The schedule makers have done plenty of favors for the Chicago Bears in the 2012 season, and this week they serve up another with a visit from the 1-5 Carolina Panthers. Cam Newton and company have been held below 20 points in four of their six games, and they don’t figure to turn things around against the turnover-happy Bears defense.
Whether the game turns out to be a blowout (as appears likely) or not, these three storylines will be worth watching on Sunday:
1. Will Cam Newton’s rushing ability open up the Bears’ defense?
Carolina’s only hope for a competitive game is for the Bears to struggle defending Cam Newton, the first dual-threat QB they’ve faced on the season. Newton is having a better year rushing than either of his struggling running backs, leading the team with 273 yards and three scores on the ground.
That said, the Bear defense is playing at such a high level that it’s hard to see them being thrown by this one extra wrinkle in the game plan. Brian Urlacher has been very effective in the past playing a spy role to shut down scramblers, and he and Lance Briggs are a good bet to keep Newton bottled up.