We’ve reached the point of the season where we’re just grinding it out. It’s cold as hell, Christmas is here, 2022 will be in the books next week, and the Bears will very likely be 3-12 by the time Santa makes his rounds on Saturday night (and I shamelessly devour all the cookies and milk my kids and I left out for him).
The Bills are in town for a Christmas Eve date with the Bears on Saturday afternoon, and it should be a cold one on the lakefront.
Chicago Bears (3-11, 4th NFC North) vs Buffalo Bills (11-3, 1st AFC East) – CBS (Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta); WBBM 780 AM, 105.9 FM (Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Mark Grote)
Kickoff Time: Noon CT
Site: Soldier Field; Chicago.
Referee: Carl Cheffers
Odds: Bills -8, O/U 40.5 (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:
- David Montgomery anytime TD scorer, Justin Fields OVER 80 rushing yards (alternate line), Cole Kmet OVER 35 receiving yards (+1000) — Let’s get wild and win some of that Christmas cash back this weekend and try to turn $10 in a crisp Ben Franklin with this juiced (but honestly pretty realistic) play.
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
Bills: Josh Allen: 22/33, 266 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT; 8 carries, 47 rushing yards
Bears: Justin Fields: 14/22, 149 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 12 carries, 81 rushing yards, 1 TD
Bears Projected Starters
• QB Justin Fields
• RB David Montgomery
• FB Khari Blasingame
• WRs Equanimeous St. Brown, Dante Pettis
• TE Cole Kmet
• LT Braxton Jones, LG Michael Schofield III, C Sam Mustipher, RG Alex Leatherwood, RT Riley Reiff
• LDE Trevis Gipson, LDT Mike Pennel Jr., RDT Justin Jones, RDE Dominique Robinson
• SAM Matthew Adams, MIKE Joe Thomas, WILL Nicholas Morrow
• LCB Jaylon Johnson, RCB Kyler Gordon
• FS DeAndre Houston-Carson, SS Jaquan Brisker
• Cairo Santos (kicker), Trenton Gill (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Velus Jones Jr. (punt returns), Velus Jones Jr. (kick returns)
Bills Projected Starters
• QB Josh Allen
• RB Devin Singletary
• WRs Stephon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Isaiah McKenzie
• TE Dawson Knox
• LT Bobby Hart, LG Rodger Saffold, C Ryan Bates, RG Greg Van Roten, RT Spencer Brown
• LDE Greg Rousseau, LDT Ed Oliver, RDT DaQuan Jones, RDE Shaq Lawson
• SAM Terrel Bernard, MIKE Tremaine Edmunds, WILL Matt Milano
• LCB Tre’Davious White, RCB Xavier Rhodes
• FS Jordan Poyer, SS Damar Hamlin
• Tyler Bass (kicker), Sam Martin (punter, holder), Reid Ferguson (long snapper), Isaiah McKenzie, Nyheim Hines (kick and punt returns)
It looks like Alex Leatherwood will start in place of Teven Jenkins. While most of this week’s combination of the offensive line doesn’t have much to gain or lose from the final three games, Leatherwood is a young player that GM Ryan Poles and his front office took a chance on and would love to see pan out in some fashion. Especially with the way the offensive lineman are flying off the board by way of extensions today.
Last week, Head Coach Matt Eberflus said he wanted to see Justin Fields make more of the routine plays down the stretch. We’ve seen Fields razzle and dazzle his way to a conversation of whether or not he was a legitimate Pro Bowl snub this year, but if Fields is going to be an elite quarterback in this league, he’s going to need to continue to fill the passer bucket.
Fields did a nice job of meeting Eberflus’ challenge last week against the Eagles, and that will be the point of focus for me from an evaluator standpoint this week as well.
More on Fields’ success against Philly and his transformative season in this week’s Fields Film:
Cole Kmet gets another nod this week. Of those who have something to prove, Kmet is among them. Despite not getting into the end zone since the Lions game, Kmet hauled in 16 receptions and remained one of Fields’ favorite targets.
Let’s be honest, Christmas is in two days, the calendar flips to 2023 in a week, and in all likelihood, the Bears will be 3-12 after the weekend; nothing matters but the performance of the players that matter beyond this season at this point.