Week 13 Preview: Cardinals at Bears — December 5, 2021

This weekend, the Bears will welcome the NFL leading Arizona Cardinals (9-2) into Soldier Field. And I don’t love what it might do to the segment of Bears fans who thought the win over Detroit was some sort of signal.

Arizona brings a top-five unit to Soldier Field (on both sides of the ball), while the Bears have been ravaged by injuries (also on both sides of the ball). And all of that on top of, you know, just not being better than Arizona at full strength. This has the makings of one of those beatings that New England or Green Bay put on them in 2014 at the tail end of the Trestman era when the Patriots and Packers scored 106 combined points against the Bears in back-to-back weeks.

I can’t sit here and pretend that there’s a viable path to victory over the Cardinals this week, save for a wild miracle-type performance by the Bears and the Cardinals … letting them off the hook. I guess that’s why they take the field.

“Never Tell Me The Odds”

The DraftKings SportsBook lists the Cardinals (9-2) as 7-point favorites against the Bears (4-7). Over/under: 43.5. More on the odds and ATS picks here.

Series History:

The Chicago Bears lead the Arizona Cardinals 57-28-6 in the all-time series. The Bears have won the last meetings with the Cardinals, a 16-14 win over Arizona in September of 2018.

Game Time, Broadcast Info, Officiating Crew:

Location: Soldier Field

Broadcast Info: Sunday, December 5 at noon CT on FOX-TV (Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Shannon Spake), WBBM-AM 780 and WCFS-FM 105.9 (Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Mark Grote), SportsUSA: Josh Appel, Mark Carrier

Officials: Jerome Boger (referee)

Expected Starters and Lineups:

CHICAGO BEARS (4-7, 2-1 NFC North)
179 (16.3 PPG, 29th)
254 (23.1 PPG, 18th)

•   QB Andy Dalton
•   RB David Montgomery
•   WRs Darnell Mooney, Marquise Goodwin, Damiere Byrd
•   TE Cole Kmet
•   LT Jason Peters, LG Cody Whitehair, C Sam Mustipher, RG James Daniels, RT Larry Borom

Unavailable: RB/PR Tarik Cohen, WR Allen Robinson II

•   DT Angelo Blackson, NT Eddie Goldman, DE Bilal Nichols
•   OLBs Robert Quinn, Trevis Gipson
•   ILBs Roquan Smith, Alec Ogletree
•   CBs Jaylon Johnson, Artie Burns
•   FS Eddie Jackson
•   SS Tashaun Gipson Sr.

Unavailable: OLB Khalil Mack, ILB Danny Trevathan, DT Akiem Hicks

•   Cairo Santos (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Jakeem Grant Sr. (punt and kick returns)

Expected Starters and Lineups:

 310 (28.2 PPG, 5th)
202 (18.4 PPG, 4th)

•   QB Kyler Murray
•   RB James Conner
•   WRs DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk
•   TE Zach Ertz
•   LT D.J. Humphries, LG Justin Pugh, C Rodney Houston, RG Josh Jones, RT Kelvin Beachum

•   DT Zach Allen, NT Corey Peters, DE Jordan Phillips
•   OLBs Chandler Jones, Markus Golden, ILBs Isaiah Simmons, Jordan Hicks
•   CBs Byron Murphy Jr., Robert Alford
•   S Jalen Thompson, Budda Baker

•   Matt Prater (kicker), Andy Lee (punter, holder), Rondale Moore (kick and punt returns)

Three Bears

Robert Quinn was named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Month this week. He’ll have quite the task this Sunday in trying to slow down Kyler Murray and the fifth-ranked Arizona Cardinals offense. Robert Quinn has been excellent this season, and he was super impressive in November. Still, the Bears defense is ravaged right now, and even a career-best type performance from Quinn probably won’t be enough to stop Arizona on Sunday. But, alas, Quinn will be the guy the Bears need to wreak havoc on the Cardinals with Khalil Mack done for the season and Roquan Smith’s status in question this week after he suffered a hamstring injury against Detroit.

David Montgomery should get plenty of work this week with Andy Dalton likely under center again as Justin Fields continues to deal with cracked ribs suffered in the loss to Baltimore two weeks ago. The Cardinals bring a top-five offense into Soldier Field. There is a good chance of that offense eating the Bears alive, so keeping the game on the ground, feeding David Montgomery the ball, and controlling the clock will be the wisest game plan that Matt Nagy could roll out this week. The Bears’ defense is bruised and battered, and keeping them on the field because you can’t control the clock is a recipe for disaster. The Cardinals might score 40 points on the Bears in this one if the time of possession is lopsided in Arizona’s favor.

Darnell Mooney will get the lion share of targets again this week with Allen Robinson II likely out on Sunday. With A-Rob sidelined, Mooney has ten catches, 144 yards, and a touchdown in his last two games. The second-year wideout has 46 catches, 694 yards, and three touchdowns on the season. Let the kid eat; there’s nothing else left to do this season but prepare for next season. Except for the fact that the guy calling the plays (regardless of who is “calling them”) is trying to save his job, which is why I believe that if the Bears are resigned to firing Nagy after the season, they should just do it now. There are legitimate pieces for the future on the roster, like Darnell Mooney, so why keep up this Nagy charade if you’re going to fire him after the season?

written by

Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

more bears news

Would You Trade Up to Draft Marvin Harrison Jr.? And Other Bears Bullets

Saturday's forecast in Chicago has temperatures getting into the low 70s. So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try to breeze through this set of Bears Bullets so I can get some fresh air. Adam Rank got the wheels...

Bears to Host Jared Verse on a Top-30 Visit

Momma, there goes that man's name again. Jared Verse is firmly on the Chicago Bears radar. And soon, they'll get to know the Florida State pass rusher more intimately whenever he makes his way to Halas Hall: https://twitter.com/Schultz_Report/status/1778918914983969222 NFL reporter...

What If the Falcons-Vikings Tampering Case Impacts the Bears?

Do you remember that NFL tampering investigation that features the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings? Better yet, are you familiar with the Chicago Bears connection to the ridiculousness? In case you missed it, here is the backstory on that: https://twitter.com/BN_Bears/status/1770183958086512937...

Justin Fields is Working on Ball Placement (Which is Great News for the Bears)

Let me be clear out of the gate. I'm not going to make it a habit to obsessively write up Justin Fields posts this year. Fields is no longer the Chicago Bears quarterback. And with Caleb Williams on his way...

This Mel Kiper NFL Mock Draft Might Be a Sign of Things to Come for the Bears

Mel Kiper Jr. mock drafts tend to be more sourced and less about his own evaluations. It is among the reasons why I follow them obsessively this time of year. And when it comes to the Chicago Bears, Mel has...

Remembering Some Day 3 Gems, NFL Draft Green Room Party Shrinks, and Other Bears Bullets

The good news is that Friday is here. But the bad news is that I've been feeling like I was hit in the head with a frying pan all morning. Let's breeze through this set of Bears Bullets, take some...

Caleb Williams is One of 13 Players Scheduled to be at the NFL Draft

If the Chicago Bears do the obvious thing and take Caleb Williams with the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the USC quarterback will be in attendance for that magic moment. ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter shares the list...

Hmmm: Jared Verse Keeps Popping Up a 2024 Bears Draft Target

Florida State pass rusher Jared Verse is a name I've been seeing pop up in connection with the Chicago Bears a bunch in recent days. And once I realized I was telling myself "hmm ... that is an interesting trend"...

Caleb Williams Dunking on Haters Brings Me Joy

Caleb Williams isn't even the Chicago Bears quarterback yet, and he is already giving off a vibe that I can appreciate. Williams — who, like us — has time on his hands to kill ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft. And the...

Jayden Daniels Has a Meeting With the Minnesota Vikings

Jayden Daniels watch is ON. Unless something wildly unpredictable happens between now and April 25, the Chicago Bears will select USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. But what happens after that is anyone's...

Latest News

Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 4, Mariners 1 – April 13, 2024

The start to Shota Imanaga's MLB career really couldn't be going much better. Although he didn't rack up the strikeouts in this one like he has in his first two, he didn't allow an earned run through his 5.1 innings...

Athletics vs. Nationals Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Oakland Athletics (6-9) host the Washington Nationals (6-8) Sunday to close out a three-game series. The Athletics are favored (-127) to win the rubber match, which starts at 4:07 PM ET from Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.Alex Wood gets the starting...

Mariners vs. Cubs Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Seattle Mariners (6-9) are -138 favorites to take Game 3 of th series from the Chicago Cubs (8-6) Sunday at 4:10 PM ET. The teams enter the matchup with the series record tied, and the underdog Cubs are listed...

Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Arizona Diamondbacks (7-8) are -155 favorites to take Game 3 of th series from the St. Louis Cardinals (7-8) Sunday at 4:10 PM ET. The teams enter the matchup with the series record tied, and the underdog Cardinals are...

LeBron James Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Pelicans – Sunday, April 14, 2024

To beat his 3-point prop, LeBron James must make three from downtown on Sunday, when his Los Angeles Lakers meet the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday at 3:30 PM ET.LeBron James' Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the PelicansLeBron James' over/under for...

Stephen Curry Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Jazz – Sunday, April 14, 2024

On Sunday at 3:30 PM ET, the Golden State Warriors face the Utah Jazz, and Stephen Curry's 3-pointer over/under for this matchup requires six triples.Stephen Curry's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the JazzStephen Curry's over/under for three-pointers in this game: 5.5...

Anthony Davis Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Pelicans – Sunday, April 14, 2024

Will Anthony Davis make just one 3-pointer when the Los Angeles Lakers face the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday at 3:30 PM ET? If so, he'll beat his over/under for the game.Anthony Davis' Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the PelicansAnthony Davis'...

Bet365 Promo Code Scores $1000 Safety Net or a Bet $5, Get $150 Offer

New to the world of sports betting? Or perhaps a seasoned bettor looking for a fresh platform? The bet365 promo code stands out with its enticing welcome offer, granting you the power to choose between two attractive options: $1000 Safety...

Athletics vs. Nationals Probable Starting Pitchers – April 14

The Oakland Athletics (6-9) host the Washington Nationals (6-8) for a home game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Sunday. First pitch is at 4:07 PM ET.The Athletics will call on Alex Wood (0-1) versus the Nationals and Trevor Williams (2-0).Athletics...

Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals Probable Starting Pitchers – April 14

The St. Louis Cardinals (7-8) square off against the Arizona Diamondbacks (7-8) on the road on Sunday beginning at 4:10 PM ET.The Diamondbacks will look to Zac Gallen (2-0) against the Cardinals and Miles Mikolas (1-1).Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals Pitcher Matchup...

more bears news