Game Scout: Bears-Redskins

Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Chicago Bears (4-2) at Washington Redskins (1-4)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Georgia Dome, Atlanta - TV: FOX
*TV announcers: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
*Keys to the game: Redskins RB Alfred Morris showed signs of breaking out of an early season funk last week with a 45-yard touchdown run. He averages 114.2 rushing yards per game at home in his young career and Washington will follow the lead of the New York Giants in attacking the Bears up the gut, where injuries, inexperience and missed tackles combine to cause repeat implosions. QB Robert Griffin III said this week he plans to run more, viewing the threat of his mobility as a key ingredient to the offense. The Bears are eighth in red-zone defense, but are pliable without a dominant pass rush. QB Jay Cutler and WR Brandon Marshall, each of whom started for Washington coach Mike Shanahan in Denver, are Chicago's headliners but RB Matt Forte is fourth in the league in yards from scrimmage in an offense that spreads it around to strain a defense. TE Martellus Bennett and WR Alshon Jeffery, like Forte, have between 29-33 catches.
*Matchup to watch - Bears LB Jonathan Bostic vs. Redskins FB Darrel Young -- Young leads for Morris while Bostic, in his first NFL start, will be the target of Washington's game plan. He has shown the ability to arrive quickly and make big hits, but also the penchant for the wrong run fits, which could be his grave marker against the read option.
*Player spotlight - Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall: He shut down Cowboys stud WR Dez Bryant and tied an NFL record with four INTs of Cutler the last time the teams played in 2010. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett loves to blitz, leaving Hall and the rest of the suspect secondary in single coverage.
*Fast facts: The Bears have not allowed a fourth-quarter touchdown this season. Washington has 36 fourth-quarter points, most in any quarter. ... Jeffery has 16 receptions -- with a 22.2-yard average -- in the past three games.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan understands Jay Cutler's pressure points as well as anyone, but the pupil takes the upper hand on the merit of his well-rounded supporting cast to spare Chicago's up-and-down defense.
*Our pick: Bears 32-24

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