This looks like a matchup of two teams that may be headed in different directions. The Bears have had two games that came down to the last series and have managed to pull out wins in both. Most recently with a last second drive that was capped off by a beautifully thrown Jay Cutler pass that ended up in the hands of tight ends Martellus Bennett. The relationship between Cutler and his new head coach appears to be a great matchup and the offense looks like it will only improve from here. The Steelers played a tough game last Thursday vs. the Bengals and certainly looked like they would be able hold their own defensively even though many key players are getting up there in age. Offensively they were a Steelers team that was incapable of running the football which is something that has been the heart and soul of the Steelers for as long as anyone reading this can remember.
When repeatedly injured running back Rashard Mendenhall left in the off-season to join the Cardinals it wasn’t looked at as a big loss. After the first 2 games that doesn’t seem to be the case. Issac Redman was anointed the starter in the preseason and has had 11 carries for 13 yards along with a concussion. Felix Jones carried the ball 10 times in against Cincinnati and may be who Coach Mike Tomlin turns to in search of a ground attack. Roethlisberger played well but was only 4-15 on passes over 15 yards. This led to continuing speculation that offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s short passing attack may not be the best fit for the skills of Big Ben. There were moments when the offense moved the ball well however they were never able to sustain anything when you combined the lack of a running game with the absence of injured Tight End Heath Miller. An 0-3 start is staring Coach Mike Tomlin and his players in the face this week.
The Bears have exceeded expectations thus far. Last season the offensive line was without a doubt the worst in the NFL. This year the line has held up remarkably well even though it features 2 rookies. The line showed that they could also run block as Matt Forte had 88 yards on 20 carries. In the passing game Brandon Marshall continues to show he is as good as anyone in the league with 7 catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. Off season signing Bennett had 6 catches for 76 yards for two touchdowns including his game winner. This team has the looks of a team on the rise
This game will show a lot about whoever wins. If Pittsburgh wins they will show that it was ridiculous to have them as 2 and a half point underdogs and that they are still in the playoff hunt. If the Bears win they will have gotten their second big road win of the season and at 3-0 they will be looking like a legit threat in the NFC.
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