Unfortunately for NFL fans overall, the prime time of Thursday Night Football is looking to yet again be an unexciting match, mirroring the abysmal game of last week between the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. However, this game is at least exciting to fans of the Chicago Bears, as many are expecting a solid win on Thursday. Of course, that means the potential of a bad loss looms, and would certainly spell trouble for Chicago.
Overview of Teams
The Bears are favorites due to two reasons: they looked really good last week, almost staging a comeback in their loss to the Vikings, whereas the Commanders have lost their last four games in a row. They last won a game in week one versus the Jacksonville Jaguars and have only gone downhill from there. This is an interesting matchup, because while both are mediocre teams, the Bears are favored even though the Commanders hold better offensive stats on paper. This is because the Commanders love to pass the ball – but with a catch. Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz tends to be interception happy, already netting six. This is something the Bears defense will be sure to capitalize on, as in further good news for the Bears, it looks like star cornerback Jaylon Johnson will be back. He has begun practicing again after being out for three weeks due to a hamstring injury, and the Bears will certainly be glad to have him back on the field. Furthermore, that leaves the Bears relatively free of injuries, whereas the Commanders are swimming in them. Wentz is battling a shoulder injury, breakout wide receiver Dyami Brown is questionable with a groin injury, and a whole host of defensive backfield players have been limited or unable to play in practices.
Keys to Victory
On the offensive side of the ball the Bears really need to keep up the momentum from last week. Their play calling looked solid, the team overall played with more confidence, and there was much more production through the air. QB Fields had his best game yet this season, netting a passing touchdown and 208 yards, along with being the team’s leading rusher. On the defensive side of the ball, the Bears just have to weather the air-raid storm. Thankfully, the Commanders haven’t established much of a run game, which is the Bears weakest point defensively. As long as the defense keeps doing what it has been, and capitalizes off of Wentz’s tendency to turn the ball over, this game should be a solid showing. Finally, as a team, halftime adjustments are key. Last week the Bears put up more than half their total points after halftime, and the defense only allowed one score from the Minnesota Vikings.
For the Commanders to win, something needs to change. Taking advantage of Chicago’s poor run defense would be a good start. On the other hand, while Fields had a good showing last week, he still hasn’t established consistency. He is a young quarterback who is short on receivers, meaning the Commanders can punish him with their defense if they get to him quickly and keep him under pressure. Lastly, they just can’t turn the ball over. Their air raid offense is capable of producing points, but it is also good at giving them away. Matched up against a Chicago team that doesn’t typically put up very many points, they may just have a chance – but only if they protect the football.
27 – 16 Bears