Staff Picks – Bears @ Browns – Week 3

Image by Zachary Rosenbaum – https://www.instagram.com/zacharyrosenbaumdesign/

Mike Page 1-1

It’s a big moment in Chicago Bears, hell Chicago SPORTS, history. Another opportunity to flip the script on a century’s worth of flops, flubs, duds, and bums. We’re used to managing expectations, but this feels different – almost like the Cubs signing Jon Lester in late 2014 (Congrats on 200 Ws, Jon).

I originally had the Bears losing this game, but the JF1 aircraft, an untested but well built battlecraft, is now ready for takeoff. Honestly, don’t worry about the moment being too big for him. I promise you, its not. It is for me, though. I’ll be squinting, flinching, and clenching with every snap and every throw, praying that he shows enough to justify the irrational hype we as Bears fans have placed on him. I think he will. 

The only question for me is the D. No doubt they over performed in week 2 against the Bengals with 4 TOs. Even in 2018 they averaged just above 2 per game. How much correction takes place against a very efficient Baker Mayfield and excellent running game? That could depend on how Eddie Goldman and Mario Edwards Jr. return to form up front, and I don’t have a ton of hope in that regard. 

Browns 24, Bears 21

Ryan Dengel 1-1

I like being wrong when I pick the Chicago Bears to lose. The defense completely flipped the script from week 1 to week 2. The Bears defense came to life, especially in the early parts of the 4th quarter. The offense… still sucks. I am hoping that Matt Nagy can finally adjust his offense to his players strengths, but I just haven’t seen it yet. If Mooney and ARob caught their dropped passes and if Cole Kmet’s lone catch isn’t called for OPI, JF1’s stats look pretty darn good for his first NFL game. 

This has the feel of either a Bears improbable win or a good fight that ends in a Bears loss. I am unfortunately going with the latter. Cleveland is a really talented team and while I think the Bears will do better, I don’t think they can pull off the upset. 

Browns 24, Bears 17

Zachary Rosenbaum 1-1

Justin Fields is starting a football game.

Bears 100 – Browns 3

Okay, joking aside, this is a pretty big game for Bears fans. We’re all hoping that Justin Fields becomes the man for Chicago for years to come, but he is still a rookie. He’s going to be prone to making a bad pass here, or making an interception instead of taking a sack. We can live with whatever mistake he makes because we all know that it’s a part of the learning process of playing in the NFL. Hopefully his wide receivers can help him out this week. Hopefully, Fields’ practice time with the Number 1 practice squad will help his chemistry with ARob and others.

Now, this Browns team that The Bears will be going up against is not like the Browns teams of the past. They have a team that went to the playoffs, and beat the Steelers no less (A Steelers team with a jeriatric man playing the QB spot, but still). Baker Mayfield has lots of offensive weapons at his disposal, and the Browns also have a killer running core. The Bears’ D has been able to contain the run for the most part, it’s the secondary that gives everyone nightmares. OBJ might be able to destroy The Bears down field if The Bears secondary decides to just take a nap. This is a Browns team that has failed to really dominate a game however. They allowed The Texans to score 21, and a couple of mistakes allowed the Chiefs to win in their week 1 matchup. The Browns are good, but they’re still The Browns.

So, I’m predicting a classic Matt Nagy win. The offense will get out big by scoring two consecutive Touchdowns, but will stay quiet throughout the rest of the game. The Bears D will hold out for as long as they can. Eventually The Bears will leave the field with a W and we will ask ourselves “Did The Bears win? Or did The Browns lose?”. Classic Nagy game. Don’t ever change Matt.

Prove me right boys! Let’s show Cleveland that it can’t get away with pretending it invented Rock and Roll without a fight.

Bears 21, Browns 17

Jack Wright 1-1

Last week, I picked the Bears to lose. I apologize for overestimating the Bengals. 3 picks in a row?! That was mind blowing. The Bears won, I was wrong, and I could not be happier. This week’s opponent is on another level. The Browns are stacked with talent. Fortunately, some of that talent may be sidelined with injury. Regardless, Clevland’s offense will give the Bears’ defense more problems than the Bengals offensive unit did last Sunday. The Bears offense will sputter (despite the exciting news of JF1’s first NFL start!) on offense once again. Thanks Matt Nagy. Perhaps you’d be better suited managing a McDonalds. Special teams will play a major factor in this game. Sadly, the Browns, not the Bears, will capitalize on special teams. 

Browns 21, Bears 14

Nick Henderson 2-0

Justin Fields is starting his first NFL game Sunday against the Browns. Therefore, It would be asinine and un-Chicago of me to pick against the Bears this week. I got us winning. Our defense was stellar last week and I think we can ride that momentum into week 3. Also, Justin Fields will put together a memorable highlight reel Sunday. The Browns have a high-powered offense when clicking on all cylinders, but I expect our defense to do just enough to keep them away. The Browns’ defense has some big names but there hasn’t been BIG production. Hopefully Matt Nagy can take advantage of that.

Bears 31, Browns 24

Sean Fox 1-1

The time has come for Justin Fields to make his first start as QB1 for the Chicago Bears and I can feel the excitement from Bears fans everywhere. We all knew this time would come at some point this season, but no one knew the circumstances. Personally, I would’ve projected next week’s matchup against the Lions as the perfect first start for him, but with last week’s Andy Dalton injury, the time has arrived.

Fields will have his work cut out for him as he faces a strong Cleveland Browns front seven highlighted by a couple of first overall picks in Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney. He’ll also have to deal with Malik Jackson coming up the middle. These three will be a huge test for the Bears O-Line this week. On the other side of the ball, the Browns boast arguably the best 1-2 RB combo in the league with Nick Chubb and Karim Hunt. With Jarvis Landry out this week and Odell Beckham making his season debut, I anticipate the Browns will continue to focus their offense around their run game. It will be strength vs. strength on that side of the ball to see who wins this game with Roquan, Kalil and (hopefully) Eddie Goldman working to stuff the run game in Cleveland.

If the Bears can stop the run and create some explosive plays on offense with Fields under center, the Bears can steal one this week. If the Browns look like they did against KC in Week 1, they are going to be a tough team to beat. Though the Browns have a more talented roster than the Bears, I see the team being energized by finally getting to see Justin Fields start his first game as a Bear. This is a tough one to call, but I think the Browns ultimately come out on top.

Browns 30, Bears 27

Mike Oosterwyk 2-0

A tough road game to Cleveland this week but let’s just put that aside real quick. Because (and drum roll please), it’s happening. It’s actually happening. Justin Fields will start this week for the Chicago Bears.

I am thrilled that the Justin Fields era has begun, however like most Bears fans, I am also super disappointed for Andy Dalton. Since arriving, he has shown nothing but class and wherever the road takes him from this point, I wish him well.

They say pressure makes diamonds, and what better way for Fields to test himself than in a homecoming of sorts in Ohio and against a genuine 2021 playoff contender in the Cleveland Browns.

The Bears’ defence got their swagger back on Sunday, turning Cincinnati over four times for 13 points, including an incredible pick 6 from Roquan Smith. Cleveland’s offense will be looking to expose the Bears’ secondary with some clever play-calling courtesy of Kevin Stefanski whom is not too averse to throwing in the odd cheeky trick-play here and there.

I am picking the Browns this week, however it certainly won’t be without an exciting highlights package for Justin Fields, and the beginning of an exciting journey.

Browns 31, Bears 26

Luke O’Grady 1-1

I can’t even remember the last time I was this excited for a football game. Playoffs 2018? 

It’s all possible with Justin Fields. The defense is returning Mario Edwards and possibly Eddie Goldman against the best rushing team in the league. Good timing.

I just have that feeling. Browns are beat up, Bears are coming with some new life with JF1 at the helm. 

Bears are winning.

Bears 24 – Browns 13

Corie Walsh 1-1

Justin Fields is named the starter, the defense was on FIRE last week (yes, against a weak Bengals offense, but let’s keep focusing on the positives), Jarvis Landry is out and Baker Mayfield is slightly injured. This is all to say: I’m letting it ride on my optimism this week! Make no mistake, the Browns are going to score and this will likely be a close game. But with Fields finally practicing with the starters and the players all feeling the hype, I think we’ll have just enough juice to eek out another win. With the Browns excelling in deep secondary coverage, I expect Montgomery and Kmet to factor heavily into our offensive attack. We all want to see Fields throwing dimes down the sideline to ARob, but I think we’re more likely to see more RPOs and slants to keep the chains moving. If our Oline can remain effective against Clowney and Garrett, and our defense can keep its focus on stopping the run and takeaways, the Bears have a very solid chance on Sunday.

Bears 27 – Browns 24

Logan Bradley 2-0

Though the Browns defense has had an up-and-down first two weeks, this is a tough spot for Justin Fields to make his first career NFL start. Believe me, I’m excited, he needs to be under center; I just think expectations should be kept in check.

The good news is the Bears defense has to be riding some kind of high after last week. That’s what gives me hope that this will be a closer game than the seven-point spread might indicate. Through two games, the Browns own a better turnover differential than just the Jaguars, Jets and Titans at -2. With no Jarvis Landry and a presumably limited OBJ, if you can key in on Nick Chubb (which is no easy task), you just might have a shot. If Mario Edwards Jr. and Eddie Goldman are back, which it seems like they will be, stopping Chubb becomes slightly more manageable.

My outlook on the Bears became rosier last week, I just don’t think they’re ready to win a road game like this quite yet.

Browns 28, Bears 23

Brendan Sugrue 2-0

We’re all aboard the Justin Fields hype train heading into his first start of his (hopefully) long career with the Chicago Bears, right? Well…maybe not this week. History is not on the rookie’s side for this matchup, unfortunately. 

The Bears have never had a rookie make their first start on the road and won in the modern era of the NFL. Fields already has a lot of bad juju to make up for when it comes to ineptitude at the quarterback position and I don’t know if this one makes the cut. From a gambling standpoint, meanwhile, Matt Nagy is 1-13 straight up as an underdog of 3.5 points or more, according to 670 The Score’s Joe Ostrowski. The Bears are 7.5 point underdogs against the Browns, meaning this has to be a major upset for the Bears to win.

Now, for the football side of things. This Browns team is very well coached by Kevin Stefanski. They don’t throw the ball too much and rely on a stellar ground game and solid defensive play. The Bears defense looked much better against the Bengals, but I think they take a step back. It’s a tough task for Fields on offense  and while I do think he has some moments that wow everyone, he’s going to start his career 0-1, like many other rookies before him. The Browns are just too good of a team, even without their top wideouts.

Browns 30, Bears 23

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