Washington Redskins (3-3 SU 3-2-1 ATS) vs. Chicago Bears (4-2 SU 3-3 ATS) Week 7 NFL Football, Soldier Field, Chicago, IL 1 PM EST Sunday October 24, 2010 on FOX
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Skins +3/Da Bears -3
Over/Under Total: 40
Oh man, an NFC Championship preview this Sunday when the Chicago Bears host the Washington Redskins? OK, maybe that is a stretch, but both teams are still in the playoff picture after 6 weeks of the NFL season. Chicago is sitting atop the NFC North even though they lost their last game at home to Seattle. Washington is in 2nd place in the tough NFC East after losing last week to Indianapolis at home.
Last season the Redskins had a solid defense ranking 10th in the league. However, this season they have not been able to stop anybody from racking up big yards and their D ranks dead last. In the loss to the Colts they allowed Indy to rush for 170 yards and RB Joseph Addai rushed for 128 yards averaging an impressive 7.5 yards per carry. Chicago RB Matt Forte really struggled against Seattle last week only rushing for 11 yards after picking up 166 in the previous game. Forte may not pick up that total again, but he will have a good game running the ball, not only because the Washington run defense is so weak, but also because the Skins will blitz a lot and leave a lot of holes open up the middle.
Jay Cutler had 290 passing yards last week in the loss to Seattle, but he had 0 TD and was pressured all game by the Seattle pass rush only completing 17 of 39 passes. Chicago has given up a league high 27 sacks this season and Washington will blitz all game long so Cutler does not pick apart the weak Redskins’ secondary. Cutler will connect on some big plays, but he will also be harassed all game and not have a good completion percentage and he will get picked off at least once. However, just like last week, he will likely put up big passing numbers like every other QB has done against Washington this season.
Donovan McNabb is from the Chicago area and he will have a good game this Sunday. He was picked off twice last week, but did have 1 TD and passed for 246 yards. Look for him to have another good game in terms or yards against a Bears’ pass defense that is giving up an average of 211.4 passing yards per game.
Diamond in the rough WR Anthony Armstrong is getting more looks from McNabb and he has 13 catches for 130 yards in his last 2 games and the speedy wideout will cause problems for the Bears’ secondary in this game.
Where the Bears have really struggled on D is stopping the run. Last week they faced a Seattle team that has not run the ball well and they gave up 111 rushing yards. Washington finally got their ground game going last week, but it did come against a weak Colts’ rushing defense. RB Ryan Torain had 100 yards on the ground and even though he has a slight knee injury he said he was OK. He will have another solid game, as Mike Shanahan likes to establish the run and Torain got some, much needed, confidence with his first career 100-yard game last week.
All Pro LB Lance Briggs is expected back in this game, which should help the Bears’ defense.
Washington will take a page from the Seattle playbook last week and keep the Bears off-balance. They will mix the pass and run and the offensive line will have a good game protecting McNabb allowing him time to find his targets.
Chicago is laying 3-points in this game, but beware betting on them, as Washington is 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 road games and Chicago has only covered the spread 2 times in their last 8 home games. Oh yeah, and in the last 5 games between these 2 teams the road team has covered the spread 4 times.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Can the Redskins play any defense? That is a big question for Washington in this game, but I think the weak Chicago offensive line is just what the Redskins need, as they will come after Cutler all game long and wreak havoc in the backfield. McNabb and Torain will play well and the Redskins will score a minor upset and beat the Bears this Sunday even though Cutler and Forte will put up some good offensive numbers.