Last week on Thursday Night Football we saw the Detroit Lions at the Green Bay Packers. This was a really exciting and “telling” game of how the NFC North will most likely shake out at the end of the season. The Motor City Kitties went into Lambeau Field and took down the Cheese Heads by a score of 34-20. I predicted a Final Score of 30-16 in favor of the Lions, so let’s see how well I can break down this weeks’ Thursday night match-up for you!
This week we get the super exciting match-up (sense the sarcasm) of the 0-4 Chicago Bears at the (2-2) Washington Commanders. This game is like a plain piece of chicken. No marinade, no rub (especially Cleveland rub), and no seasoning. Not even a little bit of salt and pepper. Will we watch it? Of course. Will we enjoy it? Just as much as a plain piece of chicken. The Bears are coming off a loss to the Denver Broncos, who came back from a 21-point deficit. Oof. The Commanders are coming off an OVERTIME loss AT the Philadelphia Eagles and are favored by six this week against the Bears. Here’s how it will play out.
Chicago Bears (0-4)
In the first quarter-ish of the season, the Bears have shown their fans nothing but disappointment. They’ve lost at home versus their division rival Packers, at Tampa Bay, at Kansas City, and last week at home against the Broncos. In the beginning of the year, I predicted that the Bears would finish the season 8-9, but it looks like they won’t finish any better than 6-11 at this point. After last weeks’ collapse against Denver, the Bears have now lost a franchise record 14 games in a row.
The Chicago offense, led by Justin Fields, has been bad. They’re averaging 305 total yards per game (21st) consisting of 119 rushing yards (13th) and 186 passing yards (24th) on average per game. Fields has seven passing TDs, five INTs, and a Quarterback Rating of 35.7, which is 28th in the league. He’s also been sacked the 3rd most 17 times! The Bears offense averages 19 points per game (22nd) with their leading rusher, Khalil Herbert accumulating 196 yards (24th) and averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
Chicago’s leading receiver is DJ Moore (via the Panthers trade last year) with 19 receptions for 301 yards (good for 14th in the NFL) and 2 TDs.
The Bears Defense…is worse. While Linebackers T.J. Edwards (who Chicago got from Philly) and Tremaine Edwards are leading the way in tackles with 52 and 39 respectively (which is 2nd and 9th in the NFL), the rest of the defense seems to be hibernating. There is nobody on the Bears with more than one sack! Where is everyone?! They are ranked 28th in yards given up per game, 29th in passing yards given up per game, and 31st in points given up per game, which is only ahead of the Broncos who got 70 put up on them the week before. Chicago is also 28th in turnover differential at -6, only being able to get two INTs on the season.
Washington Commanders (2-2)
This is a team that I expected to be 1-3 at this point in the season, winning their season opener against Cardinals, but then dropping the next three against the Broncos, Bills, and Eagles. They are 2-2 though, and almost beat Philly last week. Maybe if they had gone for two at the end of the game… Anyway, don’t let the record fool you! They are ALMOST equally as bad as the Bears. The Commanders are “Below Average” at best. Beating two of the worst teams in the NFL does not make you a good team.
Washington’s offense has averaged 307 yards per game (barely above the Bears at 20th), with 107 rushing yards (17th) and 201 passing yards (20th) on average per game. Quarterback, Sam Howell has completed 67% of his passes (T16th), with four TDs and 5 INTs, with a Quarterback Rating of 49.8 (19th). Howell has been sacked an NFL leading 24 times! What is going on with the offensive line?! OR is Howell just holding onto the ball too long? Seeing as how NOBODY on the Bears has more than one sack this season, maybe Sammy will get a break from being on his back this week.
Washington’s other offensive weapons have been “weak sauce” so far. Running Back, Brian Robinson Jr has 261 yards (13th) averaging 4.3 yards per carry, which is alright. Right? However, the passing game has been nothing short of boring under new Offensive Coordinator, Eric Bieniemy. Terry McLaurin has only 212 yards (41st) on 26 receptions, and Curtis Samuel has only 178 yards on 17 receptions in four games. Translation: They are throwing short, “safe” passes because the O-Line is broken dam, and/or Sam Howell, with a Passer Rating of 81.3 (24th in the NFL) is NOT the guy.
The Commander’s defense is about as “below average” as their offense. They’ve given up 353 yards per game (22nd) with 230 yards coming through the air (20th) and giving up 123 yards on the ground (21st). They’ve also given up 30 points per game (29th) and are only slightly better than the Bears in the turnovers department with a -3, getting two INTs and three fumble recoveries. Individually, the defensive line for Washington hasn’t been bad though. Defensive Ends Montez Sweat and Chase Young have three and 2.5 sacks respectively, and Defensive Tackle Washington Allen has two.
As much as I would like to believe that the Bears are the better team, and that they will come out and redeem themselves, I just can’t do it. The Secondary for Chicago is banged up coming into tonight’s game with starting Cornerback, Jaylon Johnson nursing a hamstring, and starting Free Safety, Eddie Jackson being ruled out again with an injured foot. Starting Strong Safey, Jaquon Brisker is also listed as Questionable with a hamstring injury. This very well could be the worst pass-defending defense coming into Week 5.
The Commanders on the other hand have zero injury concerns, and if they can’t get their running game (seemingly their only “strength”), they should be able to pass on the Bears beaten-up d-backs. Look for Washington to bring the heat on defense to get after and frazzle Fields, and for Bieniemy to open up the offense and take advantage of a weak Bears pass-rush, and wide receiver mismatches. Final Score: Commanders 31-24. Sorry, Bears, but the “Post-Roquan Losing Streak” continues. Thanks for the “Read”!