HOGS IN THE SLOP
Rain. Slick track. Turf chewed up. Capital punishment. The 170 rushing yards a week ago didn't provide the desired result. But that's not why the Bears lost. Make it matter this week. It'll be a challenge without Martellus Bennett, but if Jermon Bushrod is needed as a sixth offensive lineman, so be it. Washington (124 yards a game) is not much stingier than San Francisco against the run. Fire up Forte and Langford and dare D.C. to stop them like the "Hogs" in the early 80s did in front of John Riggins. Rookie Hroniss Grasu will have to find ways to win against Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton up front.
Shea McClellin said Friday that third-year tight end Jordan Reed is basically another wide receiver in Washington's offense, and considering DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon are pretty good, that's a challenge. Whether it's McClellin, Jonathan Anderson, Christian Jones or a safety pickup, Reed has become Kirk Cousins' top target. He's already established career-highs of 58 catches, 574 yards and six touchdowns. That after catching nine for 134 two years ago against the Bears as a rookie.
[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]
Washington special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica learned the ropes under the legendary Mike Westhoff with the Jets but his unit has ranked consistently in the top-10 all season. Prior to that, he was a die-hard Bears fan growing up in Tinley Park, playing at Andrew High School. He was recruited by Army and would fly a helicopter for over 1,000 combat hours in Iraq. He leads a group that includes Bears 2014 "training camp leg" Tress Way, who never stood a chance against Patrick O'Donnell, then out-punted the Bears sixth-round pick in D.C. as a rookie. He's left-footed, so that adds a twist. Then there's Rashad Ross, who returned five kicks for the Bears in last year's revolving door before Marc Mariani's arrival. He and Andre Roberts have each returned a kickoff for a touchdown for Washington this season.
** Get ready for Sunday's game on Comcast SportsNet at 11 a.m. when ex-Bears Dan Jiggetts, Lance Briggs and Jim Miller join Chris on "Bears Pregame Live." As soon as the second quarter ends, log on here on CSNChicago.com as Jim and Chris break down the first thirty minutes and go over second half adjustments on "Bears Halftime Live." Then as soon as the game goes final on Fox, flip back to the three former Bears and Chris on Comcast SportsNet for 90 minutes of reaction, analysis, postgame press conferences and locker room interviews on "Bears Postgame Live." **