TNF Picks: Washington at Chicago Week 6

by | Oct 11, 2022 | nfl

Washington Commanders (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS) vs. Chicago Bears (2-3 SU, 2-2-1 ATS)

Week 6 NFL

Date/Time: Thursday Night Football, October 13, 2022 at 8:15PM EDT

Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois

TV: Prime Video

Point Spread: WAS +1/CHI -1 (Bovada – Check out their live betting platform! It’s the BEST on the planet!)

Over/Under Total: 38.5

The Washington Commanders come to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football. These NFC teams are both coming off a tough week and now are going to be forced to turn around quickly for this TNF showdown in Chicago. After watching two straight road losses, including a 29-22 loss to Minnesota on Sunday, sully a 2-1 start, the Bears return home. They host a Washington squad that has been struggling and is coming off a 21-17 loss to the Titans at home on Sunday—their fourth straight loss after a week one win. Will the Bears win and cover at home, or will the Commanders get their offense fired up and give it a good go on Thursday?

Why It’s Hard to Get Behind Washington

Some things on the surface serve as a natural repellent when trying to get behind the Commanders. You will get the occasional burst from QB Carson Wentz, but he’s spoiled goods in terms of NFL personnel—let’s not sugar-coat it. You hope rookie back Brian Robinson can make progress because Antonio Gibson is really a dumpster fire right now. And that goes for others in this offense. We’ve seen a healthy Curtis Samuel come on lately, which is promising. But when your lead back and supposed top receiver Terry McLaurin go into the toilet as they have, it’s very difficult. Add to that an underperforming tight end in Logan Thomas, a shaky line, and a free-for-all offense with no spelled-out roles, and it creates a unit that is hard to support.

With Ron Rivera at head coach, a slew of big names, and all kinds of draft capital on defense, you’d think that’s one part of their team you can depend on to be solid. And sure, injuries have played a role, but the word “underachievement” once again springs up, as they’ve been a major letdown. There is nothing special about their pass-rush, run-defense, rigidness against the pass, or their overall playmaking in general. They’ve just been a solidly below-average group. Making it even worse is that there have been sequences in these games where both sides of the ball had a chance to reverse the momentum or get some kind of a positive development, and the lack of clutch play has been galling through five games.

Not So Fast…

Perhaps this is a spot, albeit on the road, where Washington can find better success. They still have beef up front to theoretically match up well against the Chicago run-heavy approach. While this doesn’t have the looks of an ideal spot for Wentz to connect with his targets in an aerial free-for-all, being that Chicago’s pass defense is still pretty good, their leakiness against the run could allow Washington to find some production in that area. And after trying to contain all of Minnesota’s weaponry on Sunday, maybe going against a depleted Chicago offense will have this defense not looking so bad this week.

Chicago: Subtle Improvements?

Two losses in a row doesn’t speak well of the Bears’ trajectory, perhaps, but maybe the case of them being a bad team is something that is generally overstated. Those losses were of the one-score variety, and it’s important not to ignore the slight variations within the context of a “bad team.” And Chicago is a bad team. Being that their run game is far from automatic, it really hurts having the absolute worst passing offense in the whole league. They can’t stop the run on defense, and other than some occasional fireworks from the Bears’ pass defense, the overall playmaking on this team is astoundingly-low.

As with everything, there is a flip side to that coin. Between the state of the offensive line and the dearth of playmakers on offense, it’s easy to underrate Chicago quarterback Justin Fields. And we see slight signs that he can make more happen aerially and make better use of his quick feet. We’re entering a key part of his career, and I’d expect to see more urgency than we’ve been seeing. With David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert, they can really run the ball well, and opposing offenses that can’t do the same, like Washington, might find these matchups tougher than what it looks like on paper.

Key Factors

Say what you will about Chicago’s overall state. And to be fair, it’s not good. But they have this certain understated competence. Fields won’t knock your socks off, but he generally doesn’t undermine the entire effort. The same can’t necessarily be said about Carson Wentz, whose errant throws and miscues can upturn the whole apple cart for Washington. The games where you’ll see the Commanders thriving will be games where Wentz is in the zone aerially, making use of what is actually a pretty decent collection of tools. The kind of run-heavy, low-scoring type game that this looks to be might not be in Washington’s wheelhouse. And they don’t really match up that ideally in this spot across most lines.

Take the Home Team

In a game where points don’t really figure to be plentiful, it’s not hard to side with the offense that has more overall potential. That squarely goes to Washington, where they have at least five guys who would be no worse than the number-two target if they played for the Bears. I just think the lack of a Washington run game and the erratic nature of their passing game offers a decent matchup for the Bears “D” this week. In a game where the Bears will be more comfortable with the context, I see them doing enough to cross the wire a nose ahead. I’ll take Chicago in this one.

Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Chicago Bears minus one point. Bet your Week 6 NFL predictions for FREE by scoring a 100% bonus up to $500 when you use bonus code PREDICTEM at the web’s oldest and most trusted sportsbook –> Everygame!