It would seem there is reason to panic in Chicago.
The Bears were beaten 23-10 by the Green Bay Packers last Thursday. The offence struggled as quarterback Jay Cutler got sacked seven times and threw four interceptions.
The reality is Chicago are still a threat in their division as the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Packers have not been overly impressive. Moreover, the Bears have an opponent in the St. Louis Rams who have struggled to support their top hurler Sam Bradford. Chicago battles the Rams this Sunday, 23 September, at 12noon Cayman time.
Anything short of a dominant performance would be a shock for the Bears. Even with his temper tantrums and spotty play, Cutler is still a capable leader and a stingy defence behind Brian Urlacher can make scoring tough. Expect the Bears to roll to victory by two touchdowns.
The most intriguing contest this Sunday might be the late game on NBC, as the New England Patriots battle the Baltimore Ravens at 7.20pm. The rematch of last year’s AFC title game pits two teams who have changed little over the offseason.
While the Patriots have tinkered with their defence, they are still a pass-heavy side led by Tom Brady and tight-end Rob Gronkowski. The Ravens are a gritty group guided by running back Ray Rice and linebacker Ray Lewis.
It’s a tough game to call but look for Brady to outplay Baltimore’s Joe Flacco in a close match that could be decided by six points.
It should be noted that the New York Giants battle the Carolina Panthers this Thursday, 20 September, at 7.20pm. The game is essentially a showdown between two of the game’s best passers in Eli Manning and Cam Newton. Look for Manning to get the better of Newton and win by 10 points.