There are a number of great games today, but one that is circled on my schedule is tonight's matchup between the Chicago Bears and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bears are looking to get off to a truly solid 3-0 start while the Steelers are just trying to get in the game and avoid 0-3.
These two teams are heading opposite directions from similar starting points. Both teams feature solid franchise quarterbacks behind mediocre offensive lines, and both teams have solid defensive units.
Here's where the differences start. The Bears are running a new, high energy offensive attack that hopes to fully utilize Jay Cutler's ability to throw the football. The Pittsburgh Steelers are trying to run the football, which in turn limits Ben Roethlisberger's opportunities to make big plays.
That's where the Steelers have gone wrong.
To this point, the Steelers' offense has been one of the worst in the league, better only than the Jacksonville Jaguars' unit. The Bears, on the other hand, have appeared completely competent in their offensive attack.
Now, with 0-3 staring them in the face, the Steelers will need to change their offensive attack against the Bears. Chicago features a solid defensive unit that has the ability to set up its offense in great position to score. If that happens more than once or twice, the Steelers could be done.
Instead, the Steelers need to attack the Bears by throwing in something that the Bears aren't expecting. Instead of running the ball and relying on Big Ben to bail the Steelers out on third down, let Roethlisberger air it out on first and second down. Basically, it's time for the Steelers to throw the kitchen sink at the problem.
These two teams are on opposite ends of the NFL spectrum. At this point, the Bears are attempting to cement their position as a front-runner of the NFC while the Steelers are just trying to stay relevant.