1.) Defensive Dominance
The Bears have, somewhat surprisingly, own their first two preseason games. They’ve looked clean and have played with a purpose, something we haven’t seen in a long time. In order to beat the Browns, they need to continue the lockdown defense. The Browns have pretty good running back depth, and a good O-line. The Bears need to hold the run game in check and force them to gain yardage through the air. With Deshaun Watson being suspended for the first 11 games, the backup quarterback’s are looking to prove themselves and earn a chance at a starting spot. If the Bears defensive backs can capitalize on passing mistakes, the Bears can continue their defensive dominance and cruise to a third straight win.
2.) Go Time
Matt Eberflus announced that they are acting as if it were a real game week. In practice and in the first half of Saturday’s game, where most starters will play the full first half. The Bears need to use this to their advantage and attack downfield. With the Browns starters most likely sitting or not playing very long, the Bears can capitalize on a weaker team and move the ball heavily through the air. Same goes for the defense, where they can get pressure consistently and cover the field well against the Browns second and third stringers. Eberflus and his coordinators also need to run a lot of plays similar to their real game-plan. This can help the offense take another step and also assist in a win over the Browns. All in all, the Bears should act as if the first half is a real game with everything on the line to get their starters in the right mindset.
This week, the play calls are going to be very important. With less than three weeks to opening day, the Bears need to be comfortable with the new play book. A common theme of the Nagy Era was being unprepared, whether it was the beginning of the game, coming out of the half, or coming off a long or short week. Eberflus has to change this to become a winning team. If the players understand the play calls and how the offense/defense is run, they can execute well and without mistake. The coaches are all in new positions as well, and a little bit of practice won’t hurt them either. It will also help them beat the Browns as the Bears starters should be able to run circles around the bottom of the Browns depth chart. Getting loose and expanding the plays will help the offense and defense be diverse and help give them an edge over the Browns. If the Bears can effectively run plays and execute on both sides of the ball, especially on defense, they have a sure chance of beating the Browns and extending their win streak to three.