The Chicago Bears head out west to take on the Los Angeles Chargers in a Khalil Mack revenge game. Mack had a career day against the Raiders earlier with year with six sacks, so don’t count out the revenge game talk just yet. Both squads come into this one with disappointing records. The Bears were supposed to be a team on the rise coming into the year, with hopes of maybe a wildcard push. The Chargers were basically all-in on this iteration of the squad, pushing chips to the middle. Now, it looks like both head coaches are on the hot seat, and would be a bit surprising to see either defensive-minded guy retain their post.
The Chargers have played in one-score games all year until their 2 TD loss to the Chiefs last weekend. The Bears have been all over the map, with two convincing wins against the Commanders and Raiders, two blowout losses, and a trio late-game disappointments. It’s a real box of chocolates with this 2023 Bears squad and so far, a lot of orange creams have surfaced. I’m sorry if you like orange cream chocolates and I just unexpectedly took a shot at something you enjoy but they’re disgusting. You can have them.
Anyway, Tyson Bagent’s first start went incredibly well. He got a positive game script with the defense playing lights out and the running game operating well. He did enough in the short passing game to help keep the team on schedule and move the sticks. It’s a narrow path to victory each week, but it’s replicable against the right squad. The Chargers have more firepower than the Raiders, so the Bears should be pressed to work the ball down the field more than last week. As far as road games go, there will probably be as many or more Bears fans in attendance at SoFi Stadium than Chargers fans so it’s a nice opportunity for the rookie to start. What may not be friendly is Khalil Mack and a defensive coach that does tailor game plans to opponents. Expect Brandon Staley to press receivers and try to take away the short passing game and dare Bagent to hit something deep.
I think the Chargers are the better squad, I think Herbert can grind out enough points to push Bagent and the Bears to try to make plays downfield and ultimately, I think the Bears can play competitively, but will come up short.
Picks: Bears +8.5, Chargers moneyline, Under 46.5
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