The Bears are a different team offensively behind coach Marc Trestman. Jay Cutler has been more effective with a 68.1 percent completion rate. While he has lost a fumble and thrown three interceptions, Cutler has also tossed five touchdown passes and has evenly distributed the ball amongst his top two receivers, Brandon Marshall and running back Matt Forte.
Chicago has not faced the Steelers in four years and won that last meeting by a tight 17-14 score. Cutler started that game and threw for 236 yards and two touchdown passes, just enough to edge out a win. Today could be a similar story for the Bears who have found a knack for executing just enough effective plays to eek out wins.
Pittsburgh started the season with a healthy Ben Roethlisberger finally and thought they had righted the ship. Ben's second year under offensive coordinator Todd Haley has been as poor as the first thus far, with Big Ben only completing a meager 58.6 percent of his passes. With starting center Maurkice Pouncey out due to injury, Roethlisberger has already been sacked seven times this season.
Through two games, the Steelers offense has only managed to score 19 points. Their rushing corps has only accumulated 75 yards on the ground, and the defense has yet to force a turnover. Any one of those negative statistics would do a team in. All of them together is a recipe for disaster, and that's exactly what has happened to the Steelers this season thus far.
Pittsburgh hasn't started a season 0-3 since 2000 and they will need to step up their game if they hope to avoid that unfortunate feat tonight on Sunday Night Football. It won't be easy to established a ground game against the Bears, but that would be a first step toward giving Roethlisberger more time to throw. A defensive turnover in the first quarter would be a huge boost as well.
Tonight's NFL Sunday Night Football game between the undefeated Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers will kick off in primetime at 8:30pm EST / 5:30 PST from Heinz Field on NBC in high definition (HD). NBC Sports offers free online live streaming access to some of tonight's action here at their official website on cell phones, iPads and tablets, computers and laptops. I predict the Steelers snap to life and beat the Bears by a slim margin in an upset victory, and I do so realizing most people will be picking da Bears.