ROOKIE RUNNER RESPONSE
This Rams team is pretty much a one-trick pony, but Todd Gurley's a pretty impressive thoroughbred. Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of his torn ACL at Georgia, and the rookie and his teammates will want to celebrate his recuperative powers accordingly. The Bears defense that hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown the last six games will certainly be tested to keep that streak going. It'll be up to the patched-up offensive line to continue holding up against its toughest test yet. The Rams are second in the NFL in sacks (27 from 14 different players) so in order to minimize those possibilities, establishing Jeremy Langford and having his numbers counter the potential Gurley damage, to a degree, can take yet another game into the fourth quarter, and keep giving these Bears a fighting chance.
MAKE THEIR QUARTERBACK BEAT YOU
Remember when Nick Foles came to the rescue for the Eagles two years ago, throwing 27 touchdowns to just two interceptions. The Tom Petty lookalike's touchdown-to-interception ratio has been Free Fallin' since: 13/10 last year and 7/5 this season. After throwing for 297 yards in a season-opening overtime win against Seattle, he hasn't reached 200 yards passing since. Kenny Britt is second in the league in yards-per-reception (20.7), but has caught just 15 passes. Tight end Jared Cook has 20 catches. It's uncertain whether Wes Welker plays after signing on Monday, hoping he'll help keep the offense on the field with their league-worst third down conversion rate (23.8), including 4-for-the-last-37.
[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
The most dangerous weapon outside of Gurley is Tavon Austin, who's finally getting used as he should be after being drafted eighth overall two years ago. His rushing/receiving splits are almost the middle on those 53 touches, combining for over 500 yards and six touchdowns. He scored on a reverse when the Bears lost in St. Louis in 2013. But the biggest danger this time around is Austin's punt return abilities. He took one to the house against the Seahawks, and we know the Bears' coverage struggles all too well, as they look to avoid becoming just the 16th team to allow four kick return touchdowns in a season.
Get ready for Sunday's game at 11 a.m. on Comcast SportsNet when Dan Jiggetts, Lance Briggs, Jim Miller and Chris Boden set you up on Bears Pregame Live. As soon as the second quarter ends, log on to CSNChicago.com as Miller and Boden break down the first half and go over adjustments on Bears Halftime Live. Then as soon as the game goes final on CBS, flip back to CSN as the three ex-Bears and Boden bring you 90 minutes of reaction, analysis, live press conferences and locker room interviews on Bears Postgame Live.