"Concussion" is the word of the day when talking about the Monday Night Football matchup. Alex Smith is technically listed as "questionable", but his status is much closer to probable given how his week went. Jay Cutler wasn't so lucky, so Jason Campbell takes over the reigns. Let's take a closer look at why I think the Bears are getting overlooked in this game.
When you think of past recipients of the National Football League’s Most Valuable Player, the first names that come into mind are those of quarterbacks. The glory and glamour boys are always the first in line when the awards are handed out at the end of the season.
Only twice in the past 11 years, has the MVP gong been awarded to a non-QB. On those 2 occasions a running back has taken the accolade home.
Many peoples favourite for this years league MVP is Denver Broncos playcaller Peyton Manning, who is having another outstanding season throwing the ball. Even more remarkable if you take in to consideration his serious neck injury, which ended his time with the Indianapolis Colts, and almost ended his career.
If the people that have the final say in choosing the standout player happen to overlook the passers this year, then surely only one other player is deserving this season.
Minnesota Viking’s running back, Adrian Peterson.
The marquee game on the NFL’s Week 10 schedule pits the AFC’s best team, the Houston Texans, against the NFC’s second-best, the Chicago Bears. Just a few seasons ago, this would’ve been a pure offense-vs.-defense contest, but Brandon Marshall’s arrival in Chicago and Wade Phillips’ success in Houston have made both teams a lot more balanced than they used to be.
With that in mind, here are three key factors that will determine whether the Bears or Texans earn their eighth win of the year on Sunday night:
1. Can Chicago control the Houston pass rush?
The two worst games of the Bears’ season—the loss to Green Bay and the one-point squeaker over the Panthers—have been defined by the dominance of the opposing pass rush. In those two games alone, Jay Cutler was sacked 13 times, and he’s likely in for another long night against the Texans.
Week 10 showcases a rematch of NFC North divisional rivals as the Detroit Lions travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. Minnesota came out on top when the two met in Week 4, but don't expect a repeat performance of that when they square off this Sunday. Let's take a closer look to see why I like the Lions as one of the better bets of the week.
After last week’s narrow escape against the Panthers, the Chicago Bears will be on their toes against another seemingly overmatched opponent as they visit the Tennessee Titans. The Tennessee offense has been battling injuries all season, but running back Chris Johnson has started looking like his old self, which is bad news for any opposing defense.
Johnson’s not the only key player to watch in this contest, though. These three factors will go the furthest toward determining which team earns the win at LP Field on Sunday.
1. Can Chris Johnson get in a rhythm early?
Four out of his last five games, Chris Johnson has topped 90 yards rushing. Nobody’s expecting him to match his 195-yard, two-touchdown showcase against Buffalo, but Johnson needs to establish a legitimate running threat to keep the Bears’ turnover-happy defense honest.