4 key matchups for the Panthers vs. the Bears in Week 6

(Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore
(Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore /
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Carolina Panthers
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /

Teddy Bridgewater vs. Roquan Smith

Teddy Bridgewater is going to have his work cut out against the Chicago Bears. He has moved the ball extremely well for the most part during his first five games under center, which is starting to win people around following a difficult offseason thanks in no small part to Cam Newton’s departure from the Carolina Panthers.

Getting the same sort of joy on Sunday is going to be critical. Bridgewater has been guilty of looking at one read under pressure and his pocket awareness needs to take a step forward in the face of an elite defense that has Chicago in playoff contention early.

Nobody will be more aware of what is expected than Bridgewater, whose calm demeanor is matched by fierce competitiveness once he steps on the gridiron. His battle with linebacker Roquan Smith is going to be one of the more intriguing aspects of the game and one that could have a huge say on proceedings.

Smith is the Bears’ defensive organizer. And given the lack of fans in the stands, it will be easier for the No. 8 overall pick to hear adjustments on the line of scrimmage to get a better indication of what sort of play is coming their way.

This battle of football IQs will be fascinating to watch. Hopefully, Bridgewater can emerge from it victorious.