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Old 12-10-2005, 08:51 AM   #1
steeler47
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Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers

Bears LB Brian Urlacher vs. Steelers running backs
The Steelers' running game problems have been traced to poor play on the offensive line, but the inability for one back to step up and be consistently productive is also to blame. Steelers RB Willie Parker ran well in the first two games, but that was against the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans. He has not been able to get rolling against better teams, and RBs Duce Staley and Jerome Bettis have been plagued by injuries. Meanwhile, Urlacher and the Bears defense might be the best in the NFL. This may not be the week for the Steelers' running game to find its way.
Bears LDE Adewale Ogunleye vs. Steelers ORT Max Starks
The second-year right tackle Starks has tremendous size at 6-8, 337 pounds, and is more athletic than some give him credit for, but Ogunleye should be able to dominate this matchup and pressure Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. Ogunleye has finally reached the level of play the Bears envisioned when trading WR Marty Booker and a third-round draft pick for him, and with added pressure from the line lately the Bears have been routinely dropping seven into coverage. Starks can run his man up-field, but struggles when he retreats. He will open up his pads and allow rushers inside of him with a club move. Starks does not play with good pad level and also doesn't keep his hands tight when he punches. Technically, he needs a lot of work. But for the Bears to pressure Roethlisberger and force him into mistakes, they must stop the multi-dimensional Steelers running game. OLG Alan Faneca and C Jeff Hartings will be a load for the Bears' undersized tackles, and slowing the run game will not be easy. The Bears need a strong game from SS Mike Brown, who may play some at free safety with S Todd Johnson replacing rookie FS Chris Harris (knee) at the opposite safety position. Roethlisberger will give the ball up when pressured, the question is whether the Bears will force him into mistakes or not.
Bears QB Kyle Orton vs. Steelers SS Troy Polamalu
The seat can't get any hotter for Orton with the Bears taking reps away from him in practice this week. If he doesn't play better, QB Rex Grossman will replace him soon. The Steelers have the No. 1 run defense in the league, and figure to make things tough on RB Thomas Jones. Opponents have run with success at Steelers OLBs Joey Porter and Clark Haggans, but you can't make a living on it. Teams have beaten Pittsburgh throwing the football and the pressure will be on Orton to make plays. If Pittsburgh stops the run, they will blitz him from all angles. Orton must beware of Polamalu at all times. He plays with top play speed, and is a bullet on blitzes. Polamalu can be exploited in coverage, and it will be up to the Bears to win individual battles to get open. WR Muhsin Muhammad has not contributed much lately, and needs to have a big game. Orton has promised his best game and needs to deliver or risk going to the bench.
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