The Indianapolis Colts return from London to host the Chicago Bears. The Colts are reeling from a 1-3 start to the year while the Bears are hoping to start stringing wins together after taking down the Lions last week.
The Colts are off to an abysmal start to the season, sitting at 1-3 and tied for a distant third place in the AFC South. They host the Bears this week in a rematch of Super Bowl XLI from 10 years ago. We got in touch with Bear Goggles On to get some intel on this week’s foe and editor Mike Bursawa was happy to talk about the Bears with us.
Here is what Bursawa had to say about Chicago:
1. What were the expectations for the Bears heading into the season? What is the plan for rebuilding the team going forward?
Bears fans had high hopes for an improvement over the 6-10 record they posted last season. Head coach John Fox came to town with a reputation for providing quick turnarounds. He took over a 1-15 Carolina Panthers team and took them to the Super Bowl after two seasons. He similarly took the Denver Broncos (with a lot of help from the addition of one Peyton Manning) to a Super Bowl in a couple of seasons.
As the preseason unfolded, expectations tempered as fans realized the major re-building project that Fox and GM Ryan Pace had taken on. Most fans hoped for an 8-8 season with the hope of maybe a 9-7 or 10-win season.
It’s clear the Bears are in rebuilding mode. They’ve been bringing in a lot of young talent to take the place of established veterans like Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett and Charles Tillman. It’s frustrating they haven’t brought in a developmental quarterback to take Jay Cutler‘s place. I think this is Cutler’s last season with the Bears, so the rebuilding will continue with a new quarterback next season.
2. How was Chicago able to beat Detroit last week? Was it a better effort all around or did the Lions simply collapse?
The Bears were able to beat the Lions with a better game plan on offense while running behind rookie running back Jordan Howard and led by a stellar game by wide receiver Eddie Royal. The Bears defense was stout despite a lot of injuries, which frustrated Matthew Stafford into a couple of turnovers.
3. Who is a player that Colts fans might not know, but could have a big impact on this week’s game?
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I think there are a couple of youngsters in the Bears secondary that are a little under the radar who will have an impact on Sunday’s outcome. Look out for cornerbacks Bryce Callahan and Deiondre’ Hall. Both have been pressed into action due to injuries and have stepped up big. Callahan, an undrafted free agent out of Rice, has proven to be a solid in coverage and offered some big hits. Hall, who flashed in the preseason, has used his length to stymie opposing receivers, especially in the red zone.
I expect the Colts to challenge the Bears through the air and for Andrew Luck to test the Bears young secondary, so these corners will have a big impact on the game. If they play well, I give the Bears a shot; if they don’t it could be a long day for Bears fans.
4. We’ve heard that Jerrell Freeman has been playing well. Has he exceeded expectations? Should the Colts be beating themselves up for letting him go?
You haven’t gotten the Thank You card I mailed you for gift wrapping Freeman for the Bears? Wow, Freeman has been balling out in the first four games with the Bears. He’s the leading tackler and has been a real bright spot despite the Bears 1-3 start to the season. The Colts should definitely be beating themselves up for letting him go.
5. Aside from Andrew Luck, who is one player off the Colts you would love to add to the Bears roster?
If we can’t steal Andrew Luck from you, I’d like to get my hands on wide receiver Phillip Dorsett. He’s young a has more upside than your other star receiver TY Hilton. The Bears have been snake-bitten with their wide receivers as Kevin White heads to IR and Alshon Jeffery struggles to stay healthy.
6. What is your prediction for Sunday? Who wins and why?
I think the Bears might surprise the jet-lagged Colts on Sunday. They gained a lot of confidence recording their first win last week and hope to keep that momentum going. The Colts have struggled to protect Andrew Luck, which should allow the Bears to pressure with four and drop more players into coverage. The Colts rushing game doesn’t scare me, so they should be rather one-dimensional on offense.
On defense, the Colts seem to be a bit of a mess. They just cut two starters this past week after getting lit up by the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. That should allow Jordan Howard and Brian Hoyer to move the Bears offense.
It’s not going to be an easy one, but I’ll go out on a limb and have the Bears stealing one in Indy by a score of 23-20.