Chicago (5-1) at LA Rams (4-2)
When: Monday, October 26th, 2020
Where: SoFi Stadium,
Time: 8:15 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Los Angeles -7/47
The Chicago Bears are sitting atop the NFC North with a 5-1 record through six weeks, but take a look at the next two columns in the standings. They have scored 128 points, while allowing 116. That’s just a +12 point differential, as the Bears have defeated just one team with a winning record. Chicago will look to make a statement when they travel to SoFi Stadium to take on the 4-2 Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football to cap Week 7 action. In their two games against teams currently above .500, the Bears lost to the Indianapolis Colts 19-11 on Oct. 4 and defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-19 on a Thursday night contest Oct. 8. Quarterback Nick Foles rallied Chicago to a 30-26 victory against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3, and has gone 2-1 as the starter since – taking over for the ineffective Mitch Trubisky. He guided the Bears to 23-16 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, completing 23-of-39 for 198 yards and a touchdown with one pick. The Rams schedule has been kind as well, with all four victories coming over teams from the NFC East – the worst division in football. The offense couldn’t get much going last week in a 24-16 loss at San Francisco.
It’s the third season in a row these two clubs have met and the two previous contests were very low scoring defensive affairs. In 2018 when both were eventual playoff teams, the Bears beat the visiting Rams 15-6. L.A. would eventually bounce back and reach the Super Bowl that season before losing to the Patriots. Last year in Week 11, the Rams were the home team and prevailed 17-7 with neither team reaching 300 yards of offense. Chicago has covered the spread in seven of the past 10 in the series.
The Bears were held to 261 yards on Sunday, but the defense came up big in the win at Carolina. They sacked Teddy Bridgewater four times, picked him off twice and recovered a Mike Davis fumble. With Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks up front and a strong secondary consisting of Tashaun Gipson and Kyle Fuller, the Bears have limited opponents to just 57 percent pass completions – tops in the NFL. The Bears are also No. 1 in the NFL with just 1.5 touchdowns allowed per game, seventh in total defense (337.2) and seventh in points per game allowed (19.3). Hicks (illness), safety Sherrick McManis (hamstring) and cornerback Buster Skrine (ankle) have made the injury report along with safety Deon Bush (hamstring) and tackle Rashaad Coward (finger). Chicago will host New Orleans next Sunday.
Last week versus San Francisco, Jared Goff missed open receivers all night and had the ball for only 22:05. Rookie RB Cam Akers didn’t have a single touch. Darrell Henderson led the Rams with 88 rushing yards on 14 carries, though he might not be available to play this week due to a thigh injury that’s forced him to miss practices. If he can’t go, Akers and Malcolm Brown will carry the load. Wideout Cooper Kupp was targeted nine times and made three receptions for 11 yards. Kupp dropped a quick sideline post route in the end zone on one second-half drive, and Goff threw an interception on the next play. Two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald had a rough time getting to 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, hitting him only once. The Rams had eight sacks last week in a win over Washington and none on Sunday. The Rams are fourth in total defense (318.5) and fifth in point allowed (19.0). L.A. will be at Miami next Sunday.
This Bears defense has given Goff fits the last two years and this Sunday should be no different. Chicago seems to do just enough to win games and we’re getting almost a touchdown here. The Bears are 4-0 SU (3-1 ATS) in their last four road games dating back to last season. Give me the points.
Pick: Bears +6
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