You couldn't pick a better Week 14 titan of a matchup. The 3-9 Bears against the 5-7 Bengals is a game many have been waiting for weeks. The hype, it hits the stratosphere. A contest between two head coaches in John Fox and Marvin Lewis that should've been fired long ago. Two teams going head to head that seemingly have no luck against their bitter rivals in the Packers and Steelers of late (meaning the last two decades).
If there's anyone that should really understand each other
and despair, it's the Bears and Bengals.
I expect nothing of this game. So what's waiting in the stocking? They say you define your season in December. Why not do it in an irrelevant non-conference matchup? Get ready for some AFC North football.
WCG's Bears-Bengals picks.
We're past the earlier version of this 2017 Bears team being Jekkyl and Hyde. They have firmly settled into an identity: poorly coached, injury battered, and mailing it in for the year. I see no reason to pick this Bears squad in any of their remaining games. Why would I feel good about this disorganized, lackadaisical offense against Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and Carl Lawson? I'll be watching with my hands covering my eyes.
The yin and yang back and forth is over now.
Bengals 27 Bears 17
Lester Wiltfong Jr.
Bengals 24 Bears 3
But, John Fox is then fired.
This team is cooked and the Bengals have just enough weapons and talent to keep them at bay. The rankings of the Bengals defense (eighth vs. pass, 28th vs. run) means that the Bears will completely limit Trubisky's passing options and hold tight to the run, run, pass calling that is driving us all insane. So expect the Bears to lose the time of possession to the team that's in last place in time of possession. There will be a lot of ugly offensive football and a lot of punting but A.J. Green will make enough big plays for the Bengals to pull away.
Bengals 24 Bears 10
Mitchell Trubisky finds the end zone with a scramble but Connor Barth, I mean Cairo Santos, I mean Mike Nugent misses the point after.
Meanwhile, rookies sit and the team plays zombie football, shambling around the field without purpose, hungry for a coach with a brain.
Bengals 31 Bears 9
Ryan Pace and John Fox are 12-32 over the last three years, true, but they are undefeated against the AFC North at 2-0! Maybe Pace and Fox actually built a juggernaut team for the North division ... but just got the conference wrong.
Unfortunately for them, that means that they only get four opportunities to show what this team is really made of every four years, but this is one of them.
Bears 16 Bengals 13
Last week, I thought that pure talent would be enough for the Bears to beat the 49ers. I was wrong. I underestimated how bad this coaching staff really is. The Bengals have also been a train wreck, but they at least have a handful of fantastic players on their roster. Cincinnati's defensive line is one of the best in the league, and they should give Chicago's offensive line fits. I see the Bears struggling to get anything going on offense, which will cause their defense to end up getting tired out from being on the field so long. The game might be close for the first half or so, but the Bengals will pull away late and pick up the win.
Bengals 23 Bears 10
In my mind, this Bears team has given up. The Bengals have a lot more talent on offense than the 49ers did last week, and they were able to move the ball at will. The Bengals defense is also pretty legit when it wants to be. The Bears couldn't muster more than seven offensive points against the lowly 49ers last week. Why should I think that they could against a much better defense this week? No, the Bears missed their opportunity to fire Fox in-season when they kept him after the second Packers game. At this point, get used to seeing a team that has basically quit.
Bengals 31 Bears 6
The Bears have seemingly caught a break with Cincinnati injuries, as the Bengals' 30th ranked rushing offense will be without starter and leading rusher Joe Mixon, out with a concussion. So what's going to happen for no reason at all other than the extension of this more-miserable-by-the-week Bears season of 2017? Giovani Bernard, who hasn't had a 100-yard game since Week 2 of 2015, and only has two in his career, will rip us for a career high 158 yards and two touchdowns.
Bengals 24 Bears 14
Bears get two safeties to best the Bengals' one field goal. Let me clarify here, I do not have faith in the Bears' ability to win this game. But in my off time when watching AFC games, I dabble in Bengals fandom. Through that experience, I have gained a tremendous faith in the Bengals' ability to lose this game. This could be a bumble fest of epic proportions. I, for one, am looking forward to it.
Bears 4 Bengals 3
Trap game for Cincy. They will overlook us simply because we kind of suck.
Bears 14 Bengals 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 onFacebook.