The Cowboys will need to get Julius Peppers blocked on Sunday.
If we got a game on the weekend, then you can be sure we're going to visit with the enemy. Since the Cowboys are taking on the Bears this Sunday, we decided to exchange 5 Questions with the guys over at SB Nation's Bears blog, Windy City Gridiron.
Blogging The Boys: Give us your take on the controversial non-TD call last week in the Bears/Lions game.
Windy City Gridiron: We've seen the officials take the majority of the blame, and the fact that the rule is a rule has also been challenged a lot. Fact of the matter is, the officials are there to enforce the rules and the policies, and to do so without discretion. If they do not enforce a rule, then they aren't doing their jobs correctly. The Bears have been on the losing side of that call twice before, and this time it bounced back to our favor. I'm a consultant in real life, and I've always been a big fan of making things more efficient and more black and white. If the rule needs to be changed, change it. If a system can be improved, improve it. If a loophole is found, close it. As for this past Sunday, we just happened to benefit this time around.
BTB: Matt Forte had a re-birth in week 1, at least in the passing game. Is he Mike Martz's "Marshall Faulk" in your offense? Do you expect him to be utilized in the passing game like that going forward?
WCG: We knew Forte was a multi-dimensional player when we drafted him. His rookie season, with Kyle Orton at QB and Ron Turner as OC, Forte had over 1,200 yards rushing, and almost 500 yards receiving. Last year, very similar numbers again. We hope that Martz will be able to utilize Forte that effectively this season, as he is healed from offseason knee surgery, and has found an explosiveness that many had forgotten about.
BTB: Julius Peppers put a hurting on Matt Stafford, how did he look the rest of the game? Is he performing as you guys hoped?
WCG: Aside from the injury part of it, which was very unfortunate for Stafford, that is exactly what we are paying Peppers to do: Pressure the QB. In the offseason, everyone talked about how much of an athlete and workhorse Peppers was, but the preseason saw a very general defense on the field. We didn't get to see too much from him. Now that the regular season is underway, we fully expect to see him hammering QBs on a frequent basis. Everyone feeds off of Peppers, and he elevates their games.
BTB: Chris Williams against DeMarcus Ware? Analyze the matchup and what the Bears will do.
WCG: Williams did not look good last week in the season opener, and Ware is definitely a force to be reckoned with. My opinion is that we will se a lot of rollouts from Cutler, as that is one of his natural strengths anyhow, and a lot of screen passes to Forte. Mike Martz does like the 7-step drop, but he is also smart enough to understand the limitations of his resources. Hopefully, Williams will be better than last week, and can keep Cutler from getting rocked.
BTB: Jay Cutler has had some rough times in Chicago, but how was he on Sunday? What do you expect out of him in the new-look Bears offense?
WCG: His rough times in Chicago last year can be largely credited to the piss-poor offensive line. Sure, Cutler is a great competitor, and tried to force some things to happen when he shouldn't have, but he was also running for his life last season. The first game this season, with Mike Tice coaching the OL, and Mike Martz's creative playcalling, Cutler's life seemed to be much easier. He had a crispness to his passes, and deadly accuracy for the most part. We have no doubt that he is going to attack defenses all season long, and have a lot of defensive coordinators frustrated on the sidelines. For the first time in a long time, it is very exciting to watch a Chicago QB throw the football.
Thanks to the guys over at Windy City Gridiron for the knowledge.