Staff Picks – Week 1 – Bears @ Rams

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

Mike Page 0-0

Staff Picks is back! This time with a full staff and a $100.00 grand prize at stake to give it some more juice. I really love this segment, and even though my odds at winning this year have dramatically decreased, I’m hopeful that my trash talk will be living in the heads of our staff rent free all season. As I told Brendan Sugrue……

I said on Twitter that the pre-season is a time to be gooey and soft like your 10 year old self – to perceive this game like you did when you were a kid because it’s a kid’s game. Be optimistic because pessimism is for the birds at this point. I’m sticking with it along with my prediction from the BDR podcast that had Trevis Gipson tallying a couple sacks and Duke Shelley winning the game with a pick 6. BTFD. 

Bears 17 – Rams 14

Luke O’Grady 0-0

On paper, this looks like it should be a fairly easy win for the Rams. One of the better defenses in the league already, and now McVay has a quarterback that can really cut it loose in Matt Stafford. The Rams should be a threat to win every game they play this season.

Bears can make it close however. Their playmakers on defense could force a turnover or two, maybe Mooney sneaks a long touchdown in, it’s all possible. Could be a very fun game, but also could be a very long night for the Bears. Honestly, what happens with the quarterbacks might be more important than the final score anyway. In the end, I got the Rams by 10

Rams 24 – Bears 14

Ryan Dengel 0-0

I love the Chicago Bears. I want them to win this season and every season. I am cheering for this team and will be obnoxiously loud from my couch on Sunday night. However, I just don’t see how the Bears can win this game. Sure, the Bears have a strong run game (if Nagy commits to it) and a decent defense (at least up front), but I just don’t trust this organization right now. 

I’m actually happy that Stafford got out of football purgatory (Detroit) and can now work with an offensive coach who is firmly established. I don’t think Stafford will light it up against the Bears, but will do enough to win the game. In the end, I trust the Rams defense more than I trust Matt Nagy’s putrid offense. 

Rams 17 – Bears 13 

Zachary Rosenbaum 0-0

I think this game is going to be decided by defense. Both teams have fantastic defensive playmakers in Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald. However, in the past two matchups with the Rams, Sean McVay has easily planned around Mack, and let Donald destroy The Bear’s offense. I’m not at all impressed with either team’s QBs though. Andy Dalton is Andy Dalton and Matt Stafford is an overrated underachiever. With that said I still think LA can move the ball down the field better than Chicago can.

Prove me wrong Nagy! Let’s ride the lightning.

Rams 23 – Bears 6 

Jack Wright 0-0

Confession, I have always liked Matt Stafford. His talents were wasted in Detroit. Stafford is athletic, possesses a cannon arm, and seems like a good dude. If he cannot make it happen in LA, I will humbly admit my miscalculation. And if I am right, the Bears are in trouble Sunday. The Rams are stacked with talent on both sides of the ball. Furthermore, Sean McVay is an excellent head coach with a proven record. He has a clear sense of offensive scheme and game planning. Meanwhile, Matt Nagy’s inability to effectively orchestrate the Bears’ offense is well-documented. Nagy and his staff have a knack for staying in games and so this matchup sets up to be a fun watch. Ultimately, the Rams will be too much for our Bears. 

Bears 14 – Rams 21

Nick Henderson 0-0

The National Football League clearly expects the Chicago Bears to have a competitive season, hence kicking off Sunday Night Football. Unfortunately, I think they were expecting that Justin Fields would be “ready” by the time this game was to be played. 

Unlike most, I don’t believe Andy Dalton to be completely incapable of putting points on the board. So, I’m predicting a slightly above average showing from the Bears’ offense, and I expect fireworks from Matthew Stafford and his new toys. Sean Desai and the troops have their hands full with this one. I expect that the score will reflect that. All in all, I got the Rams by 14.

Rams 31 – Bears 17

Mike Oosterwyk 0-0

It’s here. Football season is finally upon us. It’s time to put the foot down on the gas and leave all of the off-season dramas and issues behind us in the rearview mirror.

The roadblock ahead though is Matthew Stafford and a Rams defense headlined by a hungry Aaron Donald. If the Bears have any chance of winning this week, they will be heavily reliant on a strong showing by veteran Andy Dalton, and a contribution of points from the Bears defence.

A difficult road trip first up, and despite the Bears’ best efforts and some enjoyable highlights from the defence, the Rams will be too strong at home.

Rams 27 – Bears 13 

Dan Dundas 0-0 

Week 1 has its pluses and minuses when it comes to facing a perennial playoff contender like the Rams. It gives rookie coordinator like Sean Desai plenty of time to dig into his Vic Fangio roots and use his two high safety attack to slow down McVay’s at times potent offense. On the other hand, McVay hired former Fangio protege Brandon Staley for one year in 2020, precisely so he could get the inside scoop on that very type of defense. Having 4 years of calling games puts McVay in the driver’s seat for this one. 

Will Matt Nagy take the proverbial reins off of his doctorate level offense that even Avril Lavigne thinks doesn’t need to be so complicated? The star of the offense is the offense itself, until Fields can come off the sidelines and provide fireworks. The offense will muster some points, and not look horribly inefficient at times, but it won’t be enough bringing a knife to a gun fight so to speak when it comes to overall talent level. In my most Bill Swerski accent……

Rams 27 – Bears 16. 

Corie Walsh 0-0

Well, I’ll probably be kicking myself for this prediction when I’m trudging up to bed late Sunday evening, but with football in the air and the Bears season FINALLY upon us, I can’t help but be just a wee bit optimistic (also, I like to be contrary). I think this is going to come down to an old-school game of defensive prowess. With an offensive line that leaves a bit to be desired, and a serious blow to their run game with Akers out, the Rams will need to get the ball out more quickly than they think. And I’m not completely convinced that Stafford will immediately flourish in a totally new offensive scheme, especially after sitting all preseason. Takeaways are going to be key, and I think the Bears defense is just hungry enough to make a difference. I’m not expecting fireworks out of Dalton, but a mediocre offense coupled with a defense that’s looking to strip the ball or get a pick 6 at every turn has the potential to win games. It’s week ONE, people, if there’s ever a time to be optimistic, it’s now!

Bears 13 – Rams 10

Sean Fox 0-0

Bears Football is back!!! Sorry, I had to get that out of my system to start.

While I’m super excited to see the 2021 NFL season kick-off, I’m less excited about the fact that the Bears kick-off the season in primetime against the Rams. Many were hoping we’d get to see the Bears 1st Round QB Justin Fields start under center against a stacked Rams D, but instead we’ll get a chance to see new FA addition Andy Dalton Week 1. I don’t love the idea, but I also don’t hate it. Sending Dalton out as a sacrificial lamb to start the season against Aaron Donald while protecting the future isn’t Nagy’s worst call (he’s definitely made worse).

There’s not much we can take from the preseason action as defensive schemes were bland and the offensive game plan was boring. What we can do is take a look at last season’s Week 7 matchup between the Bears and Rams where the Rams dominated the Bears from the opening kick with a 24-10 win. While I do think Andy Dalton is a slight upgrade from Mitch Trubisky, I don’t see him making a measurable difference in the outcome of this game. These two teams look very similar to the way they looked last season, so I expect a similar result.

Rams 27 – Bears 17 

Logan Bradley 0-0

This game might suck to watch. I’m not as high on Matt Stafford as many are. There’s no denying he’s an immediate upgrade over Jared Goff, but I don’t see him in that elite QB tier than many seem to be elevating him to. That being said, he’s going to be able to do plenty in this game with Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Tyler Higbee at his disposal. Not the craziest set of offensive weapons, but more than reliable enough to tear apart a suspect Bears secondary.

Your guess is as good as mine as to how the Bears offense fares in this game, but considering the strength of the Rams defense from top to bottom (don’t forget our old friend, Leonard Floyd), I’m not expecting much.

Rams 28 – Bears 13

Brendan Sugrue 0-0

The Los Angeles Rams are the heavy favorite in this game and are likely one of the popular survivor picks for week one. And honestly, I get it. Sean McVay is undefeated in week one (4-0) since becoming the Rams head coach in 2017, averaging approximately 26 points in those contests. On the other side, Bears head coach Matt Nagy is 1-2 and was one D’Andre Swift drop away last year from being 0-3. To put it in layman’s terms, the Rams usually get off to a hot start and the Bears have been somewhat cold. I’m predicting a Rams win, but it’s going to be very close.

The vaunted Rams defense is due for some regression. They still have a bit of firepower but lost a few key players and have new defensive coordinator Raheem Morris calling the shots. He’s a significant downgrade from Brandon Staley. I think Bears starting quarterback Andy Dalton finds some success against that unit and gets off to a fruitful start, contrary to popular belief.

But it’s the Rams offense that will prove to be the difference maker. New quarterback Matthew Stafford seems to have built quite the rapport with McVay in a short amount of time and with issues looming at nose tackle and cornerback for the Bears, he could be difficult to stop.

Though Nagy does tend to start slow, he finds a way to keep his team in it until the end. We’re in for an entertaining game and this game certainly can’t be worse than the last time the Bears went to Los Angeles. 

Rams 23 – Bears 21

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