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Prediction and preview for Bears-Cardinals game

I’m gonna do something nobody ever does in the preseason…predict the final score of an exhibition game.

Okay, maybe not the final score, but the score at the end of the 3rd period. Why? Because with the starters for both teams likely to play well into the second half, Saturday night’s games against the Cardinals will give Bears fans the best impression yet of how the ‘real’ 2010 Bears may look.

So assuming we get a good look at the starters, here’s my prediction: Bears 23, Cardinals 10.

Why am I so confident in the 0-2 Bears? It probably has more to do with the Cardinals’ ineptitude than the Bears awesomeness. Consider…

  • Matt Leinhart and Derek Anderson are battling for the starting QB position left vacated by Kurt Warner. While at the controls for parts of two preseason games, Leinhart hasn’t led the team to a single point. And last week against the Titans, he orchestrated 3 consecutive 3-and-outs. Anderson’s fared a little better, throwing 1 TD along with 2 INTs. About the only position battle equally as uninspiring as AZ’s is the one the Bears will run into next week in Cleveland – Seneca Wallace vs. Jake Delhomme.
  • There will be no Larry Fitzgerald, who will sit with a sore knee he injured in the team’s first exhibition game.

The Cardinals should represent better on the defensive side of the ball. Especially if the Bears offensive line plays like it did against the Raiders when Jay Cutler was sacked 5 times…in the first half.

But after a week of being lambasted by Chicago media and fans…and coached up by Mike Tice…I suspect we’ll see a Chris Williams who looks more like the guy who went toe-to-toe with Vikings’ mullet-wearer Jared Allen late last season than the dude who got schooled by Oakland’s Kamerion Wimbley.

Jay Cutler and Devin Aromashodu are reportedly excited about the game plan for Saturday night. So reading between the lines, you should expect many balls to be airborne…which should mean the Bears will score some points…assuming, of course, Cutler can stay upright.

Here are some other things to NOT watch for on Saturday:

  • Brian Urlacher will not play. He didn’t practice all week and will rest his injured calf.
  • While Major Wright returned to practice on a limited basis this week (he wore a red no-contact jersey), he won’t play against the Cardinals.
  • Don’t expect last year’s top draft picks, Jarron Gilbert or Jaquin Iglesias, to catch your attention either. They’ve been invisible on the field so far this preseason, so why should we expect anything more from them this week.
  • With Patrick Mannelly back, Desmond Clark will be relieved of his snapping duties. Something tells me Soldier Field sideline photographers – wary of being struck in the privates by wayward snaps – are breathing a sigh of relief.

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