Bears

Three Bears necessities to a win over the Redskins

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Three Bears necessities to a win over the Redskins

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.

JORDAN RULES

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!]

SPECIAL CONNECTIONS

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." **

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

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USA TODAY

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

The Bears were not at their best against the New England Patriots on Sunday. They made plenty of mistakes on all three phases and gave Tom Brady too many opportunities to control the game.

It wasn’t all bad from Chicago, though. Trey Burton emerged as a new favorite weapon of Mitchell Trubisky, and the tight end was the Bears’ highest-graded player in the game by Pro Football Focus.

Burton had a career high 11 targets, nine catches and 126 yards with a touchdown, giving Trubisky a 144.7 passer rating when targeting his top tight end.

Seven of Burton’s targets and six of his catches traveled 10 or more yards in the air, according to PFF.

Defensively, safety Adrian Amos led the pack with a 74.6 overall grade. He did not miss a tackle after missing a career-high five last week, and he allowed only one catch for eight yards against the Patriots.

On the bottom of the scale, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd received the second-lowest grade of his career (38.9 overall) for his performance. He did not record any pressure on the quarterback in 13 pass rushing snaps, and he allowed two catches for 13 yards and a touchdown in coverage against running back James White.

Wide receiver Allen Robinson had a career-low grade as well at 44.9 overall. He was clearly limited by his groin injury, targeted five times with one catch for four yards and a dropped pass.

Overall, the Bears were able to stick with one of the top teams in the AFC while also leaving a lot of room for improvement. It’s a step in the right direction from where Chicago was in recent seasons.

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

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USA Today

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

Take a look over the NFC landscape and try to find me a team that can compete with the Rams. 

Packers? Held back by Rodgers' knee and Rodgers' coach. Saints? Might not even win their own division. Washington? Does Alex Smith really scare anyone in the playoffs? 

The Rams have one of the easier paths to the Championship Round/Super Bowl that we've seen in some time. Will it likely stay that way? Probably not. But there's a difference between parity and mediocrity and right now the NFC is toeing the line HARD. 

Outside the NFC's "elite", how did your team do this week? 

You can take a look here and see where they landed.