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Chicago Bears Down on Pittsburgh: Bears upset Steelers with effective ground game

     On Sunday afternoon, the Chicago Bears (1-2) defeated the previously unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1).

     Bears’ quarterback Mike Glennon only threw for 101 yards while completing 15 of 22 passes, good for one touchdown and one interception. Jordan Howard and the running game picked up the slack, though, as Howard rushed for 138 yards while finding the end zone twice. He also caught five passes for 26 yards.

     Bears’ rookie running back Tarik Cohen also gained 78 yards on 12 carries, averaging 6.5 yards per touch. Cohen caught four passes for 24 yards. Both backs were the leading receivers to the Bears, who have yet to establish any type of real passing game with Glennon under center.
The Steelers simply couldn’t put any points on the board against a susceptible defense, similar to their week 1 win over the Cleveland Browns. Antonio Brown had a massive day through the air, hauling in 10 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown. Ben Roethlisberger completed 22 of his 39 passes for 235 yards, a touchdown and no picks.

     Though Big Ben played well, their running game couldn’t get much going. Bell carried the ball 15 times for 61 yards and a score while reeling in six passes for 37 yards. Though that is certainly a respectable stat line, Bell should be held to a higher standard in the running back world. He hasn’t had a breakout game through the first three weeks of the season.

     The Steelers defense simply couldn’t stop the run, which the Bears took advantage of in the first quarter, when Howard ran it in from three yards out just six minutes into the game. After Brown hauled in Pittsburgh’s lone passing touchdown of the game, Glennon copied Big Ben as he found Adam Shaheen from two yards out. Chicago went into the half leading 17-7.

     Midway through the third quarter, Bell found pay-dirt, putting the Steelers within three points. A fourth quarter field goal from kicker Chris Boswell knotted the game at 17 apiece. In overtime, Tarik Cohen had a would-be 73-yard touchdown scamper, but was ruled out at the 37. The drive eventually led to a Jordan Howard 19-yard run, securing the victory for the previously winless Bears.

     The Steelers better change some things on both sides of the all if they hope to compete with the New England Patriots for the AFC crown. They barely squeaked by the Browns, lost to the below average Bears and convincingly won against the Vikings, which is at least a good sign.

     Though the Steelers play in the AFC North, arguably the worst division in football, that doesn’t come without its challenges. This week they play the Baltimore Ravens, a team that always plays them tough, on the road. It will be no easy task to come away with a win against a historically dominant Ravens’ home defense, where they play exceptionally better than on the road.

     The Steelers may get some help back on defense as head coach Mike Tomlin said he was “optimistic” about the return of rookie linebacker T.J. Watt and veteran defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt, both of which sat out the Chicago game with injuries. Linebacker Bud Dupree and tight end Jesse James are also both battling injuries, as well as safeties Michael Mitchell and Sean Davis. Pittsburgh will need to get healthy in a hurry to have a shot at competing with their division rivals.

     The Ravens also have a case of the injury bug as they could be without defensive backs Jaylen Hill, Daniel Henry, and Carrington Byndom.
After a favorable match-up against the Jacksonville Jaguars next week, the Steelers travel to a very hostile Kansas City to take on the undefeated Chiefs on October 15. A majority of the remainder of Pittsburgh’s season should be winnable, though they still have games against the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers and bitter rival New England Patriots, the team that beat them in the AFC Championship game last season.


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