Week Seven — at Los Angeles Rams
Chicago Bears (5-1) @ Los Angeles Rams (2-4)
Date: October 26th, 2020 — 7:15pm, ESPN
Location: Los Angeles, CA — SoFi Stadium
With the lights on bright, the Rams’ schedule makes it so that it could be playing for its season as early as this week. Over this past decade, only two teams (Tim Tebow’s 2011 Broncos and the 2015 Texans) have gone 2-5 and made the postseason. In this prediction, this is what they’d have to do, after losses to Cowboys, Eagles, Bills and 49ers.
The Bears and Rams have played on primetime in each of the last two seasons, the first coming when the Bears mopped the Rams on Sunday Night Football, leaving Jared Goff with one of the worst games of his career. And then last year, they could’ve done something similar, but couldn’t generate enough offense to make it work.
Because of their salary cap issues, the Rams had to cut ties with plenty of the players that made them a staple at the end of this decade.
Something about the pressure and the national stage has led to some big performances, and the Rams should be geared to do the same. As Chicago grows weary of eight consecutive weeks of football, and the inevitable quarterback controversies begin to take root, this feels like one of those “only the Bears” games. Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack should dominate on their respective sides but expect the Rams to take care of business in one of their must-win games this season.
Score Prediction: Rams, 20; Bears, 13
Week Eight — vs. New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints (6-0) @ Chicago Bears (5-2)
Date: November 1st, 2020 — 3:25pm, FOX
Location: Chicago, IL — Soldier Field
Sheer records considered, this feels like it would be one of the marquee games of the entire 2020-21 NFL season. The Saints, to this point, are predicted to beat the new-look Buccaneers in Week One, and take care of below-average teams like the Raiders, Lions, Chargers and Panthers, and in between that, beat the Green Bay Packers at home.
The Saints have been rocked by some sort of luck over the last two seasons. In Week 17, they should’ve had a bye week in the first round, but that controversial finish to the Seahawks-49ers game deemed it incomplete. This season, they should come out with a sense of urgency.
The slants should work out well, but New Orleans should absolutely have enough to give Michael Thomas a real No. 2 receiver this season. Matchup-wise, it wouldn’t surprise me if new Bears receiver Ted Ginn Jr. or Jimmy Graham has the best game of the season here. The Trautman vs. Kmet battle of 2020 NFL draftees also makes this a must-watch.
In the end, it’s difficult to trust whoever’s under center, when knowing Drew Brees is on that other side. Trubisky, historically, hasn’t been good against the Saints. Likewise, the Saints haven’t lost to the Bears since 2008. That doesn’t bode well, considering they’ve played so often this decade. The Saints should keep rolling, sending the Bears to a second consecutive defeat.
Final Score: Saints, 34; Bears, 22