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Saturday, June 15

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Bears Fri Oct 08 2010

Footballic Ramblings: The One Where Cutler Sits It Out

Footballic_Ramblings2.jpg So that happened and now the Bears and their fans are left to discover what's next. Cutler -after being concussed into the Stone Age- will be on the bench this weekend in Charlotte as the Bears take on Julius Peppers' former employer. The zombiefied husk of humanity known as Todd Collins (who, remember, hasn't started a game in over three years) will be taking the snaps from behind center and we all should be curious to know the bounty for his head in Carolina's locker room. With Cutler as QB the problem was the same as it will be with Collins as quarterback: Why Can't the Offensive Line Block? It's been the same problem for the better part of three season and, no, it hasn't gotten any better in spite of early results.

The good news is that Carolina's defense isn't particularly great at pressuring the quarterback (Panthers have a mere four sacks thru four games) but, y'know, the Bears are just as horrible (if not more so) at protecting the passer. Really, it's a fascinating battle of village idiot vs dullard from the next town over. They're armed with Sporks. It's fun. [Shaking head no. Forlorn look on face.]

Moving onward let's consider a few facts and let it dawn on us all that this has the potential to be one of the worst games of the 2010 NFL season. Yes. Seriously.

Sunny Fact of Sunshine #1

Carolina's blazing wide receiver Steve Smith is out of this game with a high ankle sprain. Meaning that rookie/ponce du jour, Jimmy Clausen will be passing to [peruses Carolina media guide] three rookie wideouts. I'm dubious of the chemistry. Still if any secondary can make a bunch of rookies look good it's the Bears.

Sunny Fact of Sunshine #2

Chicago's running game is a decided weakness. Carolina's major strength on defense? Defending against the run. The Panthers are giving up an excellent 3.3 yards per carry this season; they've not done it against world beaters but still 3.3 is impressive and, well, the Bears ain't exactly world beaters either. Matt Forte and Chester Taylor have been largely worthless in the ground game behind that crummy o-line and that won't change this weekend. Bears still have not scored a rushing TD since Week 8 of last season.

This game has all the markings of an awful troglodytic smash fest. Some real "Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust" which is fine and all if you're a dad from the 1950s, sporting a pipe and horn rim glasses, but it's 2010 and there are going to be vastly more entertaining games on. In any case, if you really love pain look for Forte/Taylor to grind out 120 yards and Collins to throw two interceptions and get knocked out in the third quarter. Either DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart should break a few nice runs against a Bears defense that will put up a valiant fight but will, ultimately, wilt thanks to being left hung out to dry by an inept offense. It's like 2008 all over again!

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