The Chicago Bears cannot count on the Rams to beat the Cardinals
We are heading into the all-important Week 17 matchup versus the Green Bay Packers. Both the Chicago Bears and the Packers have plenty to play for this week. The Chicago Bears have a little more riding on the game though. Should the Packers win, they will clinch the No. 1 seed and earn a first-round bye. However, if the Chicago Bears win, it means they finish 9-7 (winning season) and earn the seventh (or sixth) seed heading into the playoffs. What more could you want in a game?
This is not to say that the Chicago Bears cannot still make the playoffs. Should the Los Angeles Rams find a way to beat the Arizona Cardinals this week, then the Rams will help ensure the Bears earn the seventh seed and sneak into the playoffs.
The Chicago Bears game was shifted to the 3:15 spot for Sunday, meaning both of these games will be played at the same time. The Chicago Bears need not focus on scoreboard watching the Rams game, they must focus on their own scoreboard. The likelihood of the Rams beating the Cardinals is looking slimmer and slimmer.
Over the last few days, the Rams have lost some key players heading into Week 17. The most notable is Jared Goff. Goff injured his thumb and requires surgery. He is likely to miss the Week 17 contest in hopes the Rams still reach the playoffs and he can return. The Rams signed Blake Bortles to their squad who spent time with the team in 2019. Bortles will fill in as the backup to the Rams’ potential starter this week, John Wolford. See why the Bears cannot count on the Rams.
Goff has had an average season. As always he has accumulated plenty of yardage through the air and has 3,952 yards. This is down from the last two seasons though when he eclipsed 4,600. He has thrown 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions on the year and has a 90.0 quarterback rating. He has not been great, but he is clearly the better option over John Wolford who has yet to take an NFL regular-season snap in the NFL.
Goff is not the only person the Rams will be without. Cooper Kupp was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list due to a positive COVID test. He will reportedly be out of Sunday’s matchup versus the Cardinals.
It will be an interesting development to see if any other players test positive for the Rams too. Either way, this is not shaping up to be good for the Rams offense as Cooper Kupp leads the team with 92 receptions on the year. Kupp was also likely to eclipse 1,000 yards for the second year in a row as he has 974 yards on the year and averages 64.9 yards per game. Where Kupp has lacked this season is touchdowns as he has only found the end zone three times.
This is not where the story ends. The Rams are also going to be without running back Darrell Henderson, who has over 600 yards and five rushing touchdowns this season.
The Rams other running back, Cam Akers is also likely out. He could return but is dealing with a high ankle sprain. Akers has nearly 600 yards and two rushing touchdowns on the year. As you can see, the Rams depth chart is quickly depleting and the Chicago Bears cannot count on them to beat the Cardinals, who look to not be without quarterback Kyler Murray as originally feared.
Again, this just means the Chicago Bears must take care of business. It will be a tough test, but if the Bears want to make any noise in the playoffs, it starts with beating their divisional rival the Green Bay Packers. This will not be any small feat as the Packers are the front-runner in the NFC.