The Bears come to town on Sunday and outside of the black jerseys the Jaguars will be using, there are a number of other things to watch. While you keep your eye out for concessions (but you brought your own food, didn’t you?) keep an eye on these give players.
Tim Jennings, CB, Chicago – Jennings has been playing lights out this season. Through four games he’s one away from tying his season best in passes defensed (10). He has four picks and leads the Bears in ball hawking. He has effectively made his side of the field one to avoid for all quarterbacks, no matter how good they think they are. If Blaine Gabbert tries to throw it his way in this game, look to see Jennings’ hands on the ball an awful lot.
- Matt Forte, RB, Chicago – Coming back form injury, Forte is going to show us all why he’s the feature back in Chicago and not Michael Bush. Bush may vulture some touchdowns from Forte but he simply isn’t he dynamic threat that Forte is. If the O-line holds up, this could be a big day for the man with a new contract.
- Russell Allen, LB, Jacksonville – Allen needs to show he can be a starting caliber linebacker. The Jags have like him as a reserve for years. He plays well when he has a good supporting cast to help him out, but right now the team needs him to be a pillar in the second level of the defense. With Clint Session on the PUP list still and Daryl Smith out again Allen needs to prove that he isn’t expendable, otherwise the team may move on after this season. It’s been four games, and while Allen is in on a lot of tackles he isn’t really making plays. He needs to step up against the Bears.
- Cecil Shorts III, WR, Jacksonville – Shorts is starting in place of Laurent Robinson (concussion). He has made some big plays for Gabbert but he doesn’t catch enough balls that are thrown to him. It will be interesting if the Jags will focus on him underneath or if they will try to use him to stretch the field like they want to when Robinson is on the field. If Shorts effectively draws coverage, he could open up a lot of plays for Justin Blackmon or other Jags receiver. It’s a big if though.
- Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jacksonville – Lewis has caught every ball that Gabbert has thrown at him this season. The tight end is a huge target and should get more looks the closer the Jags get to the endzone. They need to use him as a receiver more in this game since Robinson is out on the outside. If Mike Mularkey can effectively implement Lewis into the game-plan, he could be the biggest mismatch for the Jaguars.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims