Both teams will try to bounce back from a loss as the Chicago Bears play host to the New York Jets in Week 8. Game time is set for 1:00 EST on Sunday, October 28, at Soldier Field in Chicago. Fans in certain markets will be able to see the game on CBS.
Oddsmakers list the Bears as 7-point favorites at home. That line has increased slightly after Chicago opened the week favored by 6.5 points. The over/under for the game is set at 45.5 points. Click here to see a full list of this week’s NFL betting odds.
After jumping out to a 3-1 start to reach the top of the NFC North, the Bears have lost back-to-back games in excruciating fashion. First, they blew a 21-10 lead against the Dolphins, ultimately losing in overtime. Last week, the Bears attempted a comeback against the Patriots, only to have their last-second Hail Mary effort come up one yard short.
In two short weeks, the Bears have gone from first to last in the NFC North. The good news is they are just a game behind the first-place Vikings in one of the most crowded divisions in the NFL. Chicago also plays a rather favorable schedule between now and the early part of December. However, it’s vital that they stop their two-game losing skid before it gets any longer.
The Jets, meanwhile, took a big step backward last week after appearing to take a couple of steps forward. New York began October with back-to-back wins, scoring over 30 points in both games. However, they ran into a brick wall last week, losing 37-17 to the Vikings. The Jets now hit the road for back-to-back games as they try to regroup.
At 3-4 and the Patriots starting to pull away in the AFC East, the Jets have to start showing some consistency if they want to remain in the playoff hunt. New York’s schedule the rest of the way isn’t all that daunting. But they’re going to have to win some games on the road, starting this week in Chicago.
Despite back-to-back losses, I’m not ready to jump off the Chicago bandwagon. The Bears losing their last two games is a little discouraging, but it doesn’t change who they are. Meanwhile, the Jets have some serious problems, which could make it difficult to keep this game close. I’ll lean toward the Bears being able to pull away in the 4th quarter and cover the spread.
Offensively, the Jets have been too Jekyll and Hyde this season. In their wins, they have scored at least 34 points. However, in their four losses, they’ve scored 17 points or fewer. There’s no middle ground with them. It’s a matter of whether or not they can have success against a particular opponent. For a road game in Chicago, I’ll bet that the Jets struggle to get it going on offense.
If you take away the last six quarters, the Bears are still one of the better defensive teams in the NFL. They have excelled at creating turnovers, accumulating 11 interceptions and six fumble recoveries through six games. That’s not the kind of team that Sam Darnold wants to face.
Darnold has 10 interceptions on the season, equaling his touchdown passes. Turnovers were a problem for him in college and he’s not been able to change that in the NFL. After throwing three picks last week against the Vikings, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears have similar success creating takeaways against Darnold and the Jets.
Moreover, injuries are starting to pile up for the Jets. Running back Bilal Powell is out for the season. That leaves the running game entirely up to Isaiah Crowell, who’s been held in check this season outside of two outstanding games against the Lions and Broncos. The Jets are also without wide receivers Quincy Enunwa and Terrelle Pryor. Robby Anderson is also banged up and questionable for Sunday’s game. Without a running game or their top receivers, the Jets are limited offensively, especially when it comes to taking deep shots, which is one of Darnold’s strengths.
On the other side of the ball, Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is quietly starting to turn a corner. He now has three straight games with over 300 yards passing, with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions over that span. The Bears also have a growing list of targets in the passing game. Four different players have at least 24 catches the season, creating some balance with running back Jordan Howard.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the Jets have been atrocious against the pass most of the season. They’ve yielded at least 31 points in three of their last four games. While Trubisky missed on some long throws down the field last week, it should be a little easier for him to connect on those passes this week against a vulnerable Jets secondary.
For the Jets, last week’s game was a sign that they’re falling apart at the seams. Between the injuries and their turnovers, they could be in danger of getting blown out this week. After a couple of close losses the last two weeks, I like the Bears to get back on track and comfortably cover the 7-point spread.