When the Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, it will be a matchup of two of the worst teams in the NFL. The only reason so many people will watch this game is because it will be on national TV. While the Bears only have one more win than the Panthers, they should be expected to beat the Panthers pretty soundly on Thursday. Here is why.
3. The Carolina Panthers are limping into their matchup at the Chicago Bears
The Carolina Panthers are not one of the most loaded rosters in the NFL, so any sort of injury can really hurt this team. They have already lost guys like Jaycee Horn, Jeremy Chinn, and Xavier Woods. Then, on Sunday, they lost D.J. Chark, CJ Henderson, and Brian Burns. None of them practiced on Monday. Since the game is on Thursday, it will be hard to see any of them coming back. A roster that was already bad just got worse.
The Panthers played Dicapriao Bootle at cornerback with Horn and Henderson out. If you have never heard of him before last week, you are not alone. If D.J. Moore cannot have a strong game against Bootle, the Bears will be in trouble.
Brian Burns is the Panthers' best edge rusher by far. It sounds like he will be out Sunday, which will give Darnell Wright an easier matchup for the first time in a long time. Beyond losing Burns, both Yetur Gross-Matos and Justin Houston are on the IR.
Burns has 21 pressures this season, Justin Houston has 10, and Gross-Matos has just nine. Still, with these guys out, the next edge rushers are Amare Barno, with four pressures, and DJ Johnson, who has one pressure. If the Bears cannot protect the quarterback against Barno and Johnson on Thursday, they have serious issues.
With DJ Chark out, they would be asking a lot more from Terrace Marshall. Chark is only averaging 0.89 yards per route run this year, which is not strong, but Marshall is at 0.74, which is even worse.
The Chicago Bears are starting to get healthier with Braxton Jones and Eddie Jackson back. Plus, they added Montez Sweat. They are the better team right now and cannot lose to so many backups.