The Chicago Bears are still a bit of an unknown with new head coach John Fox now at the helm. Fox is known as a conservative coach and we’ll have to see how that continues to jive with the non-conservative Jay Cutler. Cutler has been a turnover machine during his tenure in Chicago and that could play right into the hands of the Arizona Cardinals defense.
In last week's 31-23 loss against the Green Bay Packers, Cutler avoided the big mistakes but his performance wasn't overwhelmingly good. In total, Cutler completed 18 of 36 passes for one touchdown and one interception. Furthermore, Cutler's touchdown came with the game essentially out of reach late in the fourth quarter.
Offensively for Arizona, QB Carson Palmer and company should find room to move the ball against a lackluster Bears defense. The unit lacks a true dominate defender so if Arizona can stay balanced on offense, things should bode well for a Cardinals victory.
Despite the loss of RB Andre Ellington, Chris Johnson and David Johnson are capable of picking up the slack on the ground. Chris Johnson looked serviceable in relief of Ellington last week (10 carries for 37 yards) while David Johnson made the most of his one offensive touch (one reception for 55 yards and a touchdown).
If the Arizona run game can find some sort of success, look for wideouts John Brown, Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd to find some holes in the Bears secondary. Additionally, don't sleep on TE Darren Fells who broke out a week ago to the tune of four catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.
Bears player to watch: RB Ka'Deem Carey
Folks in the desert will be awfully familiar with Carey, thanks to his college career as an Arizona Wildcat. Carey takes a backseat to Matt Forte in the limelight, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see Carey make a big jump this year. Fox is known for mixing things up at running back which should open the door to more opportunities for Carey.
The Cardinals will need to limit the success of both Carey and Forte while forcing Cutler into his customary mistakes to pull this win out this road win. We expect a handful of Cutler turnovers forced by the Cardinals ball-hawking secondary to be the difference.
Saties Tyrann Mathieu, Deone Bucannon, Tony Jefferson and Rashad Johnson are all poised for a big game and likely licking their chops to face the mistake-prone Cutler.
Prediction: Cardinals 27 Bears 23
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