Bengals @ Bears Previews

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Nick Johnson

After a crucial win in overtime against the Minnesota Vikings last week, the Bengals are packing their bags and heading on up to Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois to take on the 0-1 Chicago Bears. The Bears are coming off of a tough Sunday Night Football loss to the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Field. While they showed some promise at times, overall the Bears struggled the whole game. Here is everything you need to know before this week’s matchup in Chicago.

 

Mixon And Montgomery

Both teams’ running backs will definitely be something to watch for this Sunday. Joe Mixon had the best week one of any rusher, with 127 yards on the ground against the Vikings. Then, on the other sideline, the Bears have David Montgomery, who had 108 yards in 16 carries. As for the rushing defenses, both teams have decent run protection, but the Bears didn’t show that Sunday night. It would seem that Mixon is set up for the better game; however, the Rams have an incredible defensive line with one of, if not the best, defensive tackles in the league —  Aaron Donald. If the Bengals defense can hold, I still think Mixon will have the better day, but David Montgomery might have a field day if the defensive line doesn’t stop him early as they did with Dalvin Cook.

 

The Return of The “Red Rifle”

The Bears seem to think that Andy Dalton is their starter right now, instead of rookie Justin Fields, who had a pretty good preseason. That said, this will be the second time Andy Dalton will be up against the Bengals since his release, but it will be his first time going up against Joe Burrow. If this game is anything like Sunday night for Andy, he should have a pretty rough game with Cincinnati’s secondary, which looked phenomenal against Minnesota. As for Burrow, I expect his stat line to look very similar to last week with a “pitch count” of anywhere from 25-35 throws.

 

Evan “KickPherson”

Evan McPherson kicked the game-winning field goal against the Vikings on Sunday on top of a 53 yarder, which he had drilled earlier in the game. Some Bengals fans seemed upset when the Bengals drafted McPherson with their 5th round pick, but he has shown that he will play a vital role in winning this year. Let’s get this straight — kickers are athletes too. Especially Evan, who looks like he has the potential to break the longest kick record (64 yards) at some point in his career. Look for Zac Taylor to be a little more aggressive with field goal attempts this Sunday and this season.

 

Predictions

Last week I called the exact score, so let’s keep this good juju going! I predict another close Bengals win at  34-31. The Bengals have shown plenty of potential on the defensive side on the ball, and momentum is everything; if the defense can get off to a hot start like last week they should be able to slow the Bears down. As for the offense, I think Burrow will come out guns blazing, unlike last week, and Joe Mixon should continue to tear up the ground game.