The Bears got a Thanksgiving win over Detroit to even their record at 6-6. Don’t let that fool you though. The victory came against a Lions team with one victory in its last eight games. Detroit also played with its third-string quarterback.
Of the Bears’ six wins, two are against Detroit. Other than beating Minnesota in Week 4, Chicago hasn’t beaten anyone (the other wins are over Denver and Washington). Can they beat Dallas?
The Bears have won three of their last four games. On the other end, Dallas has lost three of its last four.
In winning those three games, Chicago hasn’t been pretty, just effective. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has been part of the turnaround. For example, in the Bears past two games – wins over the New York Giants and Detroit – Trubisky has completed 68.3 percent of his passes for an average of 308 passing yards per game.
In Weeks 9 through 11, Trubisky was much worse. He completed just 57.4 percent of his passes for 163 yards a game.
Is Trubisky that much better, or is his improvement due to the fact that the Giants and the Lions pass defenses are among the NFL’s worst? It could be a combination of both, but remember that the Cowboys have the NFL’s eighth-best pass defense.
Dallas has some adversity to overcome in Week 14 starting with linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. The second-year pro will miss another game with a neck injury. Fellow LB Sean Lee is listed as probable with a pec issue. On offense, WR Amari Cooper is expected to play, but he took a helmet to the knee last week.
While injuries are part of the problem, the Cowboys offense had some bigger ones last week in a Thanksgiving Day loss to Buffalo.
Dallas QB Dak Prescott turned the ball over twice, the Cowboys blew two of four scoring opportunities in the red zone, and kicker Brett Maher missed two field goals. Running back Ezekiel Elliott exploded out of the gate and ran for 54 yards in the game’s first nine minutes. The other 51 minutes? Yeah, he had 17.
Don’t expect that to happen again. Game time temperatures for NFL Week 14 Thursday Night Football will be in the 30s, meaning Dallas might give the Bears a heavy dose of Zeke.
Dallas will also dial up heavy doses of Dak Prescott as well. Prescott, surprisingly, leads the NFL with 3,788 passing yards. I would dial him up too.
With the Bears offense only averaging around 17 points per game and the frigid conditions on Thursday, I was leaning toward the Under. The Total has gone Under in eight of Chicago’s last nine home games.
The combined score in those eight games was 32, but Dallas is coming off consecutive losses to New England and Buffalo. Guess what that means? The Cowboys are 6-2 SU in their last eight games after two straight defeats.
Plus, Dallas is 18-6 SU in their last 24 as a road favorite.
With the NFC East title just waiting for them to take control, the Cowboys rise to the occasion, win, and cover.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.