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What: Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins
When: Monday Night Football, September 23 at 8:15 p.m. ET
Where: FedEx Field in Prince George’s County, Maryland
How (TV): ESPN
Latest point spread: Bears -4, Redskins +4
Despite their ineffective offense led by the slow-starting Mitchell Trubisky, the 1-1 Chicago Bears are the favorites going into this Monday Night Football NFC matchup against the winless Washington Redskins, who at 0-2 continue to have faith in their veteran quarterback Case Keenum despite having the talented rookie Dwayne Haskins waiting on the sidelines.
The Redskins have come close enough in both their wins to maintain hope for their 2019 season, while the Bears, who have been struggling to find the end zone, seem to have become overly dependent on their exceptional defense, so this matchup will be the perfect place for one (or both) of these teams to finally kick their sputtering football engines into gear.
Let’s take a quick look at how each of these two teams has situated themselves for Week 3.
There’s no such thing as luck in professional football, but the Chicago Bears came close to finding some last week against the Denver Broncos when, after time seemingly ran out at the end of the game, the referees granted them a single second on the clock, which was plenty of time for new placekicker Eddy Pineiro to boot the game-winner and win 16-14.
Bears’ third-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky appears to be struggling, having posted an unimpressive 16-of-27 for 120 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in Week 2, and a few talking heads have argued that he’s playing so poorly right now that he does not belong out there.
The only touchdown Chicago could muster against the Broncos in Week 2 was from running back David Montgomery, who ran 18 times total for 62 yards, averaging 3.4 yards per carry, and for a team that suffered from a horrible case of field goal double-doink last season, they sure are depending on a whole lot of three-pointers to keep them in their 2019 games.
The offense for the Washington Redskins seemed to be working okay in Week 2, especially considering they were playing the Dallas Cowboys, with Case Keenum throwing two touchdown passes to his receivers – Terry McLaurin and Paul Richardson – while running back Adrian Peterson ran for a touchdown.
But the Redskins’ offense struggled to keep pace with the Dallas Cowboys, who put up 31 points against Washington’s struggling defense, and the truth is, except for Peterson’s one touchdown, he got shut down, held to just 10 carries for 25 yards (averaging 2.5 per carry), with Redskins’ slot receiver Steven Sims Jr. earning a better yards per run average (5.3) after running the ball 3 times for 16 yards.
The defense did sack and intercept the Cowboys once, but it never felt like they could get control of the game after playing catch up the whole time, and without a run game established in the first half, their game plan relied heavily on the pass and got easier to predict and shut down.
Read more on the Washington Redskins postseason odds.
These two teams have met 50 total times (including 7 postseason games), with Washington winning 26 of those games and Chicago winning 23 games.
It sounds strange to say, but the Redskins have won the last seven games against the Bears, but the last one they played was in 2016 when Washington devastated Chicago by a score of 41-21.
But if the Redskins come out on top, then they’ll move to 1-2-0 and begin to separate themselves from the other NFC East basement dweller, the New York Giants, who also went into Week 3 with an 0-2 record.
Who’s favored to win this Week 3 Bears-Redskins matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to briefly compare the Bears and the Redskins next and attempt to answer those questions and more.
The Chicago Bears have the league’s 28th passing attack right now after averaging 164.0 yards through the air per game.
Trubisky is ranked the 28th best quarterback after two games, having thrown for 348 total yards and no touchdowns with one interception.
The most productive receiver on the Bears right now is Allen Robinson, who has 11 catches for 143 yards and no touchdowns, averaging 13.0 yards per catch.
Currently, the Bears have the 18th best rushing attack in the NFL, averaging 99.5 yards per game.
Chicago has been using running back David Montgomery, tied for 36th best production in the league after running 24 times for 80 yards, averaging 3.3 yards per carry.
Dual-threat back Tarik Cohen has also been effective in his second year, with 14 total touches for 74 yards and no touchdowns, averaging 5.3 yards per touch.
Listed as questionable for Week 3: tight end Trey Burton (groin) and guard Kyle Long (hip)
Injury notes: offensive tackles Blake Blackmar (undisclosed) and T.J. Clemmings (quadriceps) have been placed on injured reserve.
After two games, the Washington Redskins have a 10th ranked passing offense, averaging 289.0 yards through the air per game.
Quarterback Case Keenum is 12th among his peers after completing 56-of-81 for 601 yards and 5 touchdowns with no interceptions.
The Redskins’ best receiver right now is rookie Terry McLaurin, who has caught 10 balls for 187 yards and 2 touchdowns, the longest a 69-yard touchdown run in his first NFL game.
Washington has a 30th ranked rushing offense, averaging just 37.5 yards per game.
Their main running back, Adrian Peterson, currently ranks T-71st in the league, with 10 carries for 25.0 yards and 1 touchdown in 2019, averaging just 2.5 yards per carry.
Second running back, Chris Thompson, only has 5 carries for 13 yards and no touchdowns.
Listed as questionable for Week 3: offensive tackle Morgan Moses (knee) and tight end Jordan Reed (concussion)
Injury notes: offensive tackle Trent Williams (head) and quarterback Colt McCoy (lower leg) are listed as OUT, while center Casey Dunn (undisclosed), tight end Matt Flanagan (undisclosed), running back Derrius Guice (knee – Meniscus), running back Shaun Wilson (ankle) and quarterback Josh Woodrum (pectoral) have all been placed on injured reserve.
The Chicago Bears could potentially have a better overall offense at some point, but the way things are going right now the Washington Redskins have the offensive advantage in the passing game while the Bears have the advantage on the ground, so it’s a wash.
Chicago Bears overall defense
The Bears’ pass coverage is ranked 12th in 2019, keeping opponents to 224 total yards per game.
Chicago has 1 total interception and 7 sacks (tied for 7th most in the league) after two games.
The Bears are tied for 6th best against the run, allowing opponents to average just 68.5 yards on the ground per game.
After two weeks of play, Chicago’s defense has allowed opponents to score 24 total points, the third least of all NFL teams.
The best tacklers on the Bears so far this season are inside linebackers Roquan Smith (18 total tackles) and Danny Trevathan (17).
As far as quarterback hunting goes, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd has 2.0 sacks already with 6 tackles.
Keep your eyes on the Bears’ secondary where Kyle Fuller roams, the cornerback with an interception, 4 passes defended and 12 tackles so far this season.
Listed as questionable for Week 3: defensive tackle Eddie Goldman (oblique) and safety Eddie Jackson (shoulder)
Injury notes: defensive end Bilal Nichols (hand) is listed as doubtful while safety Joshua Simmons (undisclosed) has been placed on injured reserve.
The Redskins are ranked 25th against the pass after allowing opponents to average 287.0 yards through the air per game.
Washington has a total of 1 interception and 2 sacks after two games.
The Redskins are ranked second-last in the league against the run, with opponents grinding out 168.0 yards on the ground per game.
Washington’s defense has allowed opponents to score a total of 63 points, tied for the second-most in the NFL this season.
Washington strong safety Landon Collins is tied for 12th most takedowns in the league, with 19 tackles to his name so far in 2019.
The Redskins’ defense has 2 teams sacks so far, one by outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and the other by linebacker Cassanova McKinzy, so expect them to try to get after Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
Trubisky had better keep his other eye on Redskins’ strong safety Montae Nicholson, who already has an interception, 3 passes defended and 14 tackles after two games.
Listed as questionable for Week 3: defensive end Jonathan Allen (knee – MCL), cornerback Quinton Dunbar (knee), linebacker Cassanova McKinzy (hip) and cornerback Fabian Moreau (ankle)
Injury notes: linebacker Jordan Brailford (undisclosed), defensive tackle Caleb Brantley (ankle), linebacker Reuben Foster (knee – ACL), linebacker Myles Humphrey (knee), cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle) and cornerback Greg Stroman (undisclosed) have all been placed on injured reserve.
The Chicago Bears have an excellent defense no matter whom they play and they definitely have the defensive advantage in this one.
Chicago’s punter, Pat O’Donnell, has been with the Bears since the 2014 season, and this year he has punted 13 times for a net average of 45.5 yards per punt, 5th best in the NFL.
Washington’s punter, Tress Way, is in his sixth NFL season, all with the Redskins, and he has punted 9 times so far this season for a net average of 46.7 yards per punt, which is the 2nd best in the league.
Chicago’s placekicker, Eddie Pineiro, was acquired during the offseason through a trade with the Oakland Raiders.
Pineiro has made 4-of-4 field goals this year and he missed zero extra point attempts (1/1).
Washington’s placekicker, Dustin Hopkins, is in his sixth NFL season, fifth with the Redskins.
Hopkins has made 2-of-2 field goals this year and has missed zero extra point attempts (6/6).
Chicago’s punt returner, running back Tarik Cohen, is ranked 17th in the league in return average.
Cohen has returned 5 punts for 43 yards, averaging 8.6 yards per return, his longest for 14 yards.
Washington’s punt returner is slot receiver Trey Quinn, who is currently ranked 10th in average punt return yardage.
Quinn has returned 2 punts for 20 yards this season, averaging 19.0 yards per return, his longest for 11 yards.
Since the Chicago Bears’ placekicker is so new and their field goal mojo is historically questionable, the special team’s advantage for this matchup goes to the Washington Redskins.
The Chicago Bears will win this game because their defense will shut down Washington’s tepid run offense (so far) the same way the Dallas Cowboys did in Week 2, by clogging the gaps and forcing them to be too predictable with their pass game.
It’s only a matter of time before the Bears’ offense starts clicking again, so until that happens, they are lucky enough to have one of the best defenses in the league to keep opponents off the field.
So far, the 1-1 Chicago Bears have looked a bit confused on offense, like they needed a bit more time to get things completely together, but after they easily take care of business against this weaker Redskins team on Monday Night Football, they should start seeing things a bit more clearly and playing a lot more effectively.
Currently, the Washington Redskins have a better passing game than the Bears, so if head coach Jay Gruden and offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell can figure out how to game plan around that strength, the Skins could actually take Chicago by surprise.
Especially given the fact that they are playing this one at home, so the crowd noise could definitely play a factor when it comes to Trubisky being able to wrangle his troops.
The Redskins might be the underdogs, but if their run game can suddenly perk up (Peterson has done it before) and if their defense can put tremendous pressure on Trubisky, who is already under his own pressure to play better, then this game could go Washington’s way in a hurry.
The Chicago Bears by two touchdowns, their offense finally wakes up and their defense puts the Redskins to sleep.
John Breech of CBS Sports takes the under and predicts the score as Bears 20, Redskins 13.
My prediction is – take the under, final score Bears 24, Redskins 10.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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