Week Nine — at Tennessee Titans
Chicago Bears (5-3) @ Tennessee Titans (4-3)
Date: November 8th, 2020 — 12:00pm, FOX
Location: Nashville, TN — Nissan Stadium
Part of me believes that the Tennessee Titans are going to take a slight step back in 2020-21, for a few reasons. For starters, we’re coming into this season with some believing that Ryan Tannehill should be a favorite for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award. It’s a new subject and one that takes probably another great season or two to buy into.
And then there’s this: one look at Derrick Henry’s game log from a season ago would have you under the impression that it was 2002, when teams were awful at passing and relied on handoff-after-handoff to get the job done. Last season, Henry had 303 carries in 15 games, and then went on to average nearly 28 carries per game in the postseason.
He’s never been worth doubting, but something has to give, right?
Make no mistake about it, they’re still a top-tier team in the NFL, and they had a solid Draft. To this point, they’re well-rested, with a Week Seven bye week, and that could bode well. The Bears are beginning to reel with two straight losses.
Methinks the Bears run defense can bottle up Henry and Co., but there was a lot to love about the Titans’ pass defense over the second half of 2019. Enough to show them love here and grant them a victory at home.
Final Score: Titans, 15; Bears, 9
Week Ten — vs. Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings (5-3) @ Chicago Bears (5-4)
Date: November 16th, 2020 — 7:15pm, ESPN
Location: Chicago, IL — Soldier Field
Minnesota Vikings – Chicago Bears games on primetime have historically been a safe-haven, regardless of how consistently solid the Vikings have been. To name a few over the years: the NFC North clincher in 2010, the “Tell Mike (Martz) I said f— him” game in 2011, the Cutler return in 2016, Sunday Night Football in 2018 … it’s difficult to remember the last time the Vikings got the better of Chicago on the primetime stage.
So, trends point upwards for the Bears. But, heading into this game, the Vikings have been relatively hot. They’ve finished the season series with the Packers by this point, and are coming off a home win against the Lions. So, momentum is on their side.
Minnesota still figures to be one of the NFL’s better teams. Many of their household names — Stefon Diggs, Everson Grifin and Xavier Rhodes — are in different cities now. But, they had a great Draft, and by this point in the season, they are likely comfortable ironing out the kinks.
But Chicago has Khalil Mack.
Every season, Mack has a few of those games that makes you question your own sanity, and the Bears defense, more often than not, follows suit. In four meetings against the Vikings, the Bears defense has allowed just 13.8 points per game. I trust the combination of Trubisky (or Foles) and Eddy Pineiro to score at least 14. Give me the Bears by um, two decimals?
Score Prediction: Bears, 19; Vikings, 10