Jaguars at Bears: Game preview, odds, prediction

The Chicago Bears will host the Jacksonville Jaguars in NFL Week 6 action.

These two teams are not exactly among the Super Bowl favorites this season. This Sunday afternoon, the 1-4 Chicago Bears will play host to the 1-3 Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Bears have played better in recent weeks, and the changes on the offensive side of the ball likely have a lot to do with that. Quarterback Jay Cutler continues to miss time with a thumb injury, while running back Jeremy Langford has been sitting out with an ankle injury.

In their absences, Brian Hoyer and Jordan Howard have stepped up in a big way for Chicago. Hoyer leads the league in passing yards (1,029 yards) while tossing six touchdowns to zero interceptions.

After his impressive 16-carry, 118-yard performance against the Indianapolis Colts, Howard has run for over 100 yards in each of the last two games. Simply put, this offense has looked much better with Hoyer and Howard leading the way as opposed to Cutler and Langford.

It seems likely that they have taken over the full-time starting jobs from their injured counter-parts, and could be in for big games again this week against Jacksonville.

The Jaguars have a young and talented defensive unit, but they have struggled to keep their opponents out of the end zone this season. Jacksonville has allowed 27.8 points per game this season (24th in the entire NFL). Hoyer, Howard and company should be able to move the ball well.

As strong as the Bears’ offense has been playing in recent weeks, their defense continues to struggle. While they are inconsistent and undependable, the Jaguars have a lot of offensive talent on their roster.

Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson and company should be able to move the ball well against the Bears. Chicago is simply counting on too many unproven players to feel confident about their defense.

That being said, the same could be said about Bortles and the Jaguars’ offense. They are an up-and-down unit who you never know what to expect out of. If nothing else, it should be interesting to see what happens.

Odds

Line: CHI -1.5

Over/Under: 47

Odsshark lists the Bears as 1.5 point favorites for this matchup, with the over/under being set at 47 points. There is a lot of unknown here. Both of these squads have a lot of talent and upside, but never seem to play to their full ability.

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

Prediction

The Bears have been playing well in recent weeks, but the Jaguars are coming off of a bye week. Will the Jaguars come in fresh and ready to compete, or will they fall flat? Can Hoyer, Howard and company keep up their unlikely success, or will they start to regress to the mean?

Honestly, this is an extremely difficult one to predict that I could see going in any different way. Simply put, I do not think that Hoyer is as good as he has been playing, and he is due to take a step back. The Jaguars have more overall talent than the Bears, and while I think them being at home helps, I am going to go with the more talented team here.

Give me the Jaguars on the road.

Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars 27, Chicago Bears 23

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