Chicago (0-2) at Dallas (1-1)
When: Sunday, September 25th 2016
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: NBC
The banged-up Chicago Bears take to the road to play the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football this week. The Bears are off to an 0-2 start after Monday’s embarrassing loss to Philadelphia 29-14 in which they lost starting quarterback Jay Cutler to a thumb injury. Cutler wasn’t the only key injury for Chicago as leading wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (knee) did not practice Thursday while the defense is expected to be without nose tackle Eddie Goldman and linebackers Danny Trevathan and Lamarr Houston, who was placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL. Backup QB Brian Hoyer, who is playing for his fifth NFL team, will get the start for Chicago and has a 15-11 career record. The running game could be a lot better as Jeremy Langford rushed for only 28 yards on 11 carries against the Eagles. Chicago ranks ninth overall in total defense despite allowing 52 points in two games.
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The Cowboys are also using a backup QB, but Dak Prescott has proven himself an ample replacement in his rookie season. He earned his first victory last week by guiding a late touchdown drive in a 27-23 win at Washington. Prescott set an NFL record for the most passes without an interception (75) in a player’s first two games and threw for 292 yards and ran for a touchdown last week. Wide receiver Dez Bryant had seven receptions for 102 yards against the Redskins after opening the season with one catch for eight yards. WR Cole Beasley, who scored twice in Dallas’ 41-28 win over Chicago in 2014, has 13 catches in the first two games this season. Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown last week, but found himself on the bench during crunch time after fumbling again. The Cowboys’ defense has been poor against the pass so far, giving up an average of 276.5 yards.
Hoyer might actually be a better option for the Bears right now who are starting to get tired of Cutler. I think the Chicago defense gives Prescott enough problems and Langford has a big game running the ball. Chicago is the play here with nearly 70% of the public on Dallas. The Cowboys have lost eight consecutive home games dating back to last year.
Pick: Bears +7