A great day coming for Bears' offense

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A great day coming for Bears' offense

Things couldnt be going any better for the Chicago Bears, or could they?
After a big come-from-behind victory over the Carolina Panthers last weekend, the Bears' offense gets to face one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Tennessee is ranked 30th in the NFL in overall defense. The Titans have been giving up yardage and points at an awful rate. Opponents have piled up over 412 yards a game and have been scoring on the Titans to the tune of 32.1 points per game.
It bodes well for the Bears, as wide receiver Alshon Jeffery continues to heal from his broken hand. The Bears wont need Jeffery as Tennessee offers the Bears a great opportunity to build some offensive momentum prior to facing tough defenses in Houston and San Francisco.
Everyone is still complaining about Jay Cutler being sacked 25 times on the season. Those sacks are not all the offensive lines responsibility, as two of them last weekend were directly on Cutler holding the ball too long. Tennessee is ranked 28th in the NFL with just 11 sacks. They signed Oakland Raider free agent DE Kameron Wimbley to beef up their pass rush this offseason, which has had little impact so far. Protecting Jay Cutler should not be an issue against the Titans.
Running the football should also not be a problem for the Bears. Tennessee is one of the worst defenses at stopping the run as well. They are ranked 28th, giving up 140 yards per game. The Titans are a terrible tackling team, especially when defenders are isolated in space. For example, plays like bubble screens to Devin Hester have gashed Tennessee for huge yardage because one-on-one defenders can't tackle in space. If running backs Matt Forte or Michael Bush cant get 100 yards against this sorry group, Ill shave my goatee for the next Bears Postgame Live.
It should be a good weekend for the Bears offensively as they move the football through the air and on ground, while also moving their record to 7-1.

Honda Road Ahead: Cubs offense looks to build off showing against Clayton Kershaw

Honda Road Ahead: Cubs offense looks to build off showing against Clayton Kershaw

CSN's Kelly Crull and analyst Dave Otto discuss the upcoming matchups and Kyle Schwarber's slump in this edition of the Cubs Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland & NW Indiana Honda Dealers.

The Cubs haven't received any California love so far on their six-game road trip. 

At Dodger Stadium this weekend, the North Siders were swept away in three games that were never really close. And, now, Joe Maddon's club must regroup on the fly as they head to San Diego to open a three-game set with the Padres. 

If it's any consolation prize, the Cubs' bats did show signs of life against three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw on Sunday. They roughed him up for 11 hits and four earned runs. 

"I liked the at-bats that the Cubs had against Kershaw and the Dodgers today," Dave Otto said following the Cubs' 9-4 loss in the series finale. 

To salvage a decent road trip, the offense has to find some sort of consistent groove. The lineup was shutout twice in Los Angeles. 

Watch the video above to hear Kelly Crull and Dave Otto break down the upcoming series and the slumping order. 

 

Jon Lester vs. Clayton Kershaw doesn’t live up to expectations as Dodgers sweep Cubs

Jon Lester vs. Clayton Kershaw doesn’t live up to expectations as Dodgers sweep Cubs

LOS ANGELES – In a Cubs season that has already gone off script – or at least not followed the dynasty-in-waiting narrative – it made perfect sense that a Jon Lester vs. Clayton Kershaw matchup at Dodger Stadium would devolve into a slugfest and a bullpen battle.

Randy Newman’s voice – “I Love L.A.” – blasted from the sound system late Sunday afternoon as the Dodgers put the finishing touches on a three-game sweep of the defending World Series champs. The Cubs led for one half-inning during this entire weekend and will wake up in San Diego on Memorial Day as a 25-24 team.

This 9-4 blowout again showed that the Dodgers should be a force in October. Forget about the way forward-thinking manager Dave Roberts basically tried to MacGyver his way through last year’s National League Championship Series with three pitchers – Kershaw, lefty curveball specialist Rich Hill and star closer Kenley Jansen.

“That’s the big separator between what I saw last year and right now – how they’re pitching,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.

It didn’t matter that Kershaw got knocked out in the middle of the fifth inning after Willson Contreras, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo launched home runs and the Cubs generated 11 hits off the three-time Cy Young Award winner.

Kershaw still outlasted Lester, who dropped his head, stared at the grass and walked off the mound with one out and two runners on in the fourth inning. The Cubs had earlier fallen into a 6-1 deficit after Lester gave up two three-run homers to Cody Bellinger and Kike Hernandez.

In back-to-back shutouts, the Dodgers (31-20) had already beaten a Cy Young Award winner dealing with questions about his velocity and looming free agency (Jake Arrieta) and a three-time World Series champion who’s 38 years old and now has a 5.18 ERA (John Lackey).

“It’s always tougher the second time, because everybody’s gunning for you,” said Ben Zobrist, who should be back in the lineup on Monday after missing two games with a sore left wrist. “Your expectations are even higher than they were before.

“But this team is definitely equal to the task. That’s not the problem as much as we just got to get back to the fundamentals and execution of the little details in the game. And everything else kind of takes care of itself.”