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Jeff Ardito - Dean's Team Listing Specialist!

The Bears play their second consecutive road game against a tough opponent when they visit the Carolina Panthers this Sunday.  Both teams enter the game at 1-0 and feature a good defense.  A strong defensive line that features two large defensive tackles leads the Panthers.  Panthers' Pro-bowl defensive end, Julius Peppers will be sure to test Bears' left tackle Jon St. Clair in the passing game which will be ineffective if the Bears cannot run the football effectively.

The Bear defense played with a tremendous amount of intensity last week against the Colts and should they come out and play this way again the results should be similar.  The Panthers do feature two running backs with different styles of running.  HB DeAngelo Williams is a shifty back with game-breaking speed; while rookie back, Jonathan Stewart, is a more physical back with good speed too.  Panthers' QB, Jake Delhomme is back from Tommy John surgery on this right elbow and played really well last week against the San Diego Chargers.  Delhomme is a savvy veteran who played a big role in defeating the Bears in the 2005 playoff season.

The Bears will have to control the line of scrimmage and runt the ball effectively to manage the game clock in their favor.  If the Bears run effectively, their play-action passing attack will benefit immensely and also allow the Bears to take time off the clock and allow their defense to rest.  This will be a key component since the weather forecast has temperatures possibly in the mid-90's for the game.

This game points to a battle that will be decided in the fourth quarter and will certainly be predicated on ball control and probably the team with the least amount of penalties and turnovers will prevail.  It would be huge for the Bears to go 2-0 and then come home for two games.


Posted: Saturday, September 13, 2008 12:49 PM by Dean's Team


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