This is a matchup that dates back to 1920. Yes that is right, the Decatur Staleys visited the Chicago Cardinals on November 28th, 1920.
A lot has changed in 95 years…
The Staleys became the Chicago Bears in 1922 and the Cardinals left Chicago in 1960 for St. Louis, and then left for Arizona in 1988.
For the Arizona Cardinals, they are coming off a solid Week One win against the New Orleans Saints. It was a game where the defense showed up, and the offense got points when needed. Since moving to Arizona this is only the Cardinals fourth trip to Chicago; with their only win on the road coming in 2009, 41-21.
For the Chicago Bears, they are trying to find themselves in a season of uncertainty. The 2014 season was the worst in ten years, finishing 4th in the NFC North with a 5-11 record. The Bears are trying to find out what the future holds, as they look to get back after losing to the Green Bay Packers, 31-23.
August 30, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) signals at the line of scrimmage against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter in a preseason NFL football game at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
This will be an interesting game for both teams. The Cardinals are easily the more talented team, but when you have such players as Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu, the odds are in your favor. The Bears should not be discounted though; they are coached by John Fox, who will have them grind to find a way to win.
One thing that is helping the Cardinals is the Chicago secondary is depleted, which means the defensive line will need to step up and try to pressure Cardinals’ quarterback Carson Palmer early and often. With both Jared Allen and former-Arizona State defensive lineman Will Sutton blitzing Palmer, it could create big opportunities for the Cardinals to go deep down the field. The Bruce Arians’ lead team loves to go deep, with six touchdowns of 75-yards or more, and this game could feature one of those deep bombs.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bears will be facing the hottest quarterback in the NFL and running back who is getting a second chance he never thought would come. Chris Johnson was shot in a drive-by earlier this year, and thought he may never return to football. Lucky for both the Cardinals and Johnson, he is back and will be the starter as Andre Ellington suffered a PCL sprain in the Cardinals win last week. Chicago will need to stop Johnson and Palmer in order to get back to winning.
Sep 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) runs against Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Julius Peppers (56) during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears will try a control the time of possession, trying to keep the game close. The only problem with this is the Bears’ quarterback, Jay Cutler, is known for making dumb plays late in games. The Bears have a great running back in Matt Forte, who will try to not only get yards via the run, but can work the screen play as well as any. Chicago are facing the possibility of being without wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who is listed as questionable for this game, which could be a huge loss for the Bears.
The key for the Cardinals is to stop Forte. The team struggled stopping the Saints screen plays last week, with nearly 150 yards, but was able to hold the Saints’ running backs on the ground, to only 54 yards. If the Cardinals can limit Forte’s potent abilities, they could have a great advantage to go 2-0.
The bottom line to this game is that the Cardinals are the better team, they have the talent to win this game, but the Bears will not go down without a fight. Look for it to be a battle and the Cardinals to come out on top, 25-10.