Bears-Panthers matchup of the day: Thursday

Posted Oct. 07, 2010 @ 4:51 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday's Week Five battle between the Bears and Panthers.

Bears RBs Matt Forté and Chester Taylor vs. Panthers linebackers

Some in Chicago have been clamoring for the Bears to commit to the running game recently, and with Todd Collins under center, this might be the week they do it.

Teams have been able to build leads and pound the ball on the ground vs. the Panthers this season, and the Bears wouldn't mind following suit. Chicago's much-maligned offensive line could benefit from a week in which it's allowed to fire off the ball and run-block early and often.

The Panthers' linebacking corps is talented, however, and RBs Matt Forté and Chester Taylor could have a hard time eluding the 'backers if they get to the second level. WLB Jon Beason is a particularly disruptive player, and MLB Dan Connor and SLB James Anderson also have played well. Carolina allowed 118 yards rushing or more in three of its first four games, but it's only giving up 3.3 yards per carry.

A couple long runs would make Collins' job much easier, but the Panthers' defense has the potential to shut Chicago's backs down.