NFL from the Sidelines

Blogs NFL from the Sidelines

O-R Sports reporter Dale Lolley gets you the insider scoop on the NFL.

After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop. Dale can also be heard on the Steelers radio network pre-game show prior to every game. Follow him on Twitter at dlolleyor.

Who I like, Steelers at Bears

September 22, 2017
FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger passes during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in Pittsburgh. The Steelers play the Chicago Bears on Sunday, Sept. 24. (AP Photo/Don Wright, File)

The Steelers haven’t been especially impressive - at least offensively - in winning their first two games.

The Chicago Bears, meanwhile, showed that they can stand up to a top-notch football team in Week 1 against Atlanta before getting smoked last week in Tampa Bay.

But style points don’t really matter in the NFL. You don’t get into the postseason based on a ranking system. It’s all about wins and losses.

And right now, the Steelers are 2-0 and the Bears are 0-2.

Unlike the Bears, the Steelers have done just enough in Week 1 and 2 to get a victory.

In Cleveland, that meant getting the ball to wide receiver Antonio Brown, one of their offensive stars.

Last week against Minnesota at Heinz Field, it was Martavis Bryant who took a step forward with a big game.

This week, the Steelers need to get Le’Veon Bell going, especially in the passing game.

Bell has struggled early running the ball, though he looked much better last week than he did two weeks ago in Cleveland. He’s coming along there.

But in the passing game, he has seven catches for 19 yards. That’s very un-Bell like.

That should change against the Bears.

Chicago has a formidable front seven, especially against the run. But they are weak on the back end. The corners and safeties are average, at best.

And Chicago also is down to its third string middle linebacker. If they are intent on trying to slow Brown and Bryant, they’ll have no player on the field capable of covering Bell out of the backfield.

That could be the difference in this game.

The Steelers will be down a couple of starters, themselves. T.J. Watt and Marcus Gilbert will both sit this one out, with Anthony Chickillo and Chris Hubbard likely to start in their places.

Those missing pieces will hurt. But the Steelers should get defensive end Stephon Tuitt back. That could be a huge return, especially given how well fellow defensive end Cam Heyward has played this season.

The Bears will try to slow this game down and run the football. They don’t want to get into a shootout because they don’t have the weapons to match the Steelers.

Having both Tuitt and Heyward out there will be a big part of stopping that.

This should be a hungry Bears team. They know if they fall to 0-3, the season is basically over.

And the Steelers play the Ravens next week.

Pittsburgh is a 7 1/2-point favorite in this game, which is the same spread Atlanta failed to cover in a 23-17 win at Chicago in Week 1.

But the Falcons are a dome team and not accustomed to playing on a slow track such as Soldier Field.

The Steelers should fare better there despite their 1-11 all-time record in Chicago.

I’ll take the Steelers to win this one, 27-16.

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