BEARS at CARDINALS: Week 3 Preview - September 23, 2018

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BEARS at CARDINALS: Week 3 Preview – September 23, 2018

Chicago Bears

A win against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday would move the Chicago Bears above .500 for the first time since Week 3 of the 2014 season. In case you’re curious about exactly how long ago that was: 1,460 days. Yo. Five different quarterbacks have started games for the Bears since then and only one – Mitch Trubisky – is still starting in the NFL right now.

So yeah, I’m ready for this stretch of sub-.500 football to end.

I just hope you weren’t holding your breath for a Mike Glennon revenge game because the ex-Bears starter is saddled behind starter Sam Bradford and rookie back-up Josh Rosen on the Cardinals’ quarterback depth chart. So even though we’re deprived of a master-pupil showdown with Glennon opposing Trubisky, there is still plenty to follow in this Week 3 matchup.

Never Tell Me The Odds:”

The Bears are 5.5-point favorites at the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas. The over/under for this game is 38, which is the lowest total for Week 3. Vegas sees another low-scoring contest. And for what it’s worth, the UNDER has come through in each of the Bears’ first two games.

Series History:

In a series that dates back to 1920 when it was the Decatur Staleys squaring off against the Chicago Cardinals, it’s the Bears/Staleys who own a 58-28-6 record against the Chicago/St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals. The Bears have won four of the last six games in this series, including the last two meetings on the road.

Game Time, Broadcast Info, Officiating Crew:

Location: State Farm Stadium (Formerly known as University of Phoenix Stadium)

Broadcast Info: Sunday, September 23rd at 3:25 CT on FOX, WBBM-AM 780, WCFS-FM 105.9

Referee: Bill Vinovich

Expected Starters and Lineups:

Bears Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Mitch Trubisky
  • RB Jordan Howard
  • RB Tarik Cohen
  • WR Allen Robinson II
  • WR Taylor Gabriel
  • TE Trey Burton
  • LT Charles Leno Jr.
  • LG Eric Kush
  • C Cody Whitehair
  • RG Kyle Long
  • RT Bobby Massie

Bears Defense Expected Starters:

  • DT Akiem Hicks
  • NT Eddie Goldman
  • DE Jonathan Bullard
  • OLB Khalil Mack
  • ILB Danny Trevathan
  • ILB Roquan Smith
  • OLB Leonard Floyd
  • CB Kyle Fuller
  • CB Prince Amukamara
  • FS Eddie Jackson
  • SS Adrian Amos

Bears Specialists: 

  • Cody Parkey (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Benny Cunningham, Tarik Cohen (kick returners), Tarik Cohen (punt returner)

Cardinals Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Sam Bradford
  • RB David Johnson
  • FB Derrick Coleman
  • WR Larry Fitzgerald
  • WR Chad Williams
  • TE Ricky Seals-Jones
  • LT D.J. Humphries
  • LG Mike Iupati
  • C Mason Cole
  • RG Justin Pugh
  • RT Andre Smith

Cardinals Defense Expected Starters:

  • DE Markus Golden
  • DT Corey Peters
  • DT Robert Nkemdiche
  • DE Chandler Jones
  • SLB Gerald Hodges
  • MLB Josh Bynes
  • WLB Deone Bucannon
  • CB Patrick Peterson
  • CB Jamar Taylor
  • FS Antoine Bethea
  • SS Budda Baker

Cardinals Specialists:

  • Phil Dawson (kicker), Andy Lee (punter), Aaron Brewer (long snapper), T.J. Logan, J.J. Nelson (kick return), Christian Kirk (punt return)

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Chicago Bears – Offense

Jordan Howard might be in for a tough match-up against a Cardinals rush defense that has limited opposing rushers to 3.6 yards per carry, but this isn’t necessarily a new situation for him. Howard has done his share of damage against loaded fronts in his two years as a starter and we have seen him rack up yards after contact. In fact, Howard’s 1,448 yards after contact since the start of the 2016 season are the third most on football.

The Bears have just one win in 23 games when Howard doesn’t get at least 20 carries. Get him the ball, coach.

Chicago Bears – Defense

Leonard Floyd is working with some additional mobility in his hand after ditching the bulky club in exchange for something that will allow him to use his fingers. Despite lining up opposite of Khalil Mack, Floyd doesn’t have any sacks, tackles-for-loss, or quarterback hits in two games. And yet, the Bears boast a top defense. Let’s see if the change in cast will help Floyd emerge from his early season rut.

Arizona Cardinals – Offense

Larry Fitzgerald seems to get better with age. Fitzgerald is an 11-time Pro Bowler with nine 1,000-yard receiving seasons under his belt. Even at the age of 35, Fitzgerald figures to be a tough match-up for any of the Bears’ top three cornerbacks. And because he can lineup anywhere on the field, Fitzgerald is still arguably the Cardinals’ most dangerous weapon. Since the start of the 2015 season, Fitzgerald has averaged 108 catches, 1,131 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns per year. If the Bears can find a way to stop him, it will go a long way toward getting a much-needed victory.

Arizona Cardinals – Defense

Patrick Peterson is one of football’s top cornerbacks, having earned three first-team All-Pro nominations and a Pro Bowl appearance in each of his first seven years in the NFL. Peterson has proven to be  a model of consistency, excellence, and durability as he hasn’t missed a game as he enters his age 28 season. Trubisky needs to be mindful of where Peterson is on the field at all times. Peterson came up with his first interception of the year in Week 2, hauling in an red zone pick thrown by Jared Goff.

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.