Chicago Bears Early Underdogs for Week 2 vs. Cardinals
After a loss to their division rivals, the Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Bears will look to get their season back on track with a Week 2 match-up against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals will travel to the Windy City after they had an impressive Week 1 victory at home against the New Orleans Saints.
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Despite being the home team in this match-up, the Bears are clear underdogs in Vegas. According to Vegas Insider, the consensus around the betting community put the Bears at +1.5 for their Week 2 game. Some casinos are showing the Cardinals as two point favorites, but 1.5 seems more prevalent at the moment.
For the online betting community, both Sportsbook and Bovada have the Bears listed as 2.5 point underdogs to the Cardinals.
This should not be much of a surprise to anyone. The Bears put up a nice fight against the Packers in Week 1, but nothing has really changed. They are still a young team without major talent in key places, with 2015 still likely being a rebuilding campaign for the Bears.
The Cardinals however, are a team that is primed to win right now. Led by an aggressive defense that has been among the best in the NFL in recent years, the Cardinals would have been legitimate Super Bowl contenders last season if injuries would not have gotten in their way.
Quarterback Carson Palmer has returned from his major knee injury last season, and looked great in Week 1 against the Saints. The injury to starting running back Andre Ellington will hurt the Cardinals, but Palmer and his explosive passing attack should be able to pick apart the Bears’ less than impressive secondary.
The Bears’ offense looked pretty good last week, but this Cardinals’ defense is a completely different animal. They are loaded with talent across the field, most notably Calais Campbell on the defensive line and Patrick Peterson at cornerback.
Campbell and Peterson are among the elite at their positions in the NFL, but they are not the only weapons on the Cardinals’ defense. Outside linebacker Alex Okafor and the Cardinals’ impressive mix of safeties led by Rashad Johnson, Tyrann Mathieu and Deone Bucannon, are among the playmakers on the Cardinals’ defense who the Bears need to account for.
Sep 13, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) and strong safety Deone Bucannon (20) look on during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Cutler and the Bears’ offense will undoubtedly have their hands full with this Arizona defensive unit. Most notably, the Bears’ offensive line needs to be on top of their game. Tackles Jermon Bushrod and Kyle Long struggled in pass protection last week, and that cannot happen against the Cardinals. They will aggressively blitz early and often, putting pressure on the Bears’ offensive line.
After last week’s performance, the Bears certainly could pull the upset here. If they can control the clock with Matt Forte and the running game, while keeping Palmer at least relatively in check, this game will be close. That being said, the Bears are underdogs for good reason. This Cardinals’ team is loaded with talent, and will make life difficult this Sunday for John Fox and the Bears.
Next: How Do Bears Stack Up in Week 1 Power Rankings?