The best case scenario
The Bears play like they did in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons, only without those two blown coverages and drops near/in the end zone. This means Mike Glennon doesn’t turn the ball over and tries to stretch the field a bit with Markus Wheaton back. And if Glennon can successfully complete some deep balls, perhaps it opens up more opportunities for Jordan Howard to get to the second level of the Steelers’ defense and break off a couple of explosive runs.
Here’s where it’s worth noting Ben Roethlisberger’s home/road splits from 2016, too:
Home: 70.8 completion percentage, 20 TDs, 5 INTs, 116.7 rating
Road: 59.4 completion percentage, 9 TDs, 8 INTs, 78.4 rating
If last year’s road Roethlisberger shows up, the Bears could have a chance to keep things close, as they did against Atlanta. It’ll come down to whichever team makes the fewest mistakes, and if the Bears can eliminate turnovers on offense and special teams and avoid allowing big-chunk plays on defense, they could have another chance to win at the end of the game. And if they do, they can’t afford more drops near or in the end zone.
The worst-case scenario
This starts with Glennon turning the ball over and, like last week, the game effectively being out of reach by halftime against a team eyeing a playoff run. Pittsburgh is likely to load the box against Howard and the Bears running game until Glennon proves he can stretch the field, and if he can’t, it could be another long day for last year’s second-leading rusher in the NFL.
The Bears’ defense may have success rendering ineffective Le’Veon Bell — who’s averaging only 3.2 yards per carry in two games — but the Antonio Brown/Martavis Bryant/JuJu Smith-Schuster trio presented a difficult challenge for the secondary. That challenge will become even more difficult if the defense has to deal with sudden-change and short-field situations.
Prediction: Steelers 31, Bears 16