The Chicago Bears opening wins in their first six games was an overreach by most estimations, and Chicago’s four straight losses are an obvious balancing of that equation. Yet now, we have to ask if this Bears team is really so bad that they would lose five straight games?
That is a stretch every bit as dramatic as them looking to extend a 5-1 record.
Tonight, the Chicago Bears return to quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who was replaced in third week action by Nick Foles after Trubisky found a defender wide open and tossed him the ball. The last pass as a starter for Trubisky, was returned for an Atlanta Falcons touchdown.
Foles resurrected the Bears in relief of Trubisky that day in Atlanta, bringing Chicago back from a double-digit deficit to a straight-up win as an underdog, 30-26.
That victory staked the Bears to a 3-0 won/loss record, and after a defeat against the Indianapolis Colts in fourth week action, they won two more games over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers.
End of story, by my count. To expect the Bears to go up from a fortuitous 5-1 start, would be pushing an envelope beyond its anticipated limit. And, by script, the Bears lost their next four games, beating the spread only once in that quartet of contests.
Their lone point spread win was logged while Chicago was getting 5½ points at home, losing the game by three points in overtime to the New Orleans Saints, 26-23.
Their five straight up losses included point spread defeats to the Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings, all teams capable of putting together a dominating game.
Their fourth loss was to the Minnesota Vikings, 19-13 at home, and now they return to Soldier Field as a decided underdog against a Packers squad with both better talent and bouncing off a loss last week in Indianapolis. The Colts overcame a two-touchdown deficit to down the Packers in overtime last Sunday, and most figure Green Bay will be chomping at the bit to erase the sting of that loss at Lucas Oil Stadium. Most expect a motivated Packers squad tonight that is poised to avenge that defeat.
The Packers know they have elements of their game to shore up, but overall they are confident their talent on both sides of the ball can handle the task of beating their NFC North Division rivals by a lopsided score. The Packers are after all coming off that loss, which in most cases points to a good team bouncing back with a big effort.
The Packers are a good team. They have a won/loss record only bettered by the New Orleans Saints in the National Football Conference. The Packers have won seven of ten games, the Saints won their ninth today in Denver. The Broncos were at a distinct disadvantage, playing the game without a player on the active roster listed as a quarterback.
Suffice it to say, the Saints win today would seem to give the Packers more motivation to stay within shouting distance with an eighth win of their own.
It would seem that way; but it is not how it will play out.
The scale weighted against Chicago when they were 5-1, is now reversed to where they are due for a win coming out of their bye week following four straight losses.
The point spread is a great insurance policy, but the wager on the Bears tonight is in alignment to where these two teams have been, are, and headed.
Qoxhi Picks: Chicago Bears (+8) over Green Bay Packers