The Chicago Bears sit in first place in the NFC North and if they can secure a win against the Dallas Cowboys, it will go a long way to proving their legitimacy (8.30pm ET, Monday, October 1).
The Bears are coming off a solid win against the St. Louis Rams after suffering a pretty bad loss to the Green Bay Packers, that QB Jay Cutler will be eager to forget. Despite that, they boast a respectable 2-1 record this season.
The Cowboys also occupy a share of first in their division. They currently sit in a three way tie with the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants for the NFC East title. Coming into this crucial game against Chicago, they also come off a win. Ironically enough however, they are just two games removed from a pretty embarrassing loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Both teams could definitely use a victory and both will show up prepared to battle it out in the trenches. A 3.5 spread makes the Cowboys the favorites, but with the defense these two bring to the table, anything could happen.
It’s Like Looking in a Mirror: Cowboys and Bears
In a league that features the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens in the same division, it isn’t that odd to see two top defenses match up head-to-head. What is odd however is when the team’s offense practically mirror each other.
Tony Romo has helped the Cowboys to the 13th best passing offense this year but their run game has been extremely poor, ranked just 28th in rushing yards with a little over 76.
The Bears, on the other hand, have found success in the opposite situation. Their run game led by Matt Forte is 13th best in the league averaging a little over 103 yards a game. QB Jay Cutler has only managed to put the Bears offense at 28th best in the league with just over 186 yards.
Both Jay Cutler and Tony Romo were drafted and made their first NFL start in 2006. Since that time, Cutler has made 81 NFL starts to Romo’s 80 starts. They both have managed to lead their teams to just one playoff victory. They have gotten off to 2-1 seasons that have seen the starting QBs perform underwhelmingly at times.
In week two losses, both Romo and Cutler found themselves spending more time on the ground than they did throwing balls through the air. Cutler was sacked seven times for a loss of 52 yards. The offensive line collapsed in on him and bad decision-making led to four interceptions. In the meantime, Romo suffered against the Seahawks and their tenth best passing defense in the league. Seattle forced a huge turnover and kept Romo off balance all game. Last game didn’t go much better for the Dallas QB who found himself sacked four times and responsible for three turnovers.
DeMarcus Ware vs. Julius Peppers
The fact that both teams have had less than stellar offensive lines this year must make Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware and Bears defensive end Julius Peppers salivate at the opportunity they will have to get up close and personal with the two quarterbacks.
Ware is a six-time Pro Bowl selection, former NFC Defensive Player of the Year and two time NFL sack leader. This year he is once again off to a good start as he has four sacks and two forced fumbles in three games played.
His mirror image is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, former NFC Defensive Player of the Year and AP NFL Rookie of the Year honoree. He has eight tackles and 2.5 sacks so far on this season.
Both are members of the 100 sack club and both anchor their team’s defensive line. In this Monday night match-up, both of these guys could find themselves getting to the quarterback at least once.
In addition to these two, the Cowboys and Bears’ defenses match up nearly pound for pound. From Brian Urlacher and Sean Lee at the middle linebacker position to Major Wright and Chris Conte at cornerback, these teams are essentially putting the same defense, the same 4-3 attack on the field.
Bears at Cowboys Betting Picks
Eerie comparisons aside, these football teams are two of the more elite in the National Football League. Both have great defenses and both also have offense with a lot of potential, although this season the numbers haven’t exactly shown that.
There is almost no doubt this game will be a battle of attrition the way the defenses go so what it will really come down to is which quarterback can make the jump from just okay to being really good. Both Romo and Cutler have the potential to be top five QBs but so far in their careers, they have not handled adversity too well. Cutler especially has not always shown the tough mental attentiveness needed from an NFL quarterback.
Against a tough Dallas defense, I expect Cutler to face pressure and have some trouble handling it. I think Romo will see his fair share of pressure as well but compared to Cutler, he has a better track record both inside and outside of games. I think Romo and the Dallas Cowboys’ fortitude will win out and that they will scrape the win.
- So if the defenses keep this game as tight as I expect, take the smart bet of the Bears +3pts on the spread @ +105 with BetOnline Sportsbook. They are +3.5pts @ -120 with Bovada. Non-Americans should bet Bears +3pts @ 11/10 with Bet365.
Best NFL sportsbooks:
- All Americans: BetOnline Sportsbook.
- All Americans except Utah, NY, Washington & Maryland states: Bovada Sportsbook.
- Non-Americans: Bet with Bet365.