It seems it will only be a matter of time before all the talent Jacksonville has amassed through the draft in recent years, and free agency this past offseason, comes together into a winning formula. After an 0-3 start of their own, has that tide begun to turn, beginning with their win over the Colts in Week 4 in London? The Jaguars are an NFL-worst 1-16 since the start of 2014 in enemy stadiums. If the Bears become that second victim Sunday, a 1-7 record heading into their bye week appears likely.
1. Keep laundry in the locker room
Averaging six penalties over the first four games is a fairly acceptable average, pending timing. Ten for 80 yards last week in Indy was not, especially considering seven of those came on offense, inside the Colts' 40-yard line. That meant Brian Hoyer missing an open Alshon Jeffery in the end zone simply prevented what would have been a lucky win, based on all the yellow flags preceding that final gasp. The last one was a Bobby Massie hold on 3rd-and-5 from the Colts' 25. Speaking of which...
2. Massie missing
The early returns on one of Ryan Pace's priorities in his second turn through free agency have not been encouraging. Yes, the offensive line as a whole should have completed its "Getting to Know You" process with five straight games together, and they've allowed just three sacks the last three games. The right tackle has struggled against speed rushers, as various scouting reports and game film showed back in March. Held out of practice Friday with a sore ankle, he's now questionable to play against two rookies who've combined for five sacks, lining up primarily of the Jags' left edge, Dante Fowler Jr. and Yannick Ngakoue. Even if backup Mike Adams has to step in, the situation may scream for extra blocking help regardless.
[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
3. Third party
When the Bears have the ball, this game "features" their No. 29-ranked third down offense (30.9) against Jacksonville's No. 29-ranked third-down defense (opponents averaging 45.6 percent success). And when that Jaguars offense that has some weapons (including a pair of 1,000-yard receivers last season) has the ball, they're converting just 28.6 percent on third down, worst in the league. So as the Bears defense must keep that trend going, how about giving Jordan Howard and Ka`Deem Carey more than 17 combined rushes, as they were held to last week in a one-possession game throughout, despite averaging 6.6 yards per rush? At least until you're consistently stopped by a middle-of-the-pack run defense, paired with a seventh-rated pass defense.
Count down toward Sunday's noon kickoff on CBS by joining Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Jim Miller and Chris Boden for Bears Pregame Live at 11 a.m. on CSN. As soon as the second quarter ends, log on here at CSNChicago.com as Miller and Boden break down the first 30 minutes and go over adjustments on Bears Halftime Live. Then, when the game ends, immediately flip back to CSN for 90 minutes of reaction, analysis, live press conferences and locker room interviews on Bears Postgame Live.