This week’s Monday Night Football match-up features the Chicago Bears visiting the Dallas Cowboys, in a showdown between two clubs likely to be in the thick of the playoff race until the end of the season. Both teams enter the game with a 2-1 record, and will look to grab an important conference win against the other. In what will be good news for everyone, the real NFL officials and referees will be back in time for this weekend’s game, so we’ll get to see this game played out as it should be.
The Cowboys have already been up and down this season, and it’s only been three weeks. They looked great in dismantling the Giants on the road in week 1. Then they laid an egg in Seattle the following week, and lost big to the Seahawks. Last weekend, they played their home opener and outlasted a tough and competitive challenge from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So we’ll see whether or not they can put together another positive performance in a row here.
For the Cowboys, one of the main issues remains whether or not they can keep from being their own worst enemy. A punt is better than a costly turnover, and giving up short plays is better than giving up the big touchdown. So they have to play smart and consistent on both sides of the ball.
The Bears also have been a little bit topsy turvy already. They showed rookie quarterback Andrew Luck what it’s like to be in the NFL in week 1 and got a nice win, but then played very poorly on the road against their rivals, the Green Bay Packers. Last week they took care of business against the St. Louis Rams, but they are still looking to find some consistency, particularly with their offense.
The good news for Chicago is that Brian Urlacher and company seem to be firing on all cylinders right now. With Urlacher, he’s basically never going to be completely healthy at this point, but he’s such a fierce warrior, and is still playing at an extremely high level. He needs the offense to start finding its rhythm, and Matt Forte to play like he has played in the past, as one of the best backs in the league.
Taking a look at the official numbers, and the Dallas Cowboys are 3.5 point favorites at home against the Chicago Bears. In a straight pick ’em bet, the Cowboys are at -185, and the Bears are available at +165. The over/under for the combined points total has been set at 41.5, which is one of the lower numbers for the weekend.
The Bears defense has been playing very solidly thus far. Against a sometimes shaky Cowboys offensive line, and a sometimes turnover prone Tony Romo, they’ll be able to make a few big plays, creating some momentum changing turnovers. Look for the Bears to pull this one out on the strength of those big defensive, game changing plays. Take the Bears in an upset.