In defense of their NFC North Division Championship, the Chicago Bears opened 2019 with a home loss to the Green Bay Packers, and a 53-yard last second field goal to nip the Denver Broncos in second week action on the road. Tonight, they play their second straight away from Soldier Field, and again they are favored on the point spread, this time by an expanding number that has risen as high as six points.
The Bears are favored at FedExField tonight for two reasons; what the Washington Redskins have done this season, and what the Bears did last year. Winning a division after four straight last place finishes is a major accomplishment, but winning in the season after a team has a breakthrough year like that is almost impossible.
The Bears talent is there, and will pay dividends in seasons to come, but a down year this season, particularly against the point spread, is unavoidable.
What the Bears did last season is handing them no edges this year … quite the opposite. A year ago, if the Bears would have been playing the Redskins in an early season game the Redskins would have been favored in Washington. This year, after a season that is sure to create a crater, the Bears are favored by an expanding line.
What Washington has done this year might also not help Chicago’s chances tonight.
The Redskins lost on the road to the Philadelphia Eagles to open the campaign, that after they built a 17-0 early lead before needing a late touchdown to cut the losing margin to five points, 32-27. Washington was given credit for a good offensive performance against the then highly regarded Eagles, who have lost some of their luster now that Philadelphia has dropped two straight decisions against the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions.
Last week, hosting NFC East Division rival Dallas, the Cowboys rode past Washington in convincing fashion, 31-21. The public expects a talented Bears team to do the same tonight, but while the Cowboys are in the early stages of an up year, the Bears are just starting their dissent. The Redskins didn’t handle the team on the way up last week, but they are perfectly poised to take it out against the team on the way down tonight.
While a political candidate would enjoy a 54% win at the voting box, that percentage of an edge in public money is not a major factor. More than half are siding with the Bears tonight, while it appears the wise guys are sitting this one out. Perhaps concerned about the talent imbalances when the Redskins offense is matched against the Bears defense.
If I was concerned about talent, then I would miss way too many great point spread propositions pinned to motivation. Talent coming in is one thing, but talent that shows up on the field is not necessarily tied to the past. The team that has the most to lose, their backs to the wall, knowing they are going to have to be special to have a chance to succeed, is the squad that shows up at the stadium with an edge missing in an opponent relying on talent to carry the day.
Or, in this case, the night.
Qoxhi Picks: Washington Redskins (+5½) over Chicago Bears