Keys for Bears offense vs. Rams in Week 1

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The Chicago Bears will face the Los Angeles Rams to open the 2021 season, which marks the fourth consecutive year they’ve met on prime time. There’s not a lot of faith in the Bears to pull off an upset, but no game is unwinnable.

While the Bears defense has its own concerns at cornerback, the biggest question mark is once again how Chicago’s starting offense will look when it takes the field Sunday night. After all, we don’t really know what to expect, given the limited preseason action and how not all starters were playing.

As the Bears prepare for face the Rams, here’s what Chicago’s offense needs to do to get going against Los Angeles’ defense in Week 1.

Establish a balanced attack

AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton

If the Bears are going to find success on offense, they need to establish a balanced attack, which starts with getting the run game going with David Montgomery. With the Rams' high-powered offense, the key is keeping them off the field and eating up as much clock as possible while moving the ball consistently. With Matt Nagy back calling plays, he can't abandon the run game as quickly as we've seen in the past. Chicago is also going to need to take their shots in the passing game, which is easier said than done with Jalen Ramsey in the secondary. But with Ramsey likely to shadow Allen Robinson, that should open up things for Darnell Mooney and Marquise Goodwin.

Limit the mistakes

Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

This is the kind of matchup where the Bears offense cannot afford to commit mistakes that will make things even more difficult on them. That starts with protecting the football and not giving the Rams' offense more opportunities to drive the score up. Andy Dalton needs to be smart with the football, as does the rest of the offense. But it's also about limiting the silly mistakes like the kind of penalties that can kill drives, especially on an offensive line that's still building that chemistry. If the Bears stand any chance of winning this game, they need to play near-flawless football. That means no turnovers, no penalties, no dropped passes, no poor clock management, etc. Sounds simple enough, right?

Do your bet to limit Aaron Donald

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Let's get one thing clear: the Bears offensive line is not going to be able to stop Aaron Donald. Even some of the best offensive lines can't do it. But Chicago is going to need to do their best to contain the most dominant defensive player in football if their offense hopes to accomplish anything on Sunday night, which includes employing double-teams and getting a strong push from their interior linemen. When you look back at how the Bears were able to contain Donald in 2018 -- where he was held to just 1 QB hit and no sacks, there were a couple of factors that played a role -- getting the run game going and keeping the score close, which was a result of Chicago's success on the ground. Which brings us back to a previous key noted above: the importance of establishing the run in a balanced attack. If you do that, you can limit Donald's impact. [listicle id=480262] [listicle id=480244] [listicle id=480290]

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