The Chicago Bears aren’t the first team to succumb to the heroics of Aaron Rodgers and they won’t be the last. But the defeat stings nonetheless. This is a much different Bears team than we saw the last four seasons, and they showed glimpses of what they could be. The deal for Khalil Mack is a game-changer and the offense showed some creativity under new coach Matt Nagy. Part of growing as a team is learning from your mistakes and not repeating the gaffes. In the end it was a loss, but blowing a 20-point lead was devastating for the rebuilding Bears. We’ll see how they respond in Week 2 with a Monday night game against the Seattle Seahawks.
This contest in Week 2 of the regular season will go down Monday, September 17, 2018, at 8:15 p.m. ET at Soldier Field.
NFL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu
Seattle Seahawks +3
Chicago Bears -3
There’s been little movement on both the spread and the total since hitting the board. The Bears currently are a 3-point favorite and they are getting plenty of play from the betting public, so the line could move. The Bears struggled at home under John Fox, going 7-17 in three seasons, and when playing as a favorite they were 1-6 SU and ATS.
Doug Baldwin – Russell Wilson has one less target to throw to after Baldwin exited the Denver matchup with what was diagnosed as a partial MCL tear. It’s a huge hit to the Seahawks passing game having to play for at least a couple of weeks without last year’s leading receiver. Baldwin caught 75 passes for 991 yards starting every game in 2017. Former Bear Brandon Marshall will get more targets, as will Tyler Lockett. The Seahawks also promoted former Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds from their practice squad.
Matchup to Watch
The Seahawks go from the frying pan to the fire. They had a difficult time slowing down Von Miller and the Broncos defense last week in a 27-24 loss. Miller was a one-man wrecking crew posting three of Denver’s six sacks while adding two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and seven tackles. Wilson took responsibility for three sacks, saying he held the ball too long while trying to make something happen. It didn’t.
If that’s not enough for Seattle’s line, it gets a younger more athletic version of Miller on Monday in Mack. The Bears gave up a pair of first-round picks to get him then they gave Mack a bunch of money to do exactly what he did against the Packers. He was with the team only a few days before registering the trifecta on one play, getting a sack, forced fumble and recovery. He later added a pick-six and had three tackles.
Player to Watch
The Bears have their defensive leader in Mack and they need Mitchell Trubisky to become their leader on offense. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft should develop quicker under the tutelage of Nagy, and losing the head-to-head battle with Rodgers on Monday night isn’t so terrible. But Trubisky is the key to the offense. There are playmakers around him and the team invested capital this offseason to get him targets.
The first start of his second season had some shiny moments. Trubisky completed 23 of 35 for 171 yards and didn’t throw a pick. He marched the Bears 86 yards to a touchdown on their first possession, capping the drive with a 2-yard plunge and he ran for 32 yards. But he failed to get the team in the end zone after that initial drive and fumbled twice, turning the ball over once. And he ended the night going just 1 of 7 when the Bears needed a game-winning drive. There is plenty of room for improvement and Seattle is happy about that.
Free ATS Pick
It’s not just that the Bears lost last week, it’s also about how they lost. They looked so good in the first half and took advantage when Rodgers exited. But they couldn’t stem the tide when Rodgers returned and got on a roll. Chicago’s entire season might hinge on how they respond. Hopefully the players and coaching staff learned an important lesson.
Seattle has Wilson and that’s about it. Their top receiver is on the shelf and they still can’t run the ball. With Mack and Roquan Smith getting a full week to practice, I expect the Bears to go after Wilson much like Denver did. While they were aggressive last week, I also think the Bears will be smarter. And they should come away with a home cover.
NFL Betting Odds: Bears 27, Seahawks 21
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