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Steelers vs. Bears Week 3: What happens when opposite ends of the NFL spectrum converge?

The Steelers and Bears go head-to-head in Week 3, and demonstrate two teams seemingly headed in different directions.

Chicago Bears v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Despite their equally storied histories, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears inhabit opposite ends of today’s NFL spectrum. During the past four seasons, the Bears best regular-season record was an 8-8 mark in 2013. The Steelers also were 8-8 in 2013, but that marked the Black-and-gold’s worst record of the past four seasons, a stretch in which they posted an overall record of 40-24, which stands in stark contrast to the Bears’ 22-42 mark over the same period. Last season, the Bears fell to 3-13, their worst season since 1969 when Billy was a callow high school senior.

Certainly, the Bears are living a vastly different and notably darker reality these days than the Steelers. It was within this context of gloom and backbiting that the Chicago media and Bears fans pounced like a pack of rabid dogs upon Head Coach John Fox’s Monday announcement that he was sticking with quarterback Mike Glennon in the Week 3 matchup with Pittsburgh at Soldier Field.

Perhaps the basis of Coach Fox’s decision is his knowledge that, three years ago in September 2014, Glennon led an underdog Tampa Bay Buccaneers team to a stunning 27-24 upset of the Steelers at Heinz Field. As many Steelers fans will recall with considerable bitterness, receiver Vincent Jackson snagged a pass from Glennon for the Bucs’ game-winning TD with only seven seconds on the clock.

But before you start running around the house yelling “trap game,” be advised that Glennon hasn’t exactly been setting the world afire since then. The perpetual journeyman quarterback was responsible for three of Chicago’s four turnovers during the first half of Sunday's 29-7 defeat at Tampa Bay, including two interceptions (one returned by Robert McClain for a TD) plus a fumble. Following the pick-6, the score was 23-0 in favor of the Bucs, and the rout was on.

To make matters worse for Glennon, the Bears were unable to run the football in Tampa. The Bucs’ defense held Chicago to only 20 yards on 16 carries, their worst ground game since 2014. Adding to the Bears’ current woes, a rash of injuries has practically decimated their receiver corps, offensive line and linebacker unit. In the words of SB Nation’s Windy City Gridiron Editor in Chief, Lester A. Wiltfong, Jr., “After leading the league in games lost due to injury last season, the Chicago Bears are trying to repeat the miserable feat in 2017. There are currently seven players on injured reserve (including three starters), and there were five others that were waived/injured earlier this year.”

With only two games in the books, the Bears have starting receivers Cameron Meredith and Kevin White on IR, as well as Jerrell Freeman, their leading tackler last season. Just this week, it was reported that inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, a fourth-round draft pick in 2016, might be lost for the season with a pectoral injury. And the Bears’ injury reports so far this season have included both of the team’s starting guards. Just to put the icing on a very sour cake for the Bears, White is the player Chicago selected No. 7 overall in the 2015 NFL draft. With each passing week, he’s looking more and more like a costly NFL flameout, suffering through a series of injuries the past two seasons which have largely rendered him a non-factor on the team.

Most recently, White suffered a fractured scapula during the fourth quarter of the Bears’ Opening Day loss to the Atlanta Falcons on what looked like a run-of-the-mill play. The Bears don’t yet know how long he’ll be lost to the team, but this injury might be season-ending.

So we thought the Steelers’ offense was having its troubles lately?

At BTSC, we know the drill only too well when things start to go south. Small wonder, then, that Bears’ fans are calling for Fox’s head, along with the scalps of just about everyone else on his coaching staff except for the equipment manager. Almost everyone in the Windy City feels it’s high time to begin a trial-by-fire for the Bears’ 2017 first-round draft pick, Mitchell Trubisky, a youngster long on potential but short on experience, even as a collegiate passer.

So, if you needed something to feel good about besides the Steelers’ perfect 2-0 record, you can feel good about not being a Chicago Bears fan. You’ll never catch this football scribe attempting to cast the Steelers’ Week 3 matchup as a trap game, because that would be a heinous insult to professional trappers around the world.