|-9 NO (-109) @ Betamerica|
8* Take New Orleans (#150)
Let me start with an excerpt of my anti- Bears write-up last week; cashing with Green Bay in their 19 point victory at Soldier Field:
Chicago, too, has something to gain – they need a win to make the playoffs. And the Bears, like the Packers, are coming in with some real momentum – three straight victories following an ugly six game skid. Mitch Trubisky has guided the Bears offense to four straight games of 30+ points. But we’ve got to put an asterisk by Chicago’s recent offensive prowess. The four defenses they’ve lit up – Detroit, Houston, Minnesota and Jacksonville are ranked #32, #31, #30 and #27; all truly dismal, bottom tier stop units. Green Bay’s defense is head and shoulders better than any of those four sorry D’s.
And, while Mitch Trubisky is getting accolades for leading the Bears offensive resurgence, if you’ve watched Chicago in recent weeks you already know – Trubisky continues to make unconscionably bad throws every week. Last week in Jacksonville there was a red zone pick into quadruple coverage before halftime that stood out, but it certainly wasn’t the only bad throw and poor decision. Taking a step up in defensive class this week, look for Trubisky to play his way out of Chicago with a poor showing in a ‘must win’ game for a team that has already declined his contract extension. Chalk worthy laying!
Chicago beat a grand total of one playoff team this year, by a grand total of one point; getting Tom Brady early in the season on a short week with travel. And yes, Chicago did take New Orleans to OT at Soldier Field earlier this season. Of course, that was with Nick Foles at QB, and the Saints held a double digit lead in the fourth quarter before a furious Foles comeback. I’m not expecting that level of execution in what could well be Trubisky’s last game as a Bear. A team that just got blown out at home in a ‘must win’ game isn’t likely to fare better on the highway the following week.
The Saints have played the last month without three of their top four wide receivers, including gamebreaker Michael Thomas. Their entire running back room was on COVID restriction last week, ruled out at Carolina. I expect just about everybody from both groups to play here, giving this offense an element of explosiveness they’ve lacked down the stretch. I expect a blowout. Take the Saints.