September 11th, 2021

Week 1 - Bears at Rams

As a Bears fan, it’s time for my acumen-free pick for today’s game.

Last I heard, the line was Rams by 7-½.  If I were a gambling man, I’d lay the points and take the Rams all day.

First of all, there’s no way the Bears can take LA in a shooting match.  They MUST run the ball, eat up the clock and minimize Matthew Stafford and Co.’s time with the ball.  Bears coach Matt Nagy, in the entirety of his career in Chicago, has shown an abject inability and/or desire to establish a running game.  When the Bears finally got their O-line and the run in order late last year, it was only when they were playing the worst defenses in the league and, oh yeah, when Nagy had turned play calling over to one of his assistants (Bill Lazor.)  He predictably reclaimed those duties this season. 

Stafford is a huge upgrade from last year’s QB Jared Goff and the Rams are a similar upgrade from the hopeless Lions Stafford played with before.  I suspect he’ll pick apart a young secondary not sufficiently helped by a defensive line that won’t apply the necessary pressure.  Once the Rams score a couple of touchdowns and Bears QB Andy Dalton leads a couple of three-and-outs, Nagy will abandon any pretense of establishing the run and the shootout will commence.  If that happens it’ll be effectively over by sometime in the third quarter after Nagy enacts his usual failure to make any halftime adjustments. 

Rams DT Aaron Donald, the seven-time Pro Bowler (in seven NFL seasons) and three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year, will eat the Bears woeful offensive line for dinner and feast on QB Dalton.  This will be especially true if the Bears are forced into the aforementioned shootout by falling behind in any significant way. 

I’d put the over/under on Aaron Donald sacks at 2
   (Bears RB) David Mongomery’s rushes at 12-1/2

Andy Dalton's turnovers at 2-1/2

This, of course, assumes that Nagy doesn’t panic and put hotshot rookie QB Justin Fields in the game.

My prediction is Rams 41-19 and it won’t be that close.  I’ve got the Bears scoring their final touchdown in garbage time and missing a 2-point attempt on one of their touchdowns.

Of course I’ll be wrong but that’s my guess, anyway.  Oh yeah, I think the over/under on Bears wins this season is 7-½.  Give me the under on that.

Because I’m a Bears fan I can only hope to be wrong.  Somebody tell me if I actually need to come off the ledge.