COMMENTARY | The Mark Trestman-era for the Chicago Bears has started extremely well.
And when the Bears head to Pittsburgh for Week 3, statistical prowess (or lack thereof) illustrates that the Bears have a fairly substantial advantage over the normally dangerous Pittsburgh Steelers.
Here are five players you should keep an eye on:
Julius Peppers - Defensive End
Peppers has been uncharacteristically quiet over the Bears' first two games. However, he was supposedly suffering from significant flu-like symptoms during the Bears' win over the Minnesota Vikings. The Steelers have already given up seven sacks and lost Maurkice Pouncey for the season to injury. Presuming Peppers is feeling better, he has a golden chance to get on track in Pittsburgh.
Martellus Bennett - Tight End
Bennett's 10 receptions and three touchdowns are enough to garner the Steelers' attention, but the Bears still force you to cover Brandon Marshall -- 15 receptions, two touchdowns -- and Matt Forte. It will be interesting to see what teams do with their coverages if Bennett continues producing as much as Marshall. Marshall has the longer record of success, so expect him to get the double coverage more often, which should give Bennett another chance to shine.
Henry Melton - Defensive Tackle
For much the same reasons as Peppers, Melton could be poised for a breakout against an undermanned Steelers offensive line. The Bears have had two underwhelming performances from the defensive line so far this season. They will be preaching improvement and have a battered offensive line to take it out against.
Charles Tillman/Tim Jennings - Cornerbacks
The Steelers have 75 rushing yards over the first two games -- good for 31st in the NFL. While they haven't had much more success in the passing game (26th), it clearly is the more dangerous of the two offensive options. If Jennings and Tillman continue playing their elite level of coverage, it's hard to see how Ben Roethlisberger is going to be able to move the ball.
Robbie Gould - Kicker
Despite the Steelers' early-season struggles, their defense has not been all-together awful -- especially with Dick LeBeau still coaching them. LeBeau has a knack for confusing blitz schemes and unpredictability. This could be tough for a Bears offense that is still grasping a new system. The Bears have also played two games that required late-game heroics to pull out victories. Additionally, Hines Field is a difficult place to kick field goals because of the swirling wind, meaning a win might require Gould to make a few field goals in less-than-ideal conditions.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears follower. Living in Illinois his entire life has given him an opportunity to closely follow Chicago sports and has allowed him to contribute to Yahoo Sports,Yahoo Voices, and various independent sports blogs. Brian is also a senior in college majoring in creative writing.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Chicago Bears
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Julius Peppers
- Martellus Bennett
- Brandon Marshall