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Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears Preview


Welcome to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears Preview! This is your one stop shop for everything you need to know about the Steelers and their upcoming opponent! Mike Drakulich of Pittsburgh SportsNation brings you inside the huddle for both teams, provides a game outlook, score prediction, individual stats, team stats, Fantasy Football impact, the most up-to-date injury report, and even the weather at kickoff! The only thing you’re missing is a game uniform!


A look at the Pittsburgh Steelers!


Overall Record: 2-0

Head Coach: Mike Tomlin (11th Season with Steelers)

Overall Regular Season Record: 105-57 (.648)

Playoff Record: 8-6 (Qualified for playoffs 7 times)

2017 Pittsburgh Steelers Roster

Last Game: Steelers 26 Vikings 9

 

Breakdown of the Steelers 

Quarterback- Ben Roethlisberger leads a power offense that can beat you via the ground or the air. Big Ben has been outstanding on home, but has struggled to put up the same numbers on the road the past few seasons.

Running Backs- Le’Veon Bell is the best all-around back in the NFL, with much respect to David Johnson. Bell can kill you on the ground with his speed and elusiveness. He is patient, often delaying a second to find the hole to burst through. Bell is also dangerous out of the backfield as a pass catcher. James Conner will spell Bell from time to time.

Wide Receivers- Antonio Brown is considered one of the best receivers in the game. You can count on five catches for at least 50 yards every week at a minimum. This wideout group is extremely deep and talented. Martavis Bryant is back from suspension and is a deep threat on every play with his size and speed. Eli Rogers is excellent from the slot. Justin Hunter has superior speed and is also a deep threat. Rookie Juju Schuster-Smith is looking to make his mark in the NFL in his first season. Darrius Heyward-Bey is mainly used on special teams, but is a reliable player when called upon in the passing game.

Tight Ends- Jesse James is the starter and becoming one of Roethlisberger’s favorite targets around the endzone. Vance McDonald is a big target that can make splash plays for Roethlisberger across the middle and inside the redzone. Xavier Grimble is also a nice target for Ben inside the 10 yard line.

Defense- The Steeler defense is primed for an awakening in 2017. On the 3-4 defensive line, it’s Cam Heyward, Javon Hargrave, and Stephon Tuitt. Daniel McCullers will rotate with Hargrave. Should Tuitt or Heyward go down, Tyson Alualu or L.T. Walton would step in.

At linebacker, rookie TJ Watt starts at OLB, with Ryan Shazier and Vince Williams in the middle. Bud Dupree stands opposite of Watt. Both can get at the quarterback and disrupt the opposing team’s passing game. Shazier is a stud in the middle and his speed makes him a nightmare for any QB who makes a mistake across the middle. Don’t count out James Harrison, who will rotate in to spell Watt or Dupree. Anthony Chickillo will also step in for injuries to Watt or Dupree on the outside and is making a name for himself every time he steps on the field.

The secondary has been revamped with the addition of Joe Haden at corner. He won’t have to guard the opposing team’s #1 wide receiver on every down, as that job falls to Artie Burns. Mike Mitchell lines up at free safety, with JJ Wilcox backing him up if injured. Sean Davis is getting better by the game at strong safety. Mike Hilton and Will Gay will be in at slot corner positions when called upon.

A look at the Chicago Bears!

Overall Record: 0-2

Head Coach: John Fox (3rd Season with Bears)

Overall Regular Season Record: 128-114 (.529)

Playoff Record: 8-7 (Qualified for playoffs 8 times)

2017 Chicago Bears Roster

Last Week: Buccaneers 29 Bears  7

 

Breakdown of the Bears

Quarterback- Mike Glennon is keeping the seat warm while the Bears decide when to start rookie QB Mitch Trubisky. He’s doing the best he can with a less than stellar cast of offensive weapons.

Running Backs- Jordan Howard is the starter and is dangerous both on the ground and catching passes out of the backfield. Like Le’Veon Bell, he isn’t off to a very fast start this season and is nursing a shoulder injury. His back-up, Tarik Cohen, plays a dual role as well, snatching up 16 receptions for 102 yards and a score this year.

Wide Receivers- Not a group that strikes fear into opposing secondaries. Kendall Wright leads the team with 10 catches. Josh Bellamy is 2nd with seven receptions, followed by Deonte Thompson with five catches.

Tight Ends- Zach Miller is a very reliable option for Glennon. He may be the Bears best pass catching option in their offense.

Defense- So far, the Bears are giving up an average of 26 points per game. If the Steeler offense gets in sync, they could put up huge numbers this Sunday.


Game Preview 

Le’Veon Bell knows he yet to hit his stride so far this year.

In week three against the Chicago Bears, he’s hoping to put up large numbers and lead the team to a 3-0 start.

“He’s going to have to get up to speed,” guard Ramon Foster said. “That’s going to take time, and the good thing is we have 16 weeks to do this. Hopefully, we are right-minded to handle this challenge this week.”

Bell was on fire last year, averaging 157 total yards per game, but is only producing a paltry 69 YPG in 2017.

The offensive line knows they have to step their game up as well, if Bell is to succeed.

“He’s going to have to get up to speed,” guard Ramon Foster said. “That’s going to take time, and the good thing is we have 16 weeks to do this. Hopefully, we are right-minded to handle this challenge this week.”

Ben Roethlisberger knows the offense can put up elite numbers, but at the same time, it all comes down to winning the game.

“We should set goals that are almost unattainable so that you can be the best you can be,” Roethlisberger said. “We’re not worried about guys that missed time or whatever. We’re winning football games, we’re making improvements, and I’ll say it again: We’re winning football games.”

On the flip side of the ball, the resurgent Steeler defense is ready to make Bears QB Mike Glennon’s life miserable.

He rarely leaves the pocket, thus bringing an inviting target for Steeler pass rushers. Steelers head coach is impressed with Glennon’s poise standing his ground, knowing he’s going to take a hit.

“I know why they went out and acquired him,” Tomlin said about Glennon. “He has physical traits you can’t coach. He’s statuesque, which allows for great field vision. He can make any throw on the field.

“He’s a great anticipator, and you can see that when you watch his tape.”

Glennon is a big guy at 6’6, and has some zip to his throws.

He oftentimes is capable of throwing the ball before receivers come out of their breaks,” Tomlin said. “Those anticipation throwers often are difficult to get after. They can get the ball out in the midst of pressure.”

Steeler 1st round pick T.J. Watt is out this week, so Glennon will have one less guy to worry about. With Watt out, will the Steelers set James Harrison loose upon the Bears? So far, Harrison has not played, and Anthony Chickillo has played pretty good in his rotation with Watt.

Though his team is playing well, Tomlin would like to see his defense create more turnovers.

“I’d like to see us get more,” Tomlin said. “Some teams out there are playing significant ball on the defensive side and are getting turnovers in bunches. If we want to be one of the elite groups, we have to get in that game.”

These are the kind of games that have tripped up the Steelers in past years. They head out on the road against a vastly inferior team and tend to play down to their opponent and lay an egg. Those losses have kept the Steelers from attaining the coveted Home Field Advantage throughout the playoffs. It’s a road game, and like Roethlisberger said, you’ll take a win anytime you can get one, but at the same time, you’d like to see the Steelers play to their potential week in and week out.

Pittsburgh has only walked out of Soldier Field one time with a victory in their history vs the Bears, but that number will grow to two as the Steelers will shake off the preseason rust and put together a complete and satisfying victory over Chicago.

Prediction: Steelers 34 Bears 13


Fantasy Football Impact

Pittsburgh Steelers

Start: QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown, WR Martavis Bryant, RB Le’Veon Bell, Steelers D

Sit: N/A

Sleeper: N/A

The big three of Roethlisberger, Brown, and Bell should always be in your starting line-up. It’s been a slow start for Bell, but he’s due to explode soon. Martavis Bryant is a gamble at times, but well worth it when it pays off. The Steeler D is becoming an automatic starter as well, racking up sacks and keeping scoring low.

 

Chicago Bears

Start: No one…

Sit: Every Bear except maybe…

Sleeper: RB Jordan Howard, RB Tarik Cohen

It’s tough to decide who is going to be more successful between Howard and Cohen. Not many RB’s have banner days against Pittsburgh. Both may benefit from late game catches if the Steelers have a big lead and are playing contain.


Game Information

NFL Week 3

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) at Chicago Bears (0-2)

Venue: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL.

Game-time: Sunday, September 24th, 1:00 pm

TV: CBS (Local KDKA-TV) | Announcers: Greg Gumbel (play-by-play) Trent Green (analyst) | Jamie Erdahl (sideline)

Local Radio: Pittsburgh- 102.5 WDVE-FM | Announcers:  Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play) Tunch Ilkin (analyst) | Craig Wolfley (sideline)

National Radio: N/A| Announcers:

Weather at Kickoff: 82 and sunny.

Vegas Line: Pittsburgh -8.5


Steelers-Bears History

  • Series History: Series began in 1934.
  • The Steelers are 7-18-1 in the overall Regular Season series against the Bears.
  • Steelers trail the series playing at Chicago at 1-11.
  • Streak: Bears won previous two meetings.
  • Last Regular Season Meeting: Sept. 22, 2013, in Pittsburgh- Chicago 40 Pittsburgh 23
  • Steelers are 0-0 in the Post-Season vs the Bears.
  • Last Post-Season Meeting:

 

Game Notes

  • Bears HC John Fox was the DC/secondary coach at the University of Pittsburgh while Steelers ILB coach Jerry Olsavsky was a Panther from 1986-88.
  • Ben Roethlisberger will become the 10th quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 300 yards in 50 regular-season games and the ninth to do so with one team with 300 yards or more on Sunday.
  • Antonio Brown needs one touchdown catch to tie Lynn Swann (51) for the third-most touchdown grabs in team history.
  • Le’Veon Bell’s next 100-yard rushing game will mark the 15th of his NFL career and will tie John Henry Johnson for the fifth-most 100-yard games in Steelers history.
  • Bell needs three rushing scores to match Rashard Mendenhall (29) for fifth-most in franchise history
  • James Harrison is a half-sack from 80.0 in his career with the Steelers.
  • William Gay will break a tie with Rod Woodson to set the record for the most interceptions returned for touchdowns in team history with his next pick six of six.

Individual Statistics

Pittsburgh Steelers

Quarterback

QB- Ben Roethlisberger (506 yards passing | 4 TD passes | 1 interceptions | 3 sacks)

Running Backs

RB- Le’Veon Bell (119 yards rushing | 0 rushing TD’s | 7 receptions | 19 yards receiving | 0 receiving TD’s)

RB- James Conner (20 yards rushing | 0 rushing TD’s | 0 receptions | 0 yards receiving | 0 receiving TD’s)

Wide Receivers

WR- Antonio Brown (16 receptions | 244 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)

WR- Eli Rogers (6 receptions | 54 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)

WR- Martavis Bryant (5 receptions | 105 receiving yards | 1 receiving TD’s)

WR- Juju Schuster-Smith (3 receptions | 16 receiving yards | 1 receiving TD’s)

WR- Justin Hunter (0 receptions | 0 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)

WR- Darrius Heyward-Bey (0 receptions | 0 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)

Tight Ends

TE- Jesse James (10 receptions | 68 receiving yards | 2 receiving TD’s)

TE- Vance McDonald (0 receptions | 0 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)

TE- Xavier Grimble (0 receptions | 0 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)

Kicking

K- Chris Boswell (Extra Point: 3-3 | FG: 4-4 | 0-19: 0-0 | 20-29: 1-1 | 30-39: 1-1 | 40-49: 2-2 | 50+: 0-0 | Long: 46)

Steelers Team Statistics, including Defensive Stats

Chicago Bears

Quarterback

QB- Mike Glennon (514 yards passing | 2 TD passes | 2interceptions | 5 sacks)

Running Backs

RB- Tarik Cohen (79 yards rushing | 0 rushing TD’s | 16 receptions | 102 yards receiving | 1 receiving TD’s)

RB- Jordan Howard (59 yards rushing | 1 rushing TD’s | 0 receptions | 3 yards receiving | 14 receiving TD’s)

Wide Receivers

WR- Kendall Wright (10 receptions | 103 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)

WR- Josh Bellamy (7 receptions | 78 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)

WR- Deonte Thompson (5 receptions | 72 receiving yards | 1 receiving TD’s)

Tight Ends

TE- Zach Miller (10 receptions | 81 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)

TE- Dion Sims (2 receptions | 31 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)

Kicking

K- Conner Barth (Extra Point: 3-3 | FG: 1-1| 0-19: 0-0 | 20-29: 0-0 | 30-39: 0-0 | 40-49: 0-0 | 50+: 1-1 | Long: 56)

Bears Team Statistics, including Defensive Stats


Steelers – Bears: Offensive vs Defensive Comparison 

Steelers Offense: Steelers average 321.5 YPG | Bears allow 341.5 YPG

Rushing: Steelers average 68.5 YPG | Bears allow 90.5 YPG

Passing: Steelers average 253 YPG | Bears allow 241 YPG

Scoring: Steelers average 23.3 PPG | Bears allow 26 PPG

 

Steelers Defense: Steelers allow 237 YPG | Bears average 329.5 YPG

Rushing: Steelers allow 74 YPG | Bears average 72.5 YPG

Passing: Steelers allow 163 YPG | Bears average 257 YPG

Scoring: Steelers allow 13.5 PPG | Bears average 12 PPG


Injury Report (9/22/2017)

Pittsburgh Steelers

Out: T Marcus Gilbert (Hamstring, Illness), LB T.J. Watt (Groin)

Doubtful: N/A

Questionable: T Jerald Hawkins (Knee), DE Stephon Tuitt (Biceps)

 

Chicago Bears

Out: LB Nick Kwiatkoswki (Chest)

Doubtful: OL Josh Sitton (Ribs)

Questionable: OL Tom Compton (Hip)


NFL Standings


Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 Schedule

PRESEASON (3-1)

Friday, Aug. 11 @ New York Giants W, 20-12 (KDKA)

Sunday, Aug. 20 ATLANTA W, 17-13 (KDKA)

Saturday, Aug. 26 INDIANAPOLIS L, 19-15 (KDKA)

Thursday, Aug. 31 @ Carolina W, 17-14 (KDKA)

 

REGULAR SEASON (2-0)

Sunday, Sept. 10 @ Cleveland 1 p.m. (CBS), W– 21-18

Sunday, Sept. 17 MINNESOTA 1 p.m. (FOX), W– 26-9

Sunday, Sept. 24 @ Chicago 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Oct. 1 @ Baltimore 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Oct. 8 JACKSONVILLE* 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Oct. 15 @ Kansas City* 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Oct. 22 CINCINNATI* 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Oct. 29 @ Detroit* 8:30 p.m. (NBC)

Sunday, Nov. 5 BYE WEEK

Sunday, Nov. 12 @ Indianapolis* 1 p.m. (CBS)

Thursday, Nov. 16 TENNESSEE 8:25 p.m. (NBC/ NFL Network/Amazon)

Sunday, Nov. 26 GREEN BAY* 8:30 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, Dec. 4 @ Cincinnati 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Sunday, Dec. 10 BALTIMORE* 8:30 p.m. (NBC)

Sunday, Dec. 17 NEW ENGLAND* 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Monday, Dec. 25 @ Houston 4:30 p.m. (NBC/ NFL Network/Amazon)

Sunday, Dec. 31 CLEVELAND* 1 p.m. (CBS)

* – Times may change due to flexible scheduling

 

POSTSEASON

Sat.-Sun., Jan. 6-7 Wild Card Weekend

Sat.-Sun., Jan. 13-14 Divisional Playoff Games

Sunday, Jan. 21 Conference Championships

Sunday, Jan. 28 Pro Bowl (Orlando, Fla.)

Sunday, Feb. 4 Super Bowl LII (Minneapolis, Minn.)

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Mike Drakulich
From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team. There's nowhere on earth that is more dedicated to its sports teams like Western Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh. The passion and pride of Pittsburgh's fan base is second to no one. From the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA football and basketball, to W.P.I.A.L. high school sports, "The City of Champions" has it all! As Editor of Pittsburgh SportsNation, Mike Drakulich provides the best opinions, breakdowns, and coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pitt Panthers football & basketball, Robert Morris Colonials basketball, and Duquesne Dukes basketball, as well as all sports teams that represent Western Pennsylvania. For a refreshing view of sports, mixed with humor and uncensored opinions, check out Pittsburgh SportsNation today on Facebook, Twitter and videos with over 1,000,000 views on YouTube! Follow me on Twitter @PghSportsNation
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