Chicago Bears vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chicago Bears and the Kansas City Chiefs face off on Sunday at Soldier Field. The Bears are -9 point favorites over the Chiefs with an over/under point total set at 38.5.
The Chicago Bears got their first glimpse of life without Jay Cutler last week in Oakland and while they left the Black Hole with a loss Lovie Smith’s team has a lot to be optimistic about. The Bears were very much in the game at Oakland and had a chance win the game until their final possession, a possession that ended with the game clock expiring on a penalty. Caleb Hanie isn’t Cutler and nor has he had the reps with the offense but he should get better the more practice he gets and he showed a cannon arm and escapability, just not the best decision making, something that can be taught and coached. Matt Forte is having a monster year as he is playing without a contract and he is averaging 5.0 yards per carry for 985 yards and three touchdowns while catching 52 passes for 490 yards a touchdown. Johnny Knox has been providing the deep threat catching 28 passes, Roy Williams has 24 catches, and Devin Hester is always a threat whenever he is on the field. Defensively the Bears have 22 sacks, nine fumble recoveries, and 16 interceptions for a plus nine turnover margin and they are allowing 369.1 tards and 21.1 points per game. Lance Briggs has 80 tackles, Charles Tillman has 71, and Brian Urlacher has 70 to lead an improving and hard hitting defense. The Bears will need to overcome Cutler’s injury but they are still in the thick of the playoff race.
The Kansas City Chiefs were a playoff team a year ago but they look like anything but recently as they have lost four games in a row. Since Matt Cassel’s injury that ended his season the Kansas City offense has been non-existent as has any additions to the win column. Tyler Palko has completed 65.3 percent of his passes but he has six interceptions and he has yet to throw a touchdown pass. With no passing threat defenses stack against the run where Jackie Battle is averaging 4.4 yards per carry and Thomas Jones is averaging 3.2 and while K.C. tries to get Dexter McCluster involved the element of surprise has been eliminated making him less effective. Dwayne Bowe leads the Chiefs’ receivers with 55 catches and four touchdowns, Steve Breaston has 43 catches, and rookie Jonathan Baldwin is finally healthy and contributing. Defensively the Chiefs have 13 sacks, eight fumble recoveries, and 14 interceptions for a minus three turnover margin and they are allowing 359.1 yards per game and 24.1 points. Derrick Johnson has 92 tackles, Jovan Belcher has 65 tackles, and Tamba Hali has seven sacks. It looks like it’s going to be a rough finish to the year for the Chiefs unless newly acquired Kyle Orton can come in and spark the offense.
Chicago is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven as a home favorite, 5-1 against the spread in their last six games overall, and 2-5-1 against the spread in their last eight games following a game which they didn’t cover. Kansas City is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games as an underdog, 4-1 against the spread following a cover, and 11-5 against the spread in their last 16 games as a road underdog.
The total in this one is set at 37 and aside from the weather in Chicago in December we have two teams missing their starting QB’s and two defenses who can carry the day. I see this one falling under the number.