It's been a long time since the Chicago Bears won consecutive games. In fact, this organization hasn't won two straight since the peak of the John Fox era in November 2015. Needless to say, consistency, or even mediocrity, hasn't been a strong suit for Chicago.
Coming off of the heels of a thrilling overtime victory over the Ravens, a wounded Panthers team visits in Chicago offering the opportunity for the Bears to win two straight for the first time since the Industrial Revolution. Fun fact: with All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly out, the league's 7th ranked rushing defense in Carolina now has to play Chicago's 4th ranked rushing offense.
There's a shot here. It's just a matter of if the Bears will take it.
Here are WCG's staff picks for Bears-Panthers.
The Bears haven't won two consecutive games since November 2015. They haven't won three consecutive games since September 2013. With a rookie quarterback still hitched and limited going against, in my opinion, the second best team in the NFC in the Panthers, I see no reason for the Bears to break that disturbing trend. These Bears are quite the fun AND bad team, which is key: they're still bad and not good enough to stay consistent.
Panthers 27 Bears 21
Lester Wiltfong Jr.
The Bears have intercepted more passes than the Panthers. Let that one sink in a moment. Here's another. The Panthers have thrown more interceptions than the Bears have. Here's one more to think about. The top two running backs for the Panthers are averaging 2.9 yards per carry. If the Bears can force the Panthers to be one dimensional, they'll be able to get after Newton. There's also a chance of rain in the forecast for Sunday which will make Soldier Field even worse than usual. The Bears will stick to the run, they'll play tough defense, and Mitchell Trubisky will make a few plays. So I'm going with the upset.
Bears 24 Panthers 23
Another week, another tough defense for Trubisky. The Panthers secondary may be suspect but the front seven is not. The offensive line has a tough task ahead and I don't see a ton of running lanes opening up. We also know the team is reluctant to let the rookie sling it. I can't see this going too well, although the defense can have another big game because Newton has been throwing a lot of picks.
Panthers 17, Bears 14
I am imagining somewhat of a letdown after the overtime win in Baltimore. The Panthers are better on both sides of the ball and the Bears defense will likely struggle with Newton's athleticism. Offensively, the "three yards and a cloud of dust" ideology is not going to get it done. This Bears team simply cannot depend on defense and special teams to supplement the offense. With the conservatism shown by the coaching staff the last two weeks, I don't see this offense being able to keep up.
Panthers 24 Bears 17
With Kuechly officially out ...
Bears 24 Panthers 13
Newton will need to beat Chicago in the air and I don't think he can.
Bears 21 Panthers 10
WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante;Andrew Link; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook.