The Bears are underdogs at home today with the Tennessee Titans coming to Chicago. But while Tennessee is the NFL's only undefeated team, the Titans are beatable, and the Bears can be the team to pull it off. Here's how:
Stack the line of scrimmage and force Kerry Collins to pass.
Since taking over for Vince Young in Week 2, Collins has received a lot of praise in the media, as quarterbacks of undefeated teams always do. But the truth is, Collins is not the reason the Titans are unbeaten. He's actually having a rather mediocre season: He has not yet thrown for even 200 yards in any game, he has just three touchdown passes, and the advanced stats at Football Outsiders rank him as the 19th best quarterback in the league.
The Titans' running game is stellar, with both Chris Johnson and LenDale White having big years, but if the Bears sell out to stop the run, Collins will be forced to do something he hasn't done yet this season: Win a game with his arm.
Make LenDale White fumble.
Last year White fumbled five times, the third-most of any running back in the league. He hasn't fumbled at all this season, but that can't last forever. Bears coach Lovie Smith preaches the importance of forcing turnovers, and linebacker Lance Briggs showed on Sunday against the Lions that he knows how to jar the ball loose. Briggs needs to do it again when White gets the ball.
Don't take chances in the passing game -- no matter who the quarterback is.
Kyle Orton says he hopes to play despite an ankle injury, although Rex Grossman is more likely to get the start at quarterback for the Bears. But no matter who plays, the Titans have the best pass defense in the league, and the Bears' passing attack just isn't equipped to attack it downfield. The Bears' best chance of moving the ball effectively through the air is to do it with short passes to running back Matt Forte.
Run the ball to the left.
Breaking down the Titans' run defense reveals something fascinating: They're good at stopping runs to the middle and to the right, but they're the worst team in the league at stopping runs against their right defensive end. Kyle Vanden Bosch, the Titans' starting right defensive end, has been hobbled all season and will likely miss the Bears game, and Dave Ball will start in his place. The Bears need to run it left -- right at Ball.
Get a big play on special teams.
After having the best special teams in the league the last couple of years, the Bears are thoroughly mediocre in the kicking game this year, and Devin Hester still hasn't broken a long return. Sunday could be the day he finally does it, as the Titans' kickoff and punt coverage are among the worst in the league.
The Titans are a good football team -- but not, despite their perfect record, a great one. The Bears can win on Sunday.