The Chicago Bears are back home in Week 12 looking to get back on track against the Tennessee Titans.
It will be the Bears' first home game since Halloween, as they look to avoid an AFC South sweep with a win over the Titans.
Tennessee is led by QB Marcus Mariota who has been one of the league's best in recent weeks. In his last seven games, Mariota has thrown 19 touchdowns and just three interceptions. In the last two weeks, Mariota has thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions.
The former No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft has been very good in the red zone for Tennessee. That’s where the Bears will have to be at their best on Sunday.
According to Pat Kirwan of Real Football Network, Mariota is fourth in the NFL with a passer rating of 115.2 in the red zone. He trails only Drew Brees, Andrew Luck and Tom Brady in that category.
For Chicago's defense, they will have to look to limit the damage in the red zone and hold Tennessee to field goal attempts.
The Bears enter the game allowing touchdowns on 55 percent of opponent’s drives that enter the red zone. That’s good for 18th best in the NFL this season.
Chicago has been significantly better at home in the red zone, allowing touchdowns on 33 percent of opponent’s possessions in the red zone.
Mariota's red-zone prowess has been evident since he entered the league. In 23 career starts, Mariota has thrown 23 touchdowns and zero interceptions in the red zone.
Can the shorthanded Bears defense step up to the challenge, limiting Mariota in the red zone? They will have to if they want to get their third win of the season.
Other stats of note
- Bears are now 2-8 to start the season for the first time since 2002. They finished that year 4-12.
- The last time the Bears and Titans met was 2012 in Nashville. The Bears won the game 51-14. The 51 points were the eighth-most in franchise history. Chicago leads the all-time series 6-5 and has won four out of the last five meetings between the two teams.
- Matt Barkley will start for the Bears on Sunday in place of the injured Jay Cutler. Barkley has never made a start in the NFL and his last start in football came in 2012 for the USC Trojans.
- Linebacker Jerrell Freeman is the fifth Bears player in the past two seasons to be suspended for violating the league's policy against performance-enhancing drugs. He’s the second Bears player in as many weeks to be busted, as Alshon Jeffery was suspended in Week 11.
- Freeman currently leads all Bears players in tackles with 91. That’s 30 more than the next player on the list, Danny Trevathan, with 61. Freeman is also tied for the team lead with six tackles for loss.
- After finishing 4-of-12 on third downs in Week 11, the Bears are now tied for last in the NFL in third-down efficiency with the Miami Dolphins. Both teams are at 33.3 percent on the season.
- Chicago’s defense is allowing 5.4 yards per carry on rushes up the middle this season. That’s dead last in the NFL.
- Running back Jordan Howard caught just one pass on eight targets in Week 9, dropping a career-high four passes.