The Bears face another 3-4 defense this weekend at Washington, hoping this Sunday goes the way of their Steelers' meeting -- not the Saints.
"This team plays a little more true 3-4, true double-bubble," Marc Trestman said. "The guards are uncovered and the center is on an island with the nose. New Orleans and Pittsburgh, a little more variation of reductions, which really turns a lot of their fronts into four-down fronts, even though they have linebacker-types playing the outside edges or the end positions. There’s more flexibility you have to have with your protection package to be able to get everybody blocked and take care of the most dangerous rushers."
After a slow start to the season, allowing an NFL-worst 488 yards per game, the Skins have held opponents to 255.5 yards per game over the last two weeks (facing the Raiders and the Cowboys). They are fourth in the league at stopping third down.
"You gotta prepare for a lot of different stuff." Cutler said of Washington's defense on Thursday. "They're going to nickle package, their front four, front seven get some pressure. They'll show different blitzes from their edge and they're veteran secondary does a good job of keeping it in front of them. They don't give up a lot of big plays."
The Redskins defense doesn't give up nearly as many big plays as the Bears have this season (48 passing of 20+ yards or running of 10+ yards) but it is there for the taking. Washington has given up 25 plays of 20 yards or more through the air and on the ground. The Bears hope their stable of offensive weapons can take advantage of the Skins' defensive backs.
"Most defenders are shorter than me so I feel like I have an advantage" Martellus Bennett added. "Whether it's a jump ball or a height advantage alone, it's like Muggsy Bogues posting up against Shaq."
The Bears do not want Sunday's game to go to the wire but if it does, it's good to know that Cutler has been clutch this season. His fourth quarter 115.1 passer rating ranks second in the NFC and fourth in the league. He is also a career 39-25 as the Bears starter, just one win away from tying Ed Brown (1955-61) for most career victories under center since quarterback stats started being kept in 1950.