Chicago Bears/Carolina Panthers Review
The Chicago Bears beat the Carolina Panthers 23-16 last Sunday to improve to 5-1 on the year and move into 1st Place in the NFC Norris (North) Division. Green Bay got “kilt” at Tampa Bay 38-10 to fall to 4-1. But now that the Packers won again yesterday at Houston, they have joined the Bears at 5-1.
TE #85 Cole Kmet – In our Chicago Bears 2020 NFL Draft Preview, we raved about Cole Kmet from Notre Dame, suggesting to GM Ryan Pace that he should draft Kmet. Indeed, with the Bears first selection at #43 overall, Pace grabbed Cole Kmet. Last Sunday, Nick Foles found Kmet in the endzone for Kmet’s first career touchdown reception. This was the first of many as I’m convinced he’s the real deal. The Bears offense just needs to utilize him in the way they utilized Greg Olsen from 2007-2010 and the way they used Da Coach Mike Ditka back in the 1960s. If they do, there’s a chance Kmet can have a Hall of Fame career like those legends. Congratulations to Cole and his (local) family.
K # 2 Cairo Santos – It gets tiresome talking about kickers here in Chicago, usually because of their failures. However, Cairo Santos has almost quietly kicked the ball with much success thus far in 2020. In the Panthers game, Santos hit all three of his field goal attempts and both of his PAT’s, accounting for 11 of the Bears 20 points. His 55 yard FG at the end of the 1st half was the third longest in Bears history! (Robbie Gould holds the Chicago record with a 58 yarder in ’13.) For the season, Santos is now 10 of 12 on FG’s and 12 of 12 on PAT’s. Will Eddy Pineiro ever get his job back?
SS #38 Tashaun Gipson – Another player that has quietly produced this year is free agent signee at safety, Tashaun Gipson. Gipson is in his 9th season out of Wyoming. In this Panthers game, he recorded 6 tackles and an interception. For the year he now has 34 total tackles, 3 PBU’s, and 2 interceptions. He’s playing solidly next to superstar FS #39 Eddie Jackson.
Player of the Game
#52 OLB Khalil Mack – For the second week in a row, Khalil Mack wins our “Player of the Game Award.” He earned it by pressuring Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater all afternoon. Mack recorded 4 tackles, 2 TFL’s, and one of the Bears four sacks. In last week’s Preview, we correctly predicted that we “expected a few sacks and takeaways from Mack” and Chicago’s defense. That’s what happened. Chicago’s “Monsters of the Midway” had 4 sacks and 3 takeaways to provide the team with the necessary ingredients for victory. Mack has really been earning his gigantic salary the past few weeks. Can he do it again on MNF at Los Angeles?
Chicago Bears (5-1) at Los Angeles Rams (4-2) on Monday Night Football
Tonight the Chicago Bears (5-1) take on the Los Angeles Rams (4-2) in their brand new cathedral of a ballpark called So-Fi Stadium. As mentioned earlier, the Bears need to win to stay in 1st Place since the Green Bay Packers won yesterday to move to 5-1 also. The Rams are in 3rd Place in the NFC West behind Seattle (5-1) and Arizona (5-2).
The Rams will certainly be motivated in this game. They’re at home on a Monday Night. They are fighting for the top of the rugged NFC West. They are coming off a 24-16 loss at division rival San Francisco (4-2). This game provides a chance for L.A. to tie Arizona for 2nd Place, just a half game behind the Seahawks.
What do the numbers tell us? Troy Aikman’s (AER) Ratings think the Rams are better:
- Chicago Bears (5-1) : 12th overall, 27th offense, 3rd defense
- L.A. Rams (4-2) : 8th overall, 12th offense, 10th defense
Football Outsiders thinks the Rams are better too:
- Chicago Bears : 14th overall, 26th offense, 5th defense, 24th special teams
- L.A. Rams : 9th overall, 5th offense, 13th defense, 27th special teams
Sports Betting Dime has a gameday point spread of Los Angeles by 6 points. They predict a Rams S/U victory by a score of about 18-13, with the Bears winning ATS and the “Under” on the 45 Total Points Over/Under winning money.
The Rams have one of the best play-action games in the NFL. Their offense is predicated on a strong running game with QB #16 Jared Goff hitting long completions on play-action passes that stress a defense. Look for RB #27 Darrell Henderson to have a big night against the Bears run defense. Chicago’s defense’s weakness, if you will, is their run defense against a strong running game. Also, I look for Goff to hit a few long gains to WR #10 Cooper Kupp (who we really wanted in the 2017 NFL Draft) and WR #17 Robert Woods.
The “Dutch Lion” sees all of these statistics, gauges the motivation levels, takes Gary “The Gut” Goombah’s advice, and predicts a Los Angeles Rams victory.
Los Angeles Rams 21 Chicago Bears 13
Don’t forget, the Bears are 5-1 but the “Dutch Lion” is a perfect 6-0 this year on his Bears predictions. Unfortunately, we see a loss to the Rams tonight on MNF. Cheer up and don’t worry so much. Enjoy the game.