Sam Bradford, Cherokee, looks to take his considerably hot hand to Soldier Field to battle the Chicago Bears. Bradford and his St. Louis Rams are coming off an impressive win against Washington. Bradford outshone Washington’s super-rookie, quarterback Robert Griffin III, by throwing for 310 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Rams to a 31-28 victory in their home opener.
Now Bradford and the Rams head out to Chicago where they’ll face a very tough defense in one of the league’s toughest venues. While the Bears are struggling with their offense a bit (quarterback Jay Cutler is the human equivalent of a see-saw, up one week, down the next, and always being sat on by fans and the media), their defense will present Bradford with a stiff challenge. The Bears cornerback Tim Jennings has been playing lights out on opposing receivers, already snatching three interceptions in the first two games. They have forced seven turnovers and notched eight sacks, with their front seven, lead by Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher, making life miserable for opposing offensive lines.
Bradford is even facing an old competitor from college, the Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton, who played Bradford in the Red River Rivalry, the annual Texas Vs. Oklahoma matchup. Melton, a star defensive tackle for the Texas Longhorns, gave Bradford a forearm to the face in that game, and was called for it.
“I got a personal foul on him, actually,” Melton told ESPN.com, “I’m not going to do that this time. I think I had a little forearm to the face. It was a rivalry game.” But he did assure ESPN that he was looking forward to a chance to say hello to Bradford during the game in the peculiar way defensive players have of greeting opposing quarterbacks. “Just hit him,” Melton said, “I did it in college. I plan on doing it again.”
A word on the quarterback position—Bradford is beloved by his teammates, his work ethic and attitude have never been questioned. The same cannot be said about Jay Cutler, who was caught on camera last week screaming at his own lineman and even bumping one while they walked off the field. It should be noted Cutler threw four picks last week, none of the them his lineman’s fault, and he risks every quarterback’s worst nightmare, a mutiny. This has been a part of the Cutler drama since he entered the league, a man with a lot of talent and very little sense when it comes to inspiring his teammates to have his back.
Speaking of talent, the Bears offense will also miss a big one in star running back Matt Forte, who will sit with an ankle sprain.
As for Bradford and the Rams’ offense, they’ve got perhaps the hottest wide receiver in the league, Danny Amendola, who is coming off a monster game against Washington where he caught 15 passes for 160 yards. Their longtime warrior running back, Stephen Jackson, tweaked his groin against Washington but should be okay to play against the Bears today.