NFL 2019 (Week 3): Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins

Russell S. Baxter

NFL 2019 (Week 3): Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins

By Jesse Pierson

Special to Pro Football Guru

The Chicago Bears fell flat in their first primetime appearance, a 10-3 home loss to Green Bay to open the 2019 season. Their offensive woes continued last week against the Denver Broncos, scoring only 16 points but pulling out a narrow victory on the foot of kicker Eddy Pineiro. Washington has had far less trouble scoring points, but boy, do they give up a lot of them. Two weeks into 2019, Washington is tied with the New York Giants for the league’s second-worst scoring defense at 31.5 points per game. This will be a battle of the “bads,” pitting Washington’s second-worst scoring defense against Chicago’s second-worst scoring offense (9.5 points per game, tied with the New York Jets). Something is bound to give.

Bears: Reigning NFL Coach of the Year Matt Nagy needs to figure out a way to spark Mitchell Trubisky back into winning condition. The third-year quarterback has yet to throw a touchdown this season, and the offense as a whole is largely stagnant; 21 of Trubisky’s 42 completions have gone to either receiver Allen Robinson or running back Tarik Cohen. If Washington defensive coordinator Greg Manusky can effectively bottle those two up, who else can make a play? Rookie running back David Montgomery has plodded along to the tune of 3.3 yards per carry with only one touchdown to show for it. Tight end Trey Burton has notched two catches for five yards due to nagging injuries. This offense needs to carry its weight, because the defense has been doing all of the heavy lifting so far. Defensive lineman Bilal Nichols will not play, and safety Eddie Jackson is questionable. Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, and Akiem Hicks may once again be forced to will their team to victory. Such prolonged one-sidedness often leads to dissension in the locker room, and a win on Monday night would go a long way toward soothing ill will.

Redskins: Quarterback Case Keenum has been a revelation for Jay Gruden’s offense, keeping first round pick Dwayne Haskins on the bench. Keenum has completed 69 percent of his passes for 300 yards per game to go along with five touchdowns and no interceptions. The running game has been less complementary; in fact, it has been non-existent. Washington is kicking up 2.5 yards per carry, while their defense allows 5.2 yards every time an opponent runs the ball. And despite how well Keenum has played, opposing quarterbacks have completed over 78 percent of their passes for six touchdowns and just one interception. Much like Chicago, Washington’s success has come on only one side of the ball. A team scoring 24 points per game would not expect itself to be winless, yet there they sit. The good news is that Keenum has developed an instant rapport with rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin, and the team’s overall production in the passing game has been much more balanced than Chicago’s. Now all they need is an occasional stop.

Prediction: Trubisky wakes up, and he trades haymakers with Keenum to give the fans a show. Washington’s maligned defense nabs a crucial red zone pick, which allows the home team to squeak out a win.

Washington Redskins 28, Chicago Bears 27

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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