Prediction, Three keys to Bears-Rams matchup


by - Staff Writer -
Matt Marton - USA Today Sports
Matt Marton - USA Today Sports

At long last, the Bears picked up a win in week 10 after going a month without a victory. Granted, it was against a Lions team without their starting RB or QB, but it was still a performance the Bears look to build on this week.

For them to do that, it will not come easy as Chicago must travel to take on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night. Much like the Bears, the Rams are fighting for their playoff lives right now as they are three games out in the division and on the outside looking in for the final playoff spot. Here are three things to look for ahead of Sunday's game.

1. Pressure Jared Goff

We have all seen the type of QB Goff can be when given time in the pocket. Not only can he make all the throws, but he puts up MVP caliber numbers when the Rams keep him upright in the pocket. What people don’t see, however, is exactly what happens to Goff when teams put pressure on him.

Not only is Goff not an elite QB, but he looks a .500 or even sub .500 QB when teams can get pressure on him. He seems easily rattled, and the throws that he was making look easy are now turning into complete under throws and overthrows, leading to tons of turnovers.

For his career, 70% of his interceptions have occurred when teams pressure him at least 10-15 times a game to keep him uncomfortable in the pocket. The Bears defense has not been as good this season as last, but they should be able to generate some pass rush against a line that simply has not cut it this year.

2. Stop Aaron Donald

On the flip side of things, the Rams have one of the games premier pass rushers in Donald, and if the Bears cannot stop him or at the very least limit him, it could be a long day offensively. Donald is an absolute Monster and often takes two or three men to stop him. With the Bears offensive line not producing at the level they expected, it will be a team effort in containing Donald.

Both the Bears and Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips know that so expect plenty of chess moves throughout the game to exploit mismatches. You would think the Rams defense would be ranked higher given their talent and coach, but the fact is that their team is built to score, and chances are teams won’t be able to outscore them in a shootout.

With the Bears offense struggling as much as they have this season, this may be the game where the Rams defense could take a step forward if Chicago cannot limit Donald. Should that happen, Things may get out of hand early, which will not be good for Chicago.

3. Build off last week

For the first time in a month, the Bears emerged on the winning side of things knocking off the lions 20-13. Now is the time Chicago must build off that performance if they expect to put a long run together.

It wasn’t a blow-up game in terms of stats for Trubisky last week, but his zero interceptions were undoubtedly a step in the right direction when it comes to protecting the ball. Could the Bears win an ugly game if they can get to Goff? Of course, they can, but defensively they haven’t shown consistently enough to lead me to believe they can do that. Chicago does not want to get into a shootout on Sunday, and they need to look at what went right on Sunday and figure out a way to carry that into this week.

Prediction

I don’t like this matchup for the Bears on Sunday. Not only do they have to travel to the west coast, but the Rams are very much in the thick of the playoff hunt right now and continue to battle in a tough NFC West.

Offensively, there is no comparison as when things are clicking, the Rams are one of the toughest teams to stop. Defensively speaking, yes, the Bears have by far the better defense, but even that hasn’t been as strong as last season. I don’t see the Bears having enough horses to match up to what the Rams possess, and should Trubisky get pressured early, it won’t be pretty. Look for the Rams to run away with this one 27-14.

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