After back-to-back primetime games, the Bears are back in their regular Sunday afternoon slot for a matchup with the Dallas Cowboys at Jerry World in Arlington, Texas.
What a whirlwind of a short week it’s been. Heck, what a whirlwind it’s been since the last time the Bears played on Sunday afternoon. Since the Bears lost to the Vikings a couple of weeks ago, we’ve seen probably the most embarrassing loss of the Justin Fields era and the most dominating victory of that same era.
The TNF disaster against the Commanders was likely (hopefully?) rock bottom for the Bears. At home, under the lights, a mediocre (at best) Commanders team embarrassed the Bears. Washington battered Justin Fields all night and I spent the ensuing days calling for Ryan Poles to provide answers and speak to the media after he allowed his franchise quarterback to be pummeled on a national stage.
Poles did indeed speak to the media ahead of the New England game on Monday night in Foxborough, and the Bears went out and punched the Patriots right in the kisser in their building. Eberflus outcoached the hoodie, Luke Getsy finally put Fields in a position to succeed, and the defense put on a clinic in taking the ball away.
So, when trying to decide how I feel about this week’s matchup with the Cowboys, the last two weeks have left me without an answer. Well, actually, I have an answer, as not as clear as I would like: which version of the Bears will make the trip to Arlington?
Will we see the pathetic Bears from the TNF disaster? Or will we see the Bears that look like they’re heading in the right direction from last Monday night? Well, if we get the former, it will be a rough Sunday. But if we get the latter, the Bears can give the Cowboys a run for their money in their house.
Chicago Bears (3-4, T-2nd NFC North) at Dallas Cowboys (5-2, 3rd AFC East) – FOX (Adam Amin, Daryl Johnston); WBBM 780 AM, 105.9 FM (Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Mark Grote)
Kickoff Time: Noon CT
Site: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Tx.
Referee: Brad Rogers
Odds: DAL -9.5, O/U 42.5 (via DraftKings Sports Book)
We Got $5 On It
Note: Patrick’s listed bets were placed on Draft Kings Sportsbook, while Luis’ were made at BetMGM.
- One Game Parlay: Justin Fields 150+ passing yards, Darnell Mooney 50+ receiving yards, Cole Kmet 15+ receiving yards, Cowboys UNDER 14.5 points (1st quarter), Cowboys UNDER 20.5 points (1st half) (+400) — If you took my pick *AND* Patrick’s play last week, then I imagine you’re having a great week. Let’s keep the good times rolling, shall we? I don’t think I’m asking too much out of this five-pick parlay, where Fields, Mooney, and Kmet each have reachable numbers on the Bears side of things. And while I know the defense will miss Robert Quinn’s presence, the leadership council of Matt Eberflus and Alan Williams — coupled with the remaining defensive studs on the roster — gives me faith there won’t be a letdown. At +400, a $5 wager pays out $25. Trick or treat!
- Same-Game Parlay: David Montgomery anytime TD scorer, Tony Pollard anytime TD scorer, OVER 8.5 points 1st quarter (+625) — If the Bears are going to have any shot of beating the Cowboys this week, it’s going to center around the run game. I wanted to put together a rushing yard parlay featuring Fields and Montgomery, but rushing props aren’t up on DraftKings yet. So, here’s the play: David Montgomery and Tony Pollard will score a touchdown, and we’re taking the over on 8.5 first-quarter points. That’s a touchdown and a field goal combined and $36.25 (on a $5 bet) towards some Halloween beers on Monday.
You can get in on this action at DraftKings:
But there are a number of other official gambling apps you can use (with some juicy promos) right here.
Starting QBs and Projected Game Stats
Cowboys: Dak Prescott: 18/28, 208 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 3 carries, 13 rushing yards
Bears: Justin Fields: 17/28, 195 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 9 carries, 46 rushing yards
Bears Projected Starters
• QB Justin Fields
• RB David Montgomery
• WRs Darnell Mooney, Equanimeous St. Brown, Velus Jones Jr.
• TE Cole Kmet
• LT Braxton Jones, LG Michael Schofield, C Sam Mustipher, RG Teven Jenkins, RT Larry Borom (still in concussion protocol, so possibly Riley Rieff)
• LDE Al-Quadin Muhammad, LDT Angelo Blackson, RDT Justin Jones, RDE Dominique Robinson (or Trevis Gipson?)
• SAM Nicholas Morrow, MIKE Joe Thomas, WILL Roquan Smith
• LCB Jaylon Johnson, RCB Kyler Gordon
• FS Eddie Jackson, SS Jaquan Brisker
• Cairo Santos (kicker), Trenton Gill (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Dante Pettis (punt returns), Velus Jones Jr. (kick returns)
Cowboys Projected Starters
• QB Dak Prescott
• RB Tony Pollard
• WRs CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Noah Brown
• TE Dalton Shultz
• LT Tyler Smith, LG Connor McGovern, C Tyler Biadasz, RG Zack Martin, RT Terence Steele
• LDE DeMarcus Lawrence, LDT Osa Odighizuwa, RDT Quinton Bohana, RDE Durance Armstrong
• WLB Anthony Barr, WLB Leighton Vander Esch, SLB Micah Parsons
• LCB Anthony Brown, RCB Trevon Diggs
• FS Donovan Wilson, SS Jayron Kearse
• Brett Maher (kicker), Bryan Anger (punter, holder), Matt Overton (long snapper), KaVonte Turpin (kick and punt returns)
David Montgomery will have a strong afternoon if the Bears are going to have any success against the Cowboys. The Bears lead the NFL in rushing yards per game with 181 yards per contest, and the Cowboys are middle of the pack in defending the run allowing 120 yards per contest.
Montgomery will be the focal point of that attack, complemented by Khalil Herbert and Justin Fields on the ground. Leaving Fields on an island with a bunch of dropbacks with Micah Parsons looking to get a hold of him should be the last thing the Bears look to do, so keep the ball on the ground and pound it against the Cowboys.
Justin Fields is fresh off of his best game, a dominant victory over the Patriots in Foxborough. Still, the Cowboys are a different animal on the defensive side of the ball. Micah Parsons will be a massive hurdle for Fields and the Bears this week (if he is healthy).
Luke Getsy found a way to extract the best of Fields’ talents from the second-year quarterback on Monday night. But things will have to be slightly different this week. The Bears will need to find a way to find Fields a bodyguard to protect him from Parsons. And I would imagine that they draw back just a bit on the designed quarterback runs. I don’t want them to be gone; I just don’t want to see Fields run the ball 14 times (12 by design) when the Bears have a two-back system of Montgomery and Herbert playing as well as they have.
Let’s replace some of the designed runs with some of the calls that allowed Justin to move his pocket to a comfortable launch point on Monday night; those plays were excellent. You can read more about them in this week’s Fields Film:
Dominique Robinson likely becomes a starter with Robert Quinn departed for Philadelphia in a trade this week. The rookie has been quiet since a strong NFL debut against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1. Robinson will have a tall task ahead of him this week in his first NFL start. And hopefully, he can rise to the occasion and have his name called (for the right reasons) a few times this weekend.
Dak Prescott looked like a quarterback shaking off the rust last week against the Lions. The Bears’ secondary looked phenomenal last week against the Patriots. So even with Ezekiel Elliott out with a knee injury, the Cowboys should still look to get the run game going with Tony Pollard.