Week 3 Nuts & Bolts: Rams at Bears
ST. LOUIS RAMS at CHICAGO BEARSWhen: Noon, Sunday | TV: Fox, Ch. 32, WFLD-TV | RADIO: 780 AM, WBBM & 105.9 FM
CHICAGO BEARS (1-1)
Coach: Lovie Smith Record including playoffs: 72-58
Career head-to-head record (including playoffs) vs. Jeff Fisher: 1-1 | Career record vs. Rams: 3-0
Last week: Lost to Packers 23-10
Key stat: With seven takeaways, the Bears are tied for the NFL lead after three games with four interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Since Smith became head coach of the Bears in 2004, the club leads the NFL in takeaways and has compiled a record of 43-9 over that span when they finish a game on the positive side of turnover margin.
Offense rank in 2011: 27th (298 ypg) | Defense rank: (338.5 ypg).
Offensive leader: Although several factors play a role in pressure such (receivers, the defense, shoddy blocking, etc.), the fact is Jay Cutler has been under pressure 44.4 percent of the time, which is the most in the NFL. That pressure has been tremendously detrimental to
Cutler’s accuracy as he’s completed just 39.1 percent of his throws under those conditions, which ranks among the bottom three quarterbacks in the league.
Defensive leader: CB Tim Jennings has picked off a career-high three passes so far, but what has gone unnoticed this season is how difficult it’s been for opponents to throw against him. Opposing
quarterbacks have generated a passer rating of 19.7 on throws targeted at Jennings’ coverage area, according to Pro Football Focus. As a run defender, Jennings hasn’t yet missed a tackle this season.
ST.LOUIS RAMS (1-1)
Coach Jeff Fisher: Record including playoffs 148-124
Career record vs. Smith: 1-1 | Career record vs. Bears: 1-3
Last week: Defeated the Washington Redskins 31-28
Key stat: Overcame a 15-point deficit against the Redskins to come away with a 31-28 win. Before then, the Rams hadn’t overcome a deficit that large since Nov. 27, 2005, when they came back from 21 down to beat the Houston Texans in overtime.
Offense rank in 2011: 18th (351 ypg). | Defense rank: 24th (401 ypg).
Defensive leader: Coming off a breakout season in 2011 in which he posted 13 sacks, Rams DE Chris Long is still looking for his first sack of 2012. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t wreaked havoc so far this season. Long tallied three pressures in St. Louis’ opener against the Detroit Lions, and five more last week in the win over the Redskins. He’s also got four quarterback hits on the season.
history have accomplished 1,000 yards in seven or more consecutive seasons. That list includes Barry Sanders, Curtis Martin, Emmitt Smith, Eric Dickerson, Thurman Thomas and LaDanian Tomlinson.