While the focus has rightfully been on J'Marcus Webb at the left tackle spot, the other offensive tackle spot hasn't been anymore stable.
Right tackle Gabe Carimi has struggled mightily through the first two games of the season and against the Rams he will be facing his biggest challenge yet.
According to ProFootballFocus Rams defensive end Chris Long is tied for the NFL lead with Elvis Dumerville for quarterback pressures on the season. Long hasn't gotten home on a lot of sacks, primarily because the Rams lack a push up the middle. This allows QBs to step up and away from pressure on the edge and escape a possible sack. Long notched eight pressures in the week two game against the Redskins.
Long also has notched a four QB hits on the season showing just how relentless of a player he is.
Carimi on the other hand is at the bottom of the NFL through two weeks for right tackles in pass protection. According Nathan Jahnke of PFF Carimi has allowed one sack, two QB hits and eight QB pressures for a total of 11 negative pass protection plays through the first two weeks of the season. The only other OT with that level of bad production Sean Locklear. Also according to Jahnke Locklear lined up at LT during week one of the preseason, which may artificially inflate his numbers due to facing the team's best pass rusher in week one.
Either way, one thing is clear Carimi is off to an inauspicious start to the 2012 season and doesn't catch a break by facing the Rams.
Carimi is still a young player and he is said to still be not back to 100-percent from his knee injury, but he needs to perform better sooner rather than later.
The Bears need stability on the offensive line, and Carimi coming back was supposed to provide that stability along the front. However there are signs that Carimi may not be up to par over the course of the 2012 season.
He should improve going forward and will learn a lot from week to week. For me personally I am continuing to question Carimi's overall ability, and certainly don't want to see him moved to the left tackle spot.
In this game against the Rams, Jay Cutler could once again be running for his life. Robert Quinn has speed off the edge, which will automatically be a match up of concern for Webb. Chilo Rachal's weakness is pass protection so there is still concern at left guard.
The certainty remains the same, the Bears need to protect Cutler and Mike Tice needs to better put Cutler is a position to get the ball out quickly.
Right now there is instability at three of the five starting offensive line positions on the Bears offensive line. Hopefully the Rams aren't able to exploit this instability and batter Cutler for the second week in a row.
Carimi could go a long way towards allaying a lot of fears with a solid performance against one of the best up and coming left defensive ends in the league.