Bears Will Hand Titans Their First Defeat

Yes, we'll just get this outta the way immediately, before all the polite commenters tell me what I already know: I'm a Bears homer.

Here's what else I know:

1. The Titans aren't really playing for much. Does it benefit them to head into Weeks 15, 16, and 17 undefeated -- look at their schedule after this game -- and have to decide whether or not to try and go undefeated or rest the starters to avoid injury? The Patriots went for broke last year. While they didn't get anyone hurt, they showed their hand to the Giants in Week 17, aggressively going for the win. Maybe the Super Bowl would have turned out differently for the Pats had they lost a game earlier in the season and just rested starters in Week 17.

Someone won every regular season game last year, so it's not like they are shattering some long-standing record. The prize for the Titans is a Super Bowl Championship. Jeff Fisher knows this. I'm not saying they won't play to win. I'm just saying the Bears have a lot more riding on this game. The AFC South is already virtually locked up for Tennessee, and they're playing on the road.

2. The Bears can set up the play-action for Rex Grossman. Look, there's a huge stigma attached to Grossman, but one thing he does really well is throw off a good playaction. The Bears won't be able to run up the middle because of Albert Haynesworth, but with Kyle Vanden Bosch banged up, they can run the stretch plays or off-tackle-type runs with some good success. Matt Forte has the footwork and cutting ability to gain small chunks of yardage as needed. This will set up a play-action pass where Grossman can stand comfortably in the pocket and go through his series of reads. This is when he's at his best.

3. The Bears are going to stack the box and make Kerry Collins beat them. The Bears rank 6th in the NFL in rushing defense, and they'll know the key to stopping the Titans offense will be to bottle up LenDale White and Chris Johnson. The way to run against the Bears is to beat them to the outside with speed, so Johnson is the one to worry about. Expect to see a safety walked up for the majority of plays, whether it's Mike Brown or Kevin Payne, in order to force the speedy rookie back to the middle. The Bears have been passed upon rather easily this season, but corners Nathan Vasher and Charles Tillman have been banged up. Both should be ready to go full-throttle this weekend, and the Titans don't have any receivers who could outplay either one of them.

4. This is the week Devin Hester finally takes one to the house on special teams. Not really much else to say here. He's due and the Titans coverage units are suspect.

5. Jeff Fisher still has a soft spot for Da Bears. I kid. Or do I?

6. Barack Obama is a Bears fan. It's just his week, why would the game Sunday be any different?

You'll see. The Bears will knock the Titans from the unbeaten pedestal, and it will help the Titans down the stretch. You can thank my boys later, Tennessee fans.

Bears Will Hand Titans Their First Defeat originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Sat, 08 Nov 2008 17:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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