Bears vs Commanders NFL Preview & Free Pick [10/5/2023]

Chicago (0-4) at Washington (2-2)
When: Thursday, October 5th, 2023
Where: FedEx Field,
Landover, MD

Time: 8:15 ET | TV: Prime
Opening Odds: Washington -5/42.5

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Week 5 of the NFL season begins with a less-than-desirable matchup between the winless Chicago Bears and Washington Commanders from FedEx Field. Washington opened-up as a 5-point favorite with a total of 42.5. The line went all the way up to 6.5 before settling back down to 5.5 as of Wednesday morning.

Chicago nearly got into the win column last week but blew a 21-point lead in a 31-28 loss to the Denver Broncos at home. That is now 14 losses in a row dating back to last season for the once proud Bears franchise. They have also allowed 25+ points in every one of those losses. Head coach Matt Eberflus is only in his second year, but fans want him gone already.

Washington went into Philadelphia last week as a 10-point underdog and almost pulled off a big upset. Sam Howell hit Jahan Dotson on the final play of regulation to send the game to overtime, but Jake Elliott’s 54-yard field goal gave the Eagles a 34-31 victory.

Washington owns a 23-21-1 overall record against Chicago and 13-11-1 at home. They last played in Week 6 on a Thursday night in Chicago that turned out to be an ugly contest. The Commanders won 12-7 despite recording just 214 yards of offense. A muffed punt by the Bears led to the winning touchdown late in the game. The Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings.

The Bears lost to the same team that allowed 70 points the previous week to Miami. Chicago’s offense was just fine behind Justin Fields, who threw for 335 yards and four TDs on 28-for-35 passing. A fourth-quarter strip sack of Fields resulted in a game-tying touchdown, however, and Fields was intercepted on the team’s final possession.

The defense is awful and Eberflus made the puzzling decision to go for it on fourth-and-1 at the Denver 18 with about three minutes left instead of kicking a field goal to break a 28-28 tie. The Bears were stopped and then Denver drove for the winning field goal. Jaylon Johnson (hamstring) and Eddie Jackson (foot) didn’t participate in early-week practices.

Chicago Bears Injury Report [Week 5]

Jaylon JohnsonDBQues Thurs - Hamstring - 10/1/23
Eddie JacksonDBQues Thurs - Foot - 10/1/23
Josh BlackwellDBOut indefinitely - Hamstring - 9/29/23
Khalid KareemDLOut indefinitely - Hip - 9/26/23
Braxton JonesOLOut indefinitely - Neck - 9/20/23
Kyler GordonDBOut indefinitely - Hand - 9/14/23
Doug KramerOLOut indefinitely - Hand - 8/31/23
Teven JenkinsOLQues Thurs - Leg - 10/2/23

Washington gave defending NFC champion Philadelphia all it could handle on Sunday and head coach Ron Rivera could have decided to go for two, but decided to send the game to overtime. Howell threw for 290 yards and a TD as he looks to be the long-term solution for the Commanders under center. He was sacked five more times Sunday and has gone down 24 times overall this season. The defense was supposed to be the strength of this team but has allowed no less than 27 points in a game this season. That ranks them 29th in points allowed (29.0).

Washington Commanders Injury Report [Week 5]

Curtis SamuelWRQues Thurs - Quadricep - 10/2/23
Jahan DotsonWRQues Thurs - Ankle - 10/2/23
Christian HolmesCBQues Thurs - Back - 10/2/23
Christopher Rodriguez Jr.RBQues Thurs - Illness - 10/1/23
Dax MilneWROut indefinitely - Groin - 9/8/23
Phidarian MathisDTOut indefinitely - Calf - 8/31/23
Efe ObadaDEOut indefinitely - Knee - 8/31/23
Brandon DillonTEI-R - Undisclosed - 8/29/23
Kaden SmithTEI-R - Undisclosed - 8/29/23
Braeden DanielsOLI-R - Shoulder - 8/28/23
Curtis BrooksDTI-R - Undisclosed - 8/19/23
Troy ApkeCBOut indefinitely - Shoulder - 8/8/23
David BadaDTI-R - Tricep - 8/3/23
Armani RogersTEI-R - Achilles - 7/25/23

This could be an ugly game as it was last year between these two teams. I’ll take the points with winless Chicago. At least the offense showed some progress last week and Fields looked good.

Week 5 Staff Selections

Pick: Bears +6.5