The Chicago Bears enter this game in desperate need of some sort of momentum, as their first two weeks of the season have been dreadful. They are coming off a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles where nothing went right for them, and their offense was stale.
This season, the Bears have rushed for 137 yards in two combined games, with Jeremy Langford having 28 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Jay Cutler has passed for 373 yards, with one touchdown, two interceptions and a 60.9 pass completion percentage. He was also injured on Monday night against the Eagles. It’s unlikely he’ll play this Sunday night. If he doesn’t play, Brian Hoyer will be the starter.
The defense of the Bears allowed 114.5 yards rushing per game, and they are allowing 26 points per game. The defense also has a total of four sacks but had issues with rookie quarterback Carson Wentz in their 29-14 loss to the Eagles.
The Cowboys are coming off their first victory of the season last Sunday, defeating the Washington Redskins, 27-23. In comparison to the Bears, the Cowboys are rushing for 101.5 yards per game this season and are scoring 23 points per game. The Cowboys seem to have the advantage with the play of their rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, as he’s not thrown an interception in his first two NFL games.
This game has a lot of interest because if the Bears start the season 0-3, they will then be a certain afterthought to have much (if any) success this season. If the Cowboys can gain a second win in a row, they will be back on track, but they still have a lot of work ahead of them this week.
Cowboys Keys To Victory
Force the Bears to pass: Though the Bears have little semblance of a rushing game this season, the Cowboys need to keep it that way in the third game. The Bears are rushing for 68.5 yards per game. With the Cowboys allowing 97.5 yards per game with the rush, stopping the running game would be huge for this defense.
More defense/Get a pass rush: Besides stopping the rushing game, the Cowboys really need to focus on improving their pass rush. With the Bears not having a very solid offensive line (they’ve allowed eight sacks this season), the Cowboys need to add to their four sacks they have this season.
More consistency offensively: Though the Cowboys had an improved week against the Redskins compared to their first game of the season, the offense seems to still be stuck in neutral. There is still a lot wanted from the offense. To do so, the offense needs to all be on the same page at the same time. The rushing attack could be better and maybe the Cowboys expand on really letting their rookie quarterback take a few more chances this week.
Bears Keys To Victory
Better offensive line play: When your leading rusher has just over 80 yards in two games and your quarterback is running for his life on almost every snap, the team will not win many football games. That is where the Bears stand with their offensive line play. If their running game keeps getting stuffed, then the losses will continue.
Keep their offense on the field: This key goes with the first one. If the Bears improve their rushing game, they will stay on the field more, leading to the potential high-powered Cowboys offense staying on the sideline. If the Bears can do so, they might give themselves a chance to compete.
Take advantage of facing a rookie QB: The Bears looked poor against the Eagles and Wentz on Monday. This week they face another rookie signal caller. Like Wentz, Prescott enters his game with the Bears having momentum, but still needing to improve. The Bears need to stop that trend with the Cowboys. If they can disrupt Prescott, it could disrupt the chances of the favorite Cowboys on gaining a second victory.
Point Spread: Dallas -4 Moneyline: Dallas -330, Chicago +270 Over/Under: 44.5
If things go as they have for the first two weeks for the Bears, then the Cowboys should finally have a dominant game, just like their NFC rival had against the Bears last week. Dallas really needs to get their rushing game on track. If they can gain big yardage like they’ve planned on doing all season, it should really take off this Sunday night.