Can Bears salvage season with win over Pats?

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Their jeckyl and hyde season on the brink with a 3-4 record amid locker-room tensions, the Chicago Bears try to steer themselves right with a win at New England on Sunday. If it happens, it would mark just the fourth loss at home for the Patriots in the last ten seasons.

Here are three keys to pave the way for a Bears victory:

1. Ride Matt Forte…. The Bears unwillingness to fully commit to the ground game is troubling given Matt Forte’s effectiveness. Chicago faces a New England defensive unit decimated by injuries, which should portend a favorable matchup. Forte’s lack of use in last Sunday’s loss to Miami continued a puzzling trend by the Bears to feature a quick-stirke passing game rather than rely on Forte’s versatility.

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2. Eliminate the key mistakes….Already well-documented, QB Jay Cutler’s ill-advised throws at the least opportune time have thwarted potential Bears scoring drives. There is little margin for error moving forward. The Bears need Cutler to make better decisions and protect the ball in order to keep the offense on the field.

Not immune to the discussion, lapses in coverage and missed tackles have also been culprits on the defensive side. Still missing LB’s Lance Briggs and Jon Bostic, the Bear

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s need a top-notch defensive effort to slow Tom Brady.

3. Pressure Brady….The revamped Bears pass rush flashed occasionally during the first half of the season, but high-priced free agents Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston haven’t been part of the action. Allen’s one sack and Houston’s goose egg are noticeable on a front four that is improved, but lacking down-to-down consistency and the ability to flash during a game’s important moments. Whether it’s through a convenetional front four or blitzing, the Bears need to get Brady off his mark and make him uncomfortable in the pocket.

Bear Tracks: For the first time this season, the Bears didn’t make a roster move…..The Bears are 8-12 under second-year head coach Marc Trestman….WR Brandon Marshall’s post-game tirade has been the focus of attention throughout the week, but Cutler dismissed the notion that the actions could be a sign of turmoil. “He’s going to speak from the heart and he’s going to make sure everyone else around him hears him. So it wasn’t anything that caught us off guard or was off-putting. It was frustration coming out and him just letting us know that it’s important to him.”….CB Kyle Fuller should play, but look for possible changes at OT where Michael Ola could start for Jordan Mills, and LB, where rookie Christian Jones could start ahead of Khaseem Greene with Briggs and Bostic sidelined.

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