The Bears are looking for answers for their struggling offense. Washington just might provide the answers with their defense which is ranked third-worst in the league.
Chicago’s offense has scored just one touchdown through two games. David Montgomery scored on a one-yard run last week. Mitchell Trubisky is a combined 42 of 72 for 348 yards and an interception. In his third season most assumed he would be making a big step forward in what looked like an emerging offense last year.
Chicago did come away with the win last week to move to 1-1 after Eddie Pineiro hit a 53-yard field goal as time expired. The Bears averaged 5.3 yards per rush and accumulated 153 yards on the ground in the victory. Trubisky only threw for 120 yards while completing 16-of-27 pass attempts. Trubisky did lead the game-winning drive that set up the Pinerio field goal.
Washington jumped out a 17-point lead in Week 1 over Philadelphia but ended up losing to the Eagles 32-27. Washington lost a second consecutive NFC East matchup in Week 2 at home against the Cowboys after taking another early 7-0 lead. Washington allowed 213 rushing yards and gave up 21 consecutive points before eventually losing 31-21.
Chicago is 5.5 point favorites and the over/under is 41.
Bears Defense Still Elite
Chicago’s defense doesn’t seem to have taken a step back after losing defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. The front seven has led the unit with seven sacks while holding the Packers and Broncos to just 68.5 yards rushing per game. The Bears are also the third-best scoring defense thus far (12 points per game allowed).
The Broncos and Packers scored their season lows in points against the Bears. The Washington offense has struggled to run the ball, as it has averaged just 2.5 yards per carry. I don’t see the Redskins having much success running the ball which should open Khalil Mack up for a big game.
Much has been made about Trubisky’s struggles through two weeks, but Bears receivers haven’t been able to get themselves open. The running game did come alive in week 2 which should open up play action. Trubisky has always been better when moving out of the pocket, and I expect head coach Matt Nagy to design more plays where Trubisky has designed rollouts.
David Montgomery, who the Bears traded up to get in the draft, only had six carries in week 1. In week 2 he had 18 rush attempts for 62 yards and a touchdown against Denver. Look for him to have a big game as the Bears try to establish the run early against a Washington team that has the second-worst run defense in the NFL, allowing 168 yards on the ground per game.
Redskins Looking For First Win
Washington has had the lead in both games this season. The offense hasn’t been the problem as Case Keenum has been good early. He has thrown for 300.5 yards per game with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Keenum’s top target has been rookie Terry McLaurin. He leads all Washington receivers with 16 targets, 187 receiving yards and two scores. Washington’s ninth-ranked passing offense will have their hands full with one of the best defenses in the NFL.
The run game hasn’t helped Keenum at all as it has rushed for the fewest yards per game in the NFL (37.5 yards) on the second-fewest yards per carry (2.5). If the Redskins want to have a chance on Monday night, they need to improve dramatically in the trenches.
Washington’s defense has-been its downfall this season as they cannot hold onto leads. They have one of the worst run defense’s in the league and haven’t had any pass rush. The defense has just two sacks through two weeks.
This line has gone from -5, to -3.5 and is now anywhere between -5 to -5.5 depending on where you bet. The Bears offense has been scary to bet on as they have looked dreadful through two weeks. But giving Nagy an extra day to gameplan, they may have some tricks up their sleeves after establishing the run last week.
In the end though – the Redskins are the more desperate team, and the Bears still just are not clicking right. Taking the Redskins here seems like the best bet to make. Take Washington at home.
Redskins 21, Bears 17
Pick: Redskins +5.5