While the Indianapolis Colts will face some stiff challenges on Sunday when Anthony Castonzo will need to deal with Julius Peppers, the Chicago Bears offensive line will also be tested. Kevin Seifert of ESPN's NFC North Blog noted the challenges the unit will be facing against a revamped Colts defense that returns a couple All-Pro pass rushers. Seifert describes the changes:
New coach Chuck Pagano has scrapped that approach in favor of a hybrid 3-4 scheme, one that technically converts Freeney and Mathis to outside linebackers. On an otherwise rebuilding team, Freeney and Mathis present the most notable challenge to a Chicago Bears team that is heavily favored to win Sunday at Soldier Field.
Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis will always be a force to be reckoned with, but making it much more difficult for the Bears is the fact that they don't know exactly how those two will be used in the new defense. Freeney and Mathis will mostly be up against left tackle J'Marcus Webb and right tackle Gabe Carimi. Unfortunately for Chicago, both of these players remain mostly untested.
Carimi missed a significant portion of 2011 with an injury, while Webb was only recently named the starter on the left side. There's a lot to be nervous about, and most of that comes from the unknown. In seasons past, teams would at least be able to gameplan for how to battle Mathis and Freeney, but this time around, it's going to be a game of "wait and see," followed by adjustments.