Going into week three of the NFL season, Monday Night Football hasn’t failed to deliver the headlines.
The Texans and Saints gave us a shoot-out in the Superdome, Jon Gruden celebrated the release of Antonio Brown with a win over the Denver Broncos and Odell Beckham Jr put an exclamation point on his return to New York, scoring an 89-yard touchdown against the Jets at MetLife.
The Browns are now rolling.
For both the Chicago Bears and the Washington Redskins, there can be no slip-ups this Monday night.
Third-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is under the spotlight. Remember the Bears took him before Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes and he has yet to throw a touchdown pass this season.
They needed kicker Eddy Piniero’s three field goals to squeeze past the Broncos 16-14 last weekend.
The 25-year signal caller has only completed 58.3% of his passes this year, gaining just 348 yards of offence through the air. According to ESPN, his QB rating of 28.2 ranks him 28th in the NFL.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Despite being 0-2, the Skins have been surprisingly decent. After two games, no one would have predicted Case Keenum would be five TDs better off than the 2017 draft pick.
The script has supposed to involve the NFC East side losing before Dwayne Haskins was giving control of the offence. Case ripped it up. Putting up 56 completions for 601 yards. Losing to the Eagles and the Cowboys is no disgrace. This is their chance to pick up a win against one of the best defences in football.
Even if Trubisky decides to turn up, it’s hard to back him as a consistent scorer. The Bears D on the otherhand will be a constant threat to Keenum and should limit his time to go deep to lightning fast receiver Terry McLaurin. Adrian Peterson made his return to the backfield and you know Khalil Mack and Co. will be keyed in on stopping the running game.
This could become a kicking extravaganza, which the Bears have enjoyed of late, but doesn’t bode well for a gun-slinging contest.
Verdict: Under 41.5 points at 5/6
For Trubisky to succeed at FedEx Field, there will need to be huge changes to the offence and his overall game. The Bears running game has potential, but they need to establish a passing threat, which they just don’t have.
Piniero has proven a solid and consistent kicker. The era of the double-doink is over and he looks like a safe pick, especially as the away side continues to struggle.
Last season Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson’s combined for 13 interceptions. As a team, they ran back five pick sixes in 2018. Fuller, playing at corner-back grabbed his first pick of the new season against the Broncos, so you know this defence is starting to gel.
Keenum will have less time on the ball, the pocket will be collapsing quicker than it has. Once the Bears turn up the heat, expect the secondary to have a chance at taking advantage.
With no real stars on either side to bank on, the Bears D become one of the most dangerous scoring threats on the field. When the defence is the main threat, you know your QB is in trouble.
Verdict: Bears D to score a TD anytime @ 7/2
*Prices correct at time of publishing