Fans of good football are in for a treat as the 2-5 Chicago Bears visit the 2-6 San Diego Chargers. While both teams are firmly below .500, the Chargers are better than their losing records would indicate. The Bears have shown signs of improving under their new head coach John Fox, but they probably aren’t ready for a prime time game like Monday Night Football quite yet. The point spread is currently favoring the Chargers at -4.5
Monday Night Football: Chicago Bears vs. San Diego Chargers
Point Spread: Chargers -4.5 Over/under: 49 Date: Monday, November 9, 8:30pm ET Location:Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
Matt Forte is (truly) listed as day-to-day with a knee injury and the Bears’ chances against the Chargers hinges on his ability to play. Chicago’s offense wisely works around Forte’s ability to gash defenses both on the ground and through the air. Without his dynamic play making abilities, it will be up to Jay Cutler to air it out against a San Diego defense that is giving up 238 yards in passing per game. With several receivers banged up, it might be difficult to get anything going, meaning Forte’s absence could sink the Bear’s offense before it even takes the field.
The +4.5 underdog Bears have looked better on defense this year, but face Philip Rivers, who has thrown for over 1,100 yards in the last three games. It’ll be a tough challenge to stop Rivers, but they’ve improved greatly in pass defense, allowing just over 200 yards per game through the air. Chicago has still struggled to stop the run as they’re currently ranked 23rd in the league, giving up an average of 128 yards per game. While the Chargers’ rushing attack leaves much to be desired, they’ll need to focus on keeping rookie Melvin Gordon from having the breakout game San Diego desperately needs from him.
San Diego Chargers
If not for the Chargers’ spotty defense, they could have a winning record. They’re currently allowing opponents to score over 28 points per game, constantly putting the pressure on the offense to keep pace. Against the Bears, they should have an easier time slowing things down and getting off the field. The -4.5 favored Chargers have managed 19 sacks on the year, which bodes well against Chicago’s often suspect offensive line. With a strong pass rush, they could have an easy time forcing Cutler into one of his trademark multiple interception games.
Rivers has consistently kept San Diego in games with his stellar play, but his job is about to get harder. His favorite target, Keenan Allen, is lost for the season with a lacerated kidney. Allen has accounted for 725 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns, and was their most potent offensive weapon. Veteran Antonio Gates could stand to have a good game in Allen’s absence, as the Bears have trouble covering big, physical tight ends. Add in Rivers accuracy on deep throws and the Chargers could be a few big plays from running up the score on the Bears.
Monday Night Football Prediction
The numbers in the loss column for each team are similar but tell a very different story. The Bears are a team that isn’t supposed to win very many games this season, while the Chargers have lost several of their games by a touchdown or less against some of the league’s best teams. Rivers will have a huge game against Chicago’s defense, while the Bears will struggle with their star running back either hobbled or not in the line up at all.