The first 3 quarters of Monday Night’s game against the Chargers was not pretty for the Bears as they were losing 16 – 7 going into the 4th quarter… But Jay Cutler was able to orchestrate 2 touchdown drives late in the game to pull out the victory. Bears tight end Zach Miller scored the game winning touchdown with a circus catch from 25 yards out with 3:19 left in the game. Lamarr Houston was able to sack Phillip Rivers twice on the Bolts final drive to help seal the victory.
The Bears now turn their focus to the St. Louis Rams, who are coming off of a heated loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Rams’ Lamarcus Joyner was at the center of the controversial hit on Sunday but Coach Jeff Fisher knows it was just a football pay, “It’s a part of the game. I’m disappointed that he went out. I hope he returns to play as soon as he can,” Fisher said.
The Bears can expect a physical matchup this Sunday as the Rams like to grind out the game on the ground with rookie thoroughbred running back Todd Gurley. Gurley has put up some eye popping numbers thru 6 games as he is averaging 5.6 YPC and has scored 4 times. At 6’ 1” and 227 pounds, Gurley runs like Adrian Peterson without the domestic violence issues. Expect the Bears defense to see a heavy dose of Gurley as they rank 21st overall against the run.
The Rams are fortunate to have a RB like Gurley because QB Nick Foles ranks dead last in total passing yards. Foles is only averaging 177 YPG, which has limited the receptions for WR Kenny Brit and WR Tavon Austin. St. Louis signed perennial concussed slot WR Wes Welker this past week and has the possibility of suiting up against the Bears.
The real toughness of the Rams comes from the defensive side of the ball with a defensive line that loves to wreak havoc on opposing QBs. Led by DE Chris Long and DE Robert Quinn, the Rams are only giving up 18.3 PPG, which is 6th in the NFL and are even better at home with a 12 PPG average. A couple other notable Rams defenders are DT Aaron Donald (who was rumored to get drafted by the Bears back in 2014), CB Janoris Jenkins and MLB James Laurinaitis.
It looks like the Bears will be without Matt Forte for the second straight game so Jeremy Langford will look to have back to back solid performance as the lead back. Langford’s stat line in San Diego was 18 carries for 72 yards and a TD, while adding 3 catches for 70 yards.
Martellus Bennett looked like his old self last game too with 8 receptions for 57 yard and a score. Alshon Jeffery seems to be fully healthy as he pulled down 10 of his 16 targets for 151 yards. Even with another 150+ yard performance, Jeffery left some plays on the field with 2 drops, one of which would have been a touchdown.
If this game was in Chicago, the Bears would have a good shot of knocking off the 2nd place team in the NFC West but on the road with Gurley running the rock will be too tall of an order for this team. The only way the Bears win this game is if they make Foles beat them thru the air.
Bears Rams Notes & Predictions
Key Matchup: Bears Run Defense vs. RB Todd Gurley
Key Injuries: RB Matt Forte (Questionable), WR Eddie Royal (Questionable)
Fact: The Bears are the only team to not have a touchdown in the 3rd quarter this year
Fantasy Spotlight: RB Todd Gurley
Spread: Rams -7
Prediction: Bears 20, Rams 22