are ranked tenth in the league against the rush, giving up 99.3 yards per game, but they have been susceptible to it. Chicago is not going to give up big plays by letting you get outside with a sweep as there is no faster defense in football from Sideline to Sideline and none that is better in pursuit. But several teams have shown that quick hitters up the middle can be effective. Prior to last week's game against the Jets, Chicago has allowed three straight opponents to gain at least 100 yards on the ground. If New England can get its ground game going early, it could mean all the difference for giving Tom Brady more time to throw in play action situations.
With the two best scoring defenses in the league going head to head, this one is going to come down to which oath can take care of the football and not give up any big plays. I have gone inside the matchups at every position and I am ready to deliver my biggest play in the NFL this season in the big game of the year. You do not want to miss out on easy money this Sunday on Jimmy Boyd's NFL Game of the Year.