Staff Picks – Bears @ Steelers – Week 9

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

Mike Page 2-6

2-6?

I’ve determined that the only path forward is to pick the Bears to win for the rest of the season, and let me tell you why: 1) Sugrue, Ozzie, and Bradley are where they are because they pick against the Bears. ALOT. And to be fair, that’s been the right move in terms of inching toward that $100.00 grand prize…so far. Catching them on the leaderboard will mean fully embracing my meatball homerism and rejecting the jaded pessimist that is buried deep within which has unfortunately reared its ugly head on a few occasions this season and backfired. 2) JF1. I’m choosing to see last week’s performance as THE breakout performance from the young rookie, and I don’t want to look back to the short stretch of my life where I was riddled with doubt and confusion about his future. There is nothing to be confused about now. There is no doubt. The only question was when, not if, and that time is now.

Bears 27 – Steelers 23

Sean Fox 5-3

While last week’s game will go down in the record books as a loss, I felt like it was a win. Finally we got to see the true potential of Justin Fields and against a pretty solid defense in San Francisco. The Pittsburgh Steelers boast an even stronger defense and front seven than the 49ers though.

Historically the Steelers play really well at home and always seem to show up in prime time. Najee Harris looks like an absolute stud workhorse behind a shaky line that will make or break the game. Though Big Ben has not looked great up to this point in the season, he still has two of his three big play WRs in Deontae Johnson and Chase Claypool that are threats at all times. Najee has also shown he can catch out of the backfield, so this offense still has potential to put up points.

The Bears D will have their hands full all night. If they can get the penetration they’ve been getting through eight weeks, they’ll have a chance to get to Roethlisberger and make some plays. They’ll need Mack and Jackson at 100% to do that. If they can convert a couple of turnovers into short fields for JF1, they could pull out a W. However, I’m thinking it’s more likely this game looks pretty similar to last weeks.

Steelers 27 – Bears 20

Ryan Dengel 5-3

The Chicago Bears are a bad football team. They’re poorly coached and lack significant talent on both sides of the ball. Over the last 3 games, the Chicago Bears defense has imploded. Match that with an offense that is just slightly improved and you have a team that sits at 3-5. 

Mike Tomlin is an incredible coach. His Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t going to win the Super Bowl every year, but they’re competitive and relevant every season. That must be fun. The Bears are have been especially bad on nationally televised games. The Bears are about to be 3-6 here. My only hope is that Justin Fields continues to develop, and we get to see one or two more plays that make you get up off your couch to cheer. 

Steelers 31 – Bears 20

Jack Wright 6-2

Points/game – 31st, Yards/game – 32nd, Points/play – 32nd, Yards/play – 32nd, 3rd down conversion % – 26th, 4th down conversion % – 30th, Red Zone scoring % – 26th, TDs/ game – 32nd. (Team Rankings)

Is this real life? The Bears rank last or nearly last in every major offensive category. I am starting to wonder how there can be any debate about the fate of Pace and Nagy. Perhaps if the defense rankings were stellar, there might be an argument that Pace bought the right groceries and Nagy cooked a (barely) edible meal. Alas, no. The proof is in the pudding. The pudding is pretty shit. 

Historically, the Bears are losers on MNF (32-40). However, they have been better than you might think in recent years. Since 2006, the Bears boast a 16-8 record in the Monday night tilt. Under Nagy, they are 2-2. 

Meanwhile, the Steelers and their aging QB, Ben Rolleyburger, ride the offensive struggle bus on Highway Zero Offense alongside the Bears. Thing is, the Steel Curtain defense might be the best the Bears have seen this year. Sadly, the Bears’ defense is on an epic downslide. Defense wins championships. The Steelers get the edge. It will probably be an explosive, fun game to watch though right? Exciting plays? Nearly penalty free? Masterfully coordinated units? 

Steelers 21 – Bears 10

Nick Henderson 5-3

These games are becoming harder and harder to predict due to the Bears’ sheer unpredictability. Not only do we not know what we’re going to get from them week by week, it’s even more baffling quarter by quarter. The Bears’ only consistency is inconsistency, although a 3 game losing streak is as consistent as it gets. The Steelers are winning games but they aren’t necessarily playing well. I said this last week and I’ll say it again, this is a very winnable game for the Chicago Bears. I don’t believe Pittsburgh to be a team that can assert their dominance against us. Honestly, I think this game is far more evenly matched than it looks, therefore, I’m going to treat this one as a toss up. As a die hard Bears fan, I’m naturally prone to picking the monsters whenever I’m on the fence (even against my better [and bettor] judgement). My record here has gotten worse pretty quickly due to my unwavering belief in this team. So, with little fact-based proof and conviction, I’ll take the Bears again.

Bears 21 – Steelers 20

Mike Oosterwyk 7-1

The cue is in the rack. The goose is cooked. Last drinks. Put a fork in them, they’re done.

The Bears season is over.

If you had asked me after the Raiders game, I would have almost certainly picked the Bears this week. Since then however, both teams have trended in completely opposite directions.

The Bears’ defense had all but given up on Sunday. The only ray of light being Justin Fields’ development and his proving to the NFL world that he is the star who we thought (and hoped), he will become.

The Steelers (4-3) have found something and are back in the hunt and looking for their fourth win in a row. The Bears have now lost 3 on the trot, are devoid of confidence and seemingly on an endless road to nowhere.

The Steelers’ defense, featuring the irrepressible T.J. Watt made mincemeat of Baker Mayfield last week, sacking him four times and prevented him from having any major impact on the scoreboard. Uncharacteristically, the Bears’ defence couldn’t even force a single punt out of the 49ers.

The next three weeks could become an absolute horror show. Losses against the Steelers and the Ravens will have the Bears under immense pressure to snap a 5 game losing streak against the Lions.

How about those Bulls?

Steelers 21 Bears 17

Luke O’Grady 4-4

Bears aren’t very good. Steelers aren’t great but they can hang. They should beat us this week. I think we knew all this a couple of weeks ago honestly. Doesn’t change much though, only important thing is how Justin Fields looks. And some other rookies to some extent. Here’s hoping the arrow points up for JF1 this game, cuz it likely won’t for the Bears 

Steelers 24 – Bears 14

Corie Walsh 4-4

Bears on MNF! Guess what that means?! It means that they’re basically sure to absolutely tank. I’d probably pick the Bears to lose for no other reason than their abysmal history while playing in highlighted games, but fear not, fellow fans, Da Bears have a bounty of other reasons that will ensure we get to watch them fall, too. Like the fact that we have apparently completely forgotten how to defend against the run. Or that our secondary is still weak AF and will once again be exploited. Or that Nagy is back which means any strides we may have made on offense will be totally erased. This year has been oh-so-fun.

Bears need to win at least 5 of their next 8 games in order to have even a chance in hell to make the playoffs, and pigs will be flying if that happens at this point. So let’s focus on the one thing we can all seem to agree on: watching Justin Fields progress each week showing glimpses of the future HOF QB we all know he has the potential to be. Also, drinking. Drinking definitely helps.

Steelers 20 – Bears 17

Logan Bradley 7-1

As someone with a Bears over 6.5 wins ticket, I want them to win all of these games. Oh, as a fan, too. I should say that. Predicting them to win is hard, though. When writing these predictions, I like to go almost completely on feel. I’m picturing myself sitting down on Monday night with a dark cloud hanging over me. That dark cloud is Matt Nagy’s presence on the sidelines yet again. Wasn’t that a fun week?

Justin Fields can look as great as possible, but as long as the Bears suck in just about every other aspect of the game, it won’t matter even while going up against a quarterback who’s a shell of their former self. I trust in Mike Tomlin, and I trust the Steelers at home, even though they’ve historically been stronger when underdogs (they’re favored by 6.5 points in this one). I’m excited that we’ll get to watch some Monday Night Football, but am not excited about the potential outcome.

Steelers 23 – Bears 16

Brendan Sugrue 7-1

Perhaps this is just wishful thinking, but I refuse to believe the Bears defense has another disastrous showing like they did last week against the San Francisco 49ers. They will rebound to an extent when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is a matchup of two historic teams with below-average offenses, playing on arguably the league’s worst field. Offense is going to be at a premium in this game. Still, I have to give the edge to the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger is playing just well enough to eek out victories and though he’s a statue in the pocket, he has a quick release. The Steelers offensive line has only allowed seven sacks on the year. They aren’t going to have a banner day by any means and perhaps the Bears can force a turnover for the first time in three weeks. But their offense is going to continue to struggle scoring on the road.

Justin Fields’ home and road splits are pretty drastic from one another so far this season. He has a 56.76 completion percentage and a quarterback rating of just 58 on the road, compared to a 61.9 completion percentage and 72 quarterback rating at home. Neither split is great, but Fields is far worse on the road. Facing a punishing Steeler defense led by T.J. Watt isn’t going to be a picnic. Let’s also not forget that Mike Tomlin can coach circles around Matt Nagy, which may be the deciding factor.

We’re in for a close game this Monday night where both teams struggle to get to 20 points. The Steelers struggle less though and come out with a victory.

Steelers 19 – Bears 13

Zachary Rosenbaum 3-5

Hell yeah! A Monday night matchup was so boring, even the Manning brothers didn’t want to watch it. A Steelers team led by a jeriatrich piece of garbage at QB, and a Bears team that sucks at almost every position. Justin Fields is the only bright spot of this Bears team. Last week we got to see some really sick plays from him, some of the stuff we have not seen from a Bears QB in a long time. Hopefully we’ll get to see more positive production from Fields, as we all hope he has a long and amazing career with Chicago. He’s the only thing Bears fans should be rooting for, because jesus christ the rest of this team is just awful. Last week was an embarrassment, and this week should be no different. Matt Nagy usually does a great job of making his team look like complete ass in front of a national audience, so I expect a complete dumpster fire of a performance.

Fire everybody on every team in this city. I don’t care anymore.

Justin Fields 7 – Steelers 35

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