NFL 2019 (Week 11): Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams

Russell S. Baxter

NFL 2019 (Week 11): Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams

By Jesse Pierson

Special to Pro Football Guru

Both the Chicago Bears and the Los Angeles Rams are on the outside looking in at the current NFC playoff picture. With only seven games left to play, the Rams are in the seventh slot, two wins out of the final wild card position, while the Bears are in 10th place. Unfortunately for both teams, their own divisions are projected to send two teams apiece into the playoffs based on current standings. Chicago is behind Green Bay and Minnesota, and L.A. is behind San Francisco and Seattle. The best way to get out of a hole is to stop digging, so putting together a win streak over the next month and a half is the only chance these teams have at staying in the hunt.

Bears: Mitchell Trubisky is drawing the ire of many Chicago fans, as he has thrown for under 250 yards in five of his seven starts, and he has registered only eight touchdown passes. For comparison, Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum, Andy Dalton and Gardner Minshew have all thrown for at least nine scores and have all been relegated to the bench. It is fair to say that Matt Nagy’s system is not designed for Trubisky to go out and throw for 400 yards and three touchdowns each week, but the former first round pick is now in his third season and has yet to live up to the potential upon which he was drafted so highly. The offensive line has not helped Trubisky in either pass protection or run blocking, seeing how he has been sacked 22 times (in only seven games), and the team’s rushing average on the season is a middling 3.5 yards per carry. Khalil Mack and his defensive cohorts keep the team in most games, but the offense needs to start stepping up soon. Chicago plays one of the league’s toughest December slates, with the Bears hosting division-leading Dallas, traveling to division-leading Green Bay, hosting division-leading Kansas City, and finishing the season in Minnesota. It may be now or never for Trubisky.

Rams: In many ways, Los Angeles’ fans can commiserate with Chicago fans. Jared Goff has underperformed behind a struggling offensive line, with the low point being a woeful 20-7 loss to San Francisco last month in which Goff passed for only 78 yards and was sacked four times for a loss of 30 yards (thus leaving the net passing yardage at 48). Strangely enough, that game started with a demonstrative scoring drive that saw the Rams run on all seven plays, capped by a Robert Woods touchdown from eight yards out. Since that drive, though, Los Angeles has lost its starting left guard and center to injured reserve (Joe Noteboom and Brian Allen, respectively) and still cannot find its footing in the run game. Like Chicago, the Rams average under four yards per carry. And like Chicago, Aaron Donald and the defense hold opposing offenses relatively in check. Goff needs to start producing like the $100 million man that he is.

Prediction: Both quarterbacks are rag-dolled by these fearsome defensive fronts, and a Chicago pick-six tips the scales toward a road upset to even each team’s record at 5-5.

Chicago Bears 14, Los Angeles Rams 10

Jesse Pierson (@jessetpierson) is a former teacher and high school football coach who has written about the Colts for over a decade. He loves football, dogs, food, and comedy, and you can follow his work on his Facebook page, Jesse Pierson, Mediocre Writer.

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