RAMS vs. BEARS: Week 14 Preview - December 9, 2018

Social Navigation

RAMS vs. BEARS: Week 14 Preview – December 9, 2018

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears play host to the Los Angeles Rams in what could possibly be a playoff preview.

Chicago is now where Los Angeles was at this time last year: sitting atop a division they weren’t supposed to win. Indeed, the Bears have the NFC North’s best record after firing an old-school, conservative to his core, defensive-minded head coach and replacing him with a young, energetic coach who has injected new life into the team and fan base. The blueprint was out there, and to this point, the Bears have followed it to the finest detail.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, has a roster loaded with talent at every position group on the depth chart. The Rams have 11 guys who have been Pro Bowlers in the past and others deserving of a nomination this year. And even though they’ve already clinched the NFC West and are keeping eyes on capturing the No. 1 overall seed, this is a hungry group with real Super Bowl dreams. Let’s just say Mitch Trubisky is back in the saddle just in the time.

Never Tell Me The Odds:”

The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas has the Bears as 3-point home underdogs against the Rams and the vibe here is there should be some scoring. An over/under of 51.5 has been set and it’s tied for the highest total in this week’s games.

Series History:

The Bears are 53-36-3 all-time against the Rams in a series that goes back to 1937 when the rams were in Cleveland. Yes, that was a thing. Sunday will mark the first time the Bears have played the Los Angeles version of the Rams since 1994 when they won 27-13.

Game Time, Broadcast Info, Officiating Crew:

Location: Soldier Field

Broadcast Info: Sunday, December 9 at 7:20 on NBC (Al Michael, Cris Collinsworth, Michelle Tafoya), WBBM-AM 780, WCFS-FM 105.9

Referee: Craig Wrolstad

Expected Starters and Lineups:

Bears Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Mitch Trubisky
  • RB Jordan Howard
  • RB Tarik Cohen
  • WR Allen Robinson
  • WR Taylor Gabriel
  • TE Trey Burton
  • LT Charles Leno Jr.
  • LG James Daniels
  • C Cody Whitehair
  • RG Bryan Witzmann
  • RT Bobby Massie

Bears Defense Expected Starters:

  • DT Akiem Hicks
  • NT Eddie Goldman
  • OLB Khalil Mack
  • ILB Danny Trevathan
  • ILB Roquan Smith
  • OLB Leonard Floyd
  • CB Kyle Fuller
  • CB Prince Amukamara
  • CB Bryce Callahan
  • FS Eddie Jackson
  • SS Adrian Amos

Bears Specialists: 

  • Cody Parkey (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Taquan Mizzell Sr. (kick returner), Tarik Cohen (punt returner)

Rams Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Jared Goff
  • RB Todd Gurley
  • WR Brandin Cooks
  • WR Robert Woods
  • WR Josh Reynolds
  • TE Gerald Everett
  • LT Andrew Whitworth
  • LG Roger Saffold
  • C John Sullivan
  • RG Austin Blythe
  • RT Rob Havenstein

Rams Defense Expected Starters:

  • DE Michael Brockers
  • NT Ndamukong Suh
  • DT Aaron Donald
  • WLB Matt Longacre
  • OLB Samson Ebukam
  • ILB Cory Littleton
  • ILB Mark Barron
  • LCB Marcus Peters
  • RCB Aqib Talib
  • FS Lamarcus Joyner
  • SS John Johnson III

Rams Specialists:

  • Greg Zuerlein (kicker), Johnny Hekker (punter, holder), Jake McQuaide (long snapper), JoJo Natson (kick return, punt return)

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Chicago Bears – Offense

Mitch Trubisky is the obvious choice here. We haven’t seen Trubisky throw a meaningful pass since Week 11, but all signs point to QB1 being at full strength on Sunday. Trubisky’s return could spark a big game for any number of wide receiver targets. Here’s a list of receivers who have had 100-yard games against the Rams this season: Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders, Davante Adams, Michael Thomas, Tyreek Hill. Now, here is a group of wideouts who have had multiple TD catches against the Rams: Mike Williams, Aldrick Robinson, David Moore, Tyreek Hill, Chris Conley.

Someone is due for a breakout game and will get it if Trubisky can deliver.

Chicago Bears – Defense

Khalil Mack is a big-game performer whose best work this season has come in primetime. Mack has three sacks, three forced fumbles (two recoveries), and a pick-six under the bright lights. What’s left for him to do? We’ve troubled ourselves trying to figure out how the Bears are going to limit Aaron Donald, but the Rams are left to solve the Khalil Mack equation. Good luck.

Los Angeles Rams – Offense

Todd Gurley is what really makes the Rams offense click. Gurley has six 100-yard games and five with multiple touchdowns. He can run between the tackles, break it outside, catch passes in the flat, and even run routes. Think Saquon Barkley, but with two Pro Bowl years, an All-Pro season, and a campaign in which he was named the Associated Press’ 2017 Offensive Player of the Year under his belt.

This is where we sigh loudly because he was taken three picks after the Bears selected Kevin White in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Los Angeles Rams – Defense

Aaron Donald is a monster who must be stopped if the Bears are going to pull off an upset. HOWEVER, Donald is one of those forces who most teams simply hope to contain as best as possible. Earlier, we offered up the idea of avoiding running at him altogether. Hey, it’s a plan!

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.