Have no fear. The game of the year you've been waiting for all season has arrived. The Browns visit the Bears Sunday on Christmas Eve as the hype of a game between two teams with a combined four wins on a holiday couldn't be more palpable.
This ... this is the "Coal Bowl." A game between two NFL titans that should be flexed into primetime with the loser being forced to hire Jeff Fisher. Clearly as high stakes as they get.
In somewhat relevant story lines, Mitchell Trubisky will play against his hometown Browns for the first time. Amidst a game between two contenders with the highest of pressure, it'll be curious to see how the young quarterback responds to attempting to dice up the team he grew up watching. There's also the matter of the Bears winning and sweeping the AFC North for the second consecutive time (they did it in 2013 as well). They make shirts and ball caps for that championship, right?
Oh and the Browns are trying to get their first win of the season as they sit winless fifteen weeks in. Ho-hum.
Now, any other week, these stories would take tremendous precedence. However, in a shocking revelation Friday, John Fox let slip that he once received a pet monkey for Christmas named Gidget. And, that his uncle owned a prized ocelot. They were all reportedly the best of friends, inseparable even. Unfortunately, his and Gidget's friendship didn't last forever, much to a tragic chagrin. This was the foundation of a young man with his pet monkey that would go on to coach football for a living.
The Bears are 4-10. The Browns are 0-14. There are two games left in the 2017 season.
WCG Staff picks for Bears-Browns:
Fox’s Bears have never won a game they were favored in. On the strength of a defense that harasses DeShone Kizer in the coach’s last game at Soldier Field, they finally break that trend. The Bears give a half empty stadium a final Christmas present before 2018 and win one for the heroic monkey Gidget. Gone but not soon forgotten.
Bears 27 Browns 21
Lester Wiltfong Jr.
Trubisky will go to the tape from last week and he'll be ready to play against an awful Browns team. As bad as the Bears are, the Browns are worse, and this victory will mean the Bears are crowned AFC North Champs!
Bears 24 Browns 13
Fox is 0-7 as Bears coach when favored. It seems so 2017 Bears to lose to an 0-14 team as favorites but man the Browns are bad. Soldier Field is going to be a library Sunday, rivaling only the annual fourth preseason game against, who else, the Browns. I am torn on who to pick here. I want to say the Bears win but don't cover. I think this will be the game that cements Fox's legacy.
Browns 25 Bears 0
(Due to an injury to Connor Shaw the Bears have to put Trubisky in finish out the game. Scary moments!)
Browns squander field position due to turnovers, but still get six field goals. Chicago has a chance at the end, but Adam Shaheen, Tarik Cohen, and Kendall Wright are all on the sideline for the final drive.
Browns 18 Bears 17
This is literally the least excited I've been to watch a Bears game. Here are two bad teams going head-to-head. I can't imagine that they lose, but that would be so Bears if they did. I have to go with the clean sweep of the AFC North.
Bears 17 Browns 13
The Bears may be a dumpster fire, but the Browns are even more of a dumpster fire. As beaten up as Chicago’s defense is, they should have a field day against a Cleveland offense led by Kizer, who is playing as poorly as any starting quarterback in the NFL right now. The Bears avoid an embarrassing loss and complete their sweep of the AFC North.
Bears 20 Browns 16
My first instinct was to assume the Bears cleanly finish their trend of losing whenever favored under Fox and trip over each other finding ways to hand the Browns an early Christmas present. But then Akiem Hicks told reporters that the Bears were not about to roll over.
I tend to believe Hicks when he speaks, and this is the perfect opportunity for him and Jordan Howard to make the Pro Bowl voters look appropriately foolish for not nominating these two all-Bear super studs.
Bears 31 Browns 7
This is a game the Bears win either way ... if they win, THEY WIN! If they lose, then they get a higher draft slot. That's where they are, the state of the franchise in 2017.
Bears 34 Browns 24
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.