The Chicago Bears have a serious problem, and no I am not talking Andy Dalton. Their secondary was completely exposed by a Rams offense that had Matthew Stafford starting with his new team for the first time. Sure, Stafford and Sean McVay know the Bears well, but the team that used to rely on its defense could no longer do that on Sunday Night.
The biggest issue was the slot. Yes, Tashaun Gipson and Eddie Jackson played poorly, but some of that had to do with being compromised over the middle of the field. The team was expected to start Duke Shelley but a last-minute inactive pushed Marqui Christian into the role.
He was tested early and often. Cooper Kupp, the Rams star slot wideout met Christian for most of the game and finished with seven catches for 108 yards, four for 83 being against Christian, per PFF.
Kupp spent 70% of his snaps in the slot, and the Rams even moved Woods into the slot for 56% of his snaps because they kept wanting looks at that matchup.
Bet on Cincinnati Bengals to challenge Chicago Bears in the slot
The Cincinnati Bengals have two outside threats in Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase who are going to test the Chicago Bears’ young outside cornerbacks. However, they have a consistent slot receiver in Tyler Boyd who does not move from that space.
Boyd spent 81% of his snaps in the slot last week, which is higher than Kupp had. Essentially, whether it be Shelley or Christian, or whoever, the Bengals are going to see Boyd in a plus matchup.
This is vital for betting, but beyond that, we are going to be getting value on Boyd. The square thinker will look at the Bengals recent box score and see that Boyd only had 32 receiving yards. Then, they will look at his receiving prop, which you can check out Bet Wynn, and see that it is 49.5 yards.
Buy Low On Tyler Boyd Over/Under NFL Player Prop
Can Boyd get to 50 yards, after only 32 in his first game? It looks like Higgins and Chase are ahead of his on the totem pole.
The Bengals plan last week was to target Bashaud Breeland, who they saw as the weak link. While the Rams went on Christian six times, the Bengals attacked Breeland eight times on Sunday. Like the Rams, they found their weak link and went after it consistently.
This week, the Rams already told the Bengals to look at the slot. Boyd averages 52.4 yards per game in his career, and was at 56.1 last year. His yards per target on Sunday was eight, which is slightly over his career rate of 7.8.
Boyd had a slightly bad game, and a quarterback like Joe Burrow knows that he wants all of his weapons involved. What a way to get his man a bounceback game than to have him matched up on the worst slot corner in the league for 80+% of his snaps. Expect a game a lot closer to his normal number of targets, and look for him to burn the Bears in the slot for big yards, and potentially a touchdown.