It is Bears week! I love the sounds of those words. Living in Minneapolis for the past six years has increased my hatred towards the Vikings ten-fold (thanks, Judas), but I grew up in Wisconsin hating the Bears. So, while it was hard reaching out to a blogger from south of the border, I always put our readers first. This week’s Q&A is with Jonathan Carroll of Bears Headquarters. We swapped some questions with them, so definitely check out their site this week as you gear up for the NFL’s best rivalry.
1) Cutler threw a lot of yards, but had two turnovers in Week 1 and against Dallas he was near perfect. Is this a sign of him grasping Martz’s offense? If so, what are the expectations?
Cutler came to the Chicago Bears to be a franchise quarterback. In the last two games in the previous season and through two games this year, he has been finally showing signs. The two turnovers against the Lions came on a fumble and a bad route. Cutler seems to finally understand his offensive players and how to get the most out of each one. Mike Martz has said that he has never had a quarterback with the talent of Cutler, and last Sunday against the Cowboys we saw the type of magic the two of these guys are able to produce.
2.) How has Julius Peppers impacted the defense so far?
Teams cannot run on the Chicago Bears through two games, and I would like to think he has something to do with it. He has only recorded one sack, but he is collapsing the outside and causing quarterbacks to recognize where he is on the field. While it would be nice to see a few more sacks, he is on a pace for eight.
3.) Tony Romo threw for almost 400 yards last week. Granted he had two picks and attempted 51 passes, but what will the game plan be when going against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ vaunted passing game?
The Bears allowed Romo to throw short passes. That is why the numbers showed up. These numbers are inflated because Dallas couldn’t run the ball, Rodgers is a much better quarterback and can create the big play which Romo wasn’t able to do on Sunday. If you look at the yards after catch, it was very minimal. That is why the numbers do not tell the whole story. The Chicago Bears need to create a pass rush, and if they are able to do so, hopefully create turnovers. Rodgers will kill the Chicago Bears if he is able to get off throws without pressure.
4.) What has been the key for the Bears dominant run defense through two games?
The Chicago Bears front seven is playing great. Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs are the best linebacker pair in football. The Bears are not missing tackles and getting after people. For those Packers fans that think Brian Urlacher is past his prime, watch him close-in on ball carriers. Both Briggs and Urlacher are making a case for defensive player of the year in the NFC. There is some company with your boy Matthews.
5.) Clay Matthews has six sacks so far this season. How nervous does he make you?
Very, but Chicago slowed down DeMarcus Ware. Mike Martz and Mike Tice found ways to buy time for Cutler. Watch for the Bears to get even more creative.
Thanks again to Jonathan and Bears Headquarters for joining us this week. We hope to meet up with him again later this season. Remember, we can still agree with Bears’ fans on one thing: Vikings and Favre still suck.