Chicago Sun-Times

Prediction time comes early --- kind of ...

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As regular readers of this blog know, we don't usually post predictions until the Friday before a Sunday game. In the wake of the Patriots 45-3 drubbing of the Jets on Monday night, it seemed more fitting to begin the debate early.

Personally, I'm not ready to make a prediction until Friday. I need to digest all the news, notes, matchups and stats during the week before I'm ready to inch out on a limb.

I will post the usual prediction entry on Friday. This is such a high-profile matchup, however, that the debate should start early.

For example, as effective as Lovie Smith's cover-2 defense has been this season, and as ideally suited as it was to defending Michael Vick, who struggled scrambling around while trying to throw touch passes over Bears' linebackers and in front of the secondary, I don't think it will be as successful against Brady.

Brady isn't going to lose his patience and start forcing passes like other quarterbacks do, and he's accurate enough to consistently find holes in the cover-2.

He's going to take what the defense gives him and methodically move his team down the field.

Wes Welker and Danny Woodhead will test the Bears' defensive team speed, as well. Those two players rely on quick cuts, which could be a factor on the turf at Soldier Field.

The Bears' offense is really going to have to play well in this one.

Anyway, those are just a few of my first impressions about Sunday's game. Feel free to share yours here. I'm going to hold my prediction until later in the week, as usual. Feel free to do the same.

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I'm not sure I'm ready either, but what the heck, Bears27, Patriots 24. Anyone looking at these teams carefully would pick the Patriots, but I'll go with the heart rather than head and say the Bears' running game , along with Peppers, will neutralize the Brady bunch.

Tom Brady makes a living off having good time in the pocket. I think the key to the game will be how Tommie Harris, Anthony Adams and Henry Melton play at defensive tackle. If they can somehow shrink the pocket down and force Brady to unload under pressure then the Bears might be able to take advantage. However, the key to any hope for victory will rest with Jay Cutler and the offense. They have to score points and they have to do what they've done ever since the bye: hang on to the football. Brady is a quarterback built on rythmic offense. The longer he sits on the sideline the less effective he becomes.

I think there are two games the Bears have to go back to in order to study how to play the Patriots. The first one is the Cleveland Browns game. In that contest Peyton Hillis ran over the Patriots defense and Eric Mangini cooked up some trick plays to put the Patriots behind. The other game is the Detroit Lions game. I refer to the first half for this one. In it you will see a Lions defense that controlled the line of scrimmage and dealt some shots to Brady. They also were able to limit mistakes on offense and generate some points. If they weren't the Lions they should've won that game. If the Bears want to win they have to think like Belichick. The man makes a living off studying game film. I think it's time Lovie, Martz and Marinelli threw something at them they're not ready for.

-inclimate weather prevents a through the air shoot out (good for the Bears)
-Forte rushes for 100+ and TD.
-Greg Olsen Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox prove they're solid targets with sure hands on slippery balls, particularly on 3rd & manageable and 2 redzone TDs.
-Devin Hester keeps his footing when those around them are losing their and sets the return record.
-the Bears D showcases their elite front 7 by making the Pats one dimensional throwing the ball, which hurts but is better than the alternative (re: MNF).
-DJ Moore has a pick
-Julius Peppers has 2 sacks, shared with his D line brethren.
-Urlacher somehow causes Tom Brady pain for juking him in 2003 on a rushing TD.
-Robbie Gould nails 3 FGs in 25mph winds.
-Stingy D stops a game winning 2 minute drive and New England botches the chance to send the game to OT with a game ending FG miss... because they don't have Robbie Gould.

30-27 Bears.

The way you beat the Pats is how the Giants beat them in the Super Bowl. Get to Brady, score points with your offense, and get a little lucky.

31 - 20 Pats. This is an elite team, and quite possibly, the best in the league. No great weapons besides Tom Brady, but so many good weapons. 2 good tight ends. 2 good running backs. 3 good receivers. A good offensive line.

One area that might be heavy in the Bear's favor will be the field position battle. The Bears have dominated field position in every game. To win, the Bears will need to score at least one TD on either special teams or defense and not turn the ball over. As proven again Monday Night, pinning NE deep in their own territory does not faze them. They simply drive it 90 yards if they have to.

The nice thing is that GB has to go to NE in 2 weeks, and I think NE wins that game as well.

Well, no time like the present for an accurate all-knowing prognostication. I really feel this week is going to be a pleasant surprise for everybody in navy and orange. Bill Brady Ba Humbug Blat. Sorry to be unpatriot but New England is full of pretty boy communist wusses who win or cheat or get divorced too much for their own good. Da Bears will have less problem with the patsies than with last week's kitties. The synergy of the composite Bears 3 phase football machine is about to rocket Da Unstoppable Bears into the national spotilight. Lovie's charming interviews are goin' national baby. Dis is how we are gonna do it: the wind is gonna blow hard and Tom is gonna get hit by Henry Melton hard and the ball is gonna get tipped to one of our guys and he is gonna run it in for a TD. And then Tom is gonna start yelling at his guys to FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS because that is what the patriots need to do with their little spy cameras so that they can win, but this week Tom is gonna lose composure and forget to keep it all a secret and just get fired up and start yelling at everybody FOCUS THE CAMERAS, FOCUS THE CAMERAS. People think Bill is the mastermind; he's not. Its Tom's focus conspiracy who churn out patsie victories. Bears win looking solid across the board 24-13.

I liked your analysis, Erik, and mostly I think you are right, but would emphasize the pressure on Brady a bit more than the scoring by the Bears. Ball control, keeping Brady watching on the bench is almost as good as scoring.You did not make a prediction on winner and score, which may be a smart move regarding this game.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on December 7, 2010 8:09 AM.

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