Matchup: Chicago Bears vs. St. Louis Rams
Date/Time: November 24th, 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Rams -1
Two teams which are hoping to challenge for playoff spots down the stretch in the NFC are meeting in a crucial tilt at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday afternoon, where the St. Louis Rams go in search of a ‘W’ against the Chicago Bears.
The Bears have been very fortunate over the course of the last several weeks. They have been outgained on the ground in five straight games, and done so against a lot of teams which aren’t known for their thunderous rushing attacks. They were the last team to draw the New York Giants before they turned things around, and they were the first team to draw the Green Bay Packers without QB Aaron Rodgers. Last week, they managed to fend off the Baltimore Ravens in spite of the fact that statistically speaking, that was a game dominated by the men in white and purple. All told though, 6-4 is good enough to sit tied atop the NFC North going into Thanksgiving week, and there’s no shame in that fact. QB Jay Cutler remains out of the lineup with ankle and groin injuries, which means QB Josh McCown will be under center once again. McCown has actually been pretty darn effective in relief, throwing for 754 yards and five TDs without tossing a pick.
The Rams still have distant chances of making the playoffs, but they have some big wins this year that would make you think they have a legitimate shot of contending with teams like these. St. Louis probably has to win out to get into the postseason, and this is surely a game which has to be won. QB Kellen Clemens has taken over for the injured QB Sam Bradford, who has a torn ACL. Clemens hasn’t been nearly as effective as a backup as McCown has, but he does have some reasonable credentials. The former Oregon Duck has thrown for 634 yards and three TDs against two picks, and he had a monster game a few weeks ago versus the Indianapolis Colts in the biggest win of the season for the Rams. Keep a close eye on WR Tavon Austin. Austin really broke out in that game against Indy, returning a punt for a touchdown and then getting into some space and logging two receiving touchdowns in his best game of his career. RB Zac Stacy, another rookie which this team is building around, has 537 yards and three scores in his eight games with the team.
Though we’re onboard with saying that the Rams have the ability to beat some of these good teams, we still don’t think it’s happening more often than not, even at home. This was a team which, three weeks ago, was beaten by the Tennessee Titans in this building. If St. Louis is getting beaten by Tennessee, it probably has no business being favored against Chicago, even with McCown under center. The Bears have covered five of the last six in this series, and they’ll stretch that to six out of seven on Sunday.
Chicago Bears @ St. Louis Rams Pick: Chicago Bears +1
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.