Gridiron Gab Week Nine Preview – Chicago at Tennessee

The Titans have a tough matchup at home Sunday, as they play host to Jay Cutler and the 6-1 Chicago Bears, who boast the best scoring D in the NFL.

The Bears on offense want to make up for their poor showing last week vs the Panthers, as they leaned on the D to rally them from a deficit to get a win on the final play.

As it stands today, the Bears rank 26th in total yards (319.6) and 30th in passing (195.6). Its defense is responsible for 41 of the team’s 185 points.

The Bears scored their only touchdown on the first drive of a 13-7 win over Detroit on Oct. 22. They found the end zone in the first quarter last Sunday but struggled the next two before rallying from 12 down in the fourth for a 23-22 victory over lowly Carolina.

Chicago totaled 506 yards while Cutler was sacked 11 times in those contests.

“I don’t think you can hit the panic button offensively,” Cutler said. “We just need to keep getting better. We have to keep looking at our mistakes, keep improving.”

Cutler ranks 23rd with a 78.9 passer rating, but his fourth-quarter rating of 132.0 is the best in the NFL. He had 80 passing yards heading into the final period against the Panthers before he went 12 of 14 for 106 yards and a TD.

The Titans have a player who knows all about the Bears in veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck, who with the Seahawks played Chicago plenty of times.

He and the Titans fell to 2-2 at home after blowing a seven-point fourth quarter lead in a 19-13 overtime loss to Indianapolis last Sunday.

The Titans ran 59 offensive plays compared to 76 for the Colts, who used a 14-play, 80-yard drive to force overtime and marched another 80 on nine plays for the win.

It was a frustrating result for a club that looked to win three straight and reach .500 for the first time in 2012.

“You’re 3-5, that’s not good enough,” coach Mike Munchak said. “Frustration, it means work your way through it, and let’s find a way to turn this around and get to 5-5. Find a way to become a better player and a better team.”

Munchak also has to deal with some internal squabbling.

Receiver Kenny Britt wants the Titans to throw downfield more even though they rank near the top of the league with 30 attempts of more than 20 yards.

Meanwhile, tight end Jared Cook reportedly wants to be traded despite being tied for second on the team with 28 catches for 373 yards and two TDs.

The Titans have a lot to play for here as they look to get to 4-5, and this is a classic trap game for Chicago. Look for Hasselbeck to make some plays, and for the Titans to get a big upset over the Bears.

Tennessee 14 Chicago 10



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