Chicago Bears Week 2 Preview
Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) at Chicago Bears (0-1)
The Chicago Bears host their first game of the 2021 NFL season at Soldier Field versus the Cincinnati Bengals. After a miserable opening night loss in Los Angeles to the Rams by a score of 34-14, we’re expecting much better results this Sunday at noon. Can the Bears beat the Bengals? Will they at least provide more competition than they did in Week 1?
Last week’s performance was abysmal, even though Head Coach Matt Nagy will never admit it. I’m not sure if he sees what we see. Maybe he just sugarcoats it all even though he too knows that his team is mediocre, at best. Nonetheless, I saw some positives the other night.
QB Andy Dalton did some good things. QB Justin Fields also provided a spark. I’m not really a fan of playing multiple quarterbacks though. It disrupts the rhythm of both players, as well as the entire offense. Gadget plays sound like fun but it might be wiser to let Fields play a full series in the 2nd quarter, and then maybe again in the 3rd quarter. That way he’ll get experience yet Dalton won’t have to sub out during successful drives. It must suck for a QB to drive his team down the field and then see his backup come into the game for the glory touches that end up scoring touchdowns. As much as a team guy as Dalton is, he’s jealous. I’m sure he is. Wouldn’t you be?
As for the defense, ugh sauce! That unit just flat out stunk the other night vs an excellent Rams offense. Can they play better against a young wunderkind quarterback in Joe Burrow? How do they stop star RB Joe Mixon? Mixon leads the NFL in rushing through Week 1 with 127 yards on 29 carries and one touchdown. Surprisingly, Bears RB David Montgomery is 2nd in the league with 108 yards on just 16 carries and one TD. Can the Bears front stop Mixon? Will Eddie Goldman be back from COVID and his knee injury? As of now, he’s doubtful. This dude hasn’t played since 2019 and let’s be honest, it’s getting old. The Bears want him and need him back. PS Goldman sat out the entire 2020 season because he was scared of getting COVID and then it turned out he contracted COVID and was put on the COVID reserve this on August 3. I hope it was all worth it to sit out while your teammates sweated through another 8-8 season without you Eddie. Some might thing Goldman is a traitor with that kind of attitude.
Troy Aikman’s Efficiency Ratings (AER) are used as NFL power rankings for three categories: overall, offense, and defense. Let’s see how the Bengals and Bears match up.
- Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) – 22nd overall, 13th offense, 22nd defense
- Chicago Bears (0-1) – 26th overall, 22nd offense, 23rd defense
The point spread favors the Bears by 1.5 points. “Dutch Lion” thinks Chicago will win this one at home over a perennially bad team that is still gaining confidence and momentum under young Head Coach Zac Taylor. Last week they beat the Minnesota Vikings in overtime, but it’s too early to say if Cincinnati is much improved over 2020 when they finished 4-11-1. According to all statistical analysis from Football Outsiders, the Bengals were one of the worst teams in the league last year, finishing 30th in Total DVOA, 28th in Pythagorean Wins, and projected to win 7.5 games this season. Chicago is definitely mediocre, finishing 8-8 in wins/losses, 15th in DVOA, 15th in Pythagorean Wins, and projected to win 7.3 games this year in the newly expanded 17 game schedule. Both teams are projected to finish 21st and 23rd out of the 32 team NFL this season. So what gives in this game?
We believe it’s a toss up but will ultimately go to Chicago based on the home field advantage. Andy Dalton should play well against his ex-mates while the defense should play with more intensity after Sunday night’s debacle on the road. I expect Khalil Mack to get at least one sack, the secondary to pick at least one interception, and Roquan Smith to dominate in the middle. Overall, the Bears will play with more energy at Soldier Field and get the tight victory. PICK Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears 23 Cincinnati Bengals 20
Last week’s prediction: L.A. Rams 27 Chicago Bears 13
Last week’s final score: L.A. Rams 34 Chicago Bears 14
2021 Season : Chicago Bears 0-1, Dutch Lion 1-0
2020 Season: Chicago Bears 8-9, Dutch Lion 14-3