Nov 15, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) passes against the St. Louis Rams during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears meet for the first time since 2011. It will be a reunion of sorts as Jay Cutler and John Fox square off against their former team.
There are plenty of storylines to talk about for this game, but I believe at this point we have heard them all, so there is no need to go any farther. But there is no denying how big of a game this is for both teams.
This week, I got to sit down with Mike “Boomer” Burzawa, who is the assistant editor over at Bear Googles On. We got to talking about the state of the Chicago Bears and the game this Sunday at Solider Field.
I begin by asking him how he got his start at Fansided and what led him to becoming a Bears fan.
“I started with FanSided in December of 2008, a couple of months before the birth of my first child. I was looking for a way to make a few extra bucks to pay for the added expenses and it turned out I had a real passion for writing and have been at it ever since.”
“I have been a Chicago Bears fan since I discovered Walter Payton when I was a little kid in the early 80’s. The 1985 Bears made me a diehard fan for life.”
That is awesome Mike. It is always nice to find a passion for something once you discover it. And who can forget that ’85 Bears team. 15-1 and the Super Bowl Shuffle? Those were some good times in Chi-Town.
Speaking of the Bears, I have heard that they are doing well in these past few weeks. With wins against the Chargers and Rams, they are just one win away from .500 on the season. So, I must ask Mike, what has led to the team’s success?
Nov 9, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Chicago Bears head coach John Fox looks on during the first quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
“I hate to say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but Broncos castoff John Fox and the coaching staff have made a huge difference for the Bears. Fox has brought in a professional coaching staff, which is sort of a novelty here in Chicago.”
“The Bears organization has traditionally hired first time head coaches, who in turn usually bring in inexperienced or washed up coordinators. Fox brought Adam Gase with him and I have to admit, I’ve become a believer in Gase. I thought he was a little more than Peyton Manning’s caddy the last couple of years, but Gase has proven himself to be an excellent coordinator.”
“He seemed to connect with Cutler on some level that no other coordinator has- get Cutler playing better football. Cuter has been taking care of the ball and his pocket presence and footwork appear to be greatly improved.”
“On the other side of the ball, Vic Fangio has done a stellar job turning around one of the worst defenses in the league the last couple of years. There aren’t many big names on the Bears defense; just a lot of rank and file players executing the game plans and playing with sound fundamentals and good technique.”
Well, good to hear that John Fox and the coaching staff are getting things done in the Windy City. For Bears fans, hope he can keep it up.
With John Fox and Adam Gase on the Bears sideline, I asked Mike if he thinks having them will give the Bears an advantage over the Broncos this weekend.
“It’s hard to say that don’t have some sort of advantage- the Bears are 3-0 against the AFC West this season. I think Fox knows how the tendencies of those teams and their strengths and weaknesses and can game plan accordingly.”
“On the flip side, the Broncos know Fox’s tendencies and can look to exploit those. At the end of the day, this will come down to players making plays.”
Agreed Mike, both teams can exploit the strengths and weaknesses. So, the players will be relied upon to make the plays. It will come down to some solid playmaking.
With the Broncos, the defense has proven to play a big part in the Broncos 7-2 start. I asked Mike what he thinks the Bears and Jay Cutler need to do to tame the defense.
“Cutler needs to continue doing what he’s been doing all season- take care of the football! Jay can get impatient if things don’t open up and try to force some throws into minuscule windows. He might be able to get away with that against lesser secondaries, but the Broncos DB’s will make Jay pay.”
“I like what Adam Gase has done for with the offense, getting Jay on the move and allowing him the freedom to check out of plays as the coverage dictates. Look for Matt Forte to return and join rookie Jeremy Langford for a 1-2 punch the Bears haven’t seen in a long time.”
Good point Mike. I noticed during his time in Denver how Cutler would force the play and it would end up badly. I have heard good things about Langford, so it will be interesting if the Broncos can shut him down.
With most predictions, we try to figure out who the X-Factor of the game will be. So, Mike, which player on the Bears roster will play a big part in the game?
Nov 9, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller (86) celebrates after scoring on a 25-yard touchdown reception with 3:19 to play during a 22-19 victory against the San Diego Chargers in a NFL football game at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
“I like journeyman tight end Zach Miller to continue his hot streak, where he’s scored three touchdowns over the last two weeks including the game winner against the Chargers on Monday Night Football and then showing his wheels on an 87-yard catch and run against the St. Louis Rams last week.”
Now we get into the most important part of the article. Okay Mike, what is your final score for this game and do you have any bold predictions?
“This game got a lot more interesting over the course of the last couple weeks with two teams seemingly headed in very different directions. I’m really interested to see how the Broncos look with Brock Osweiler under center. If the Bears defense can keep him unsettled, it will give the Bears offense a chance against a stingy Broncos defense.”
“He’d never admit it, but Fox wants to win this one and prove to Elway that he’s still got it. Foxy rallies the troops to a narrow victory. Bears 19- Broncos 17. My bold prediction is the Bears defense gets a pick six from Kyle Fuller to account for their only touchdown of the game.”
Thank You for taking the time out to talk to me Mike. If you want to see what he or any member of the Bears FanSided crew is up to, you can follow them here at Bear Goggles On. Go Broncos!