Brandon Marshall caught seven passes last week. Image courtesy of jconline.com/AP/Jose Yau
Two traditional powerhouses sit at completely opposite ends of the spectrum after two weeks of the NFL season. Somewhat fortuitously, Chicago sits 2-0 after a stunning 31-30 comeback win over Minnesota in the wet at Soldier Field last weekend. Pittsburgh is injury-ravaged, unable to score, and 0-2 after going down 20-10 to its former whipping boy Cincinnati in Week 2.
The Steelers have mustered just 19 points in the first two games after opening with a 16-9 loss to Tennessee. Mike Tomlin has lost Pro Bowl centre Maurkice Pouncey, defensive lynchpin Larry Foote and backfield option LaRod Stephens-Howling to season-ending injuries. The ground game, in particular, is one area where Pittsburgh desperately needs a lift after rushing for just 75 yards in the first two matches.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been up and down so far. Last week he was picked off twice and fumbled once, but also threw for three touchdowns. Wideout Brandon Marshall had seven catches for 113 yards against the Vikings while Matt Forte had 90 yards on 19 carries from the backfield. In Week 1, the Bears toppled the Bengals by three points, the team that easily accounted for the Steelers last week.
Chicago has only travelled to Heinz Field once before with the home side coming away with a 21-9 win . The Bears defence has already forced six turnovers the first two weeks after producing a league-leading 44 last season. Cutler is 2-0 against Pittsburgh across his career, but the Steelers haven’t started a season 0-3 since 2000.
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