Following another big win last night with the Seahawks, we’ll look for the momentum to continue throughout the weekend as we focus on another NFC showdown for Saturday evening.
Tonight, our featured match-up will travel to the desert to watch the Arizona Cardinals host the new-look Chicago Bears. Much has been made about the stagnant Bears’ offense and how little it’s expected to do in 2017. Those worries were confirmed last week against Denver, when Mike Glennon & co. struggled badly when they were in the game. You can bet head coach John Fox will definitely look to see an improvement this week.
For the Cardinals, they’re pretty set and established as far as their starters go. They remain a very talented group, though with many veterans who have played many pre-season snaps in their career – rest seems to have taken priority over playing time for the exhibition campaign. Bruce Arians wants to ensure his top dogs are ready for Week 1 of the regular season, though Arizona still has solid organizational depth to push the Bears.
Read on below for a detailed game breakdown and analysis for Cardinals and Bears. It’s always interesting to watch Mark Sanchez, follow along with Bears’ top pick Mitch Trubisky, and hopefully we can make some money together while doing it!
Bears vs. Cardinals Betting Odds:
Chicago Bears +3 (-120)
@ Arizona Cardinals -3 (+100)
Over 40.5 (-110)
Under 40.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Bears vs. Cardinals Pick:
With Mike Glennon and the Bears’ first-team offense struggling so badly in Week One, the calls for more Mitch Trubisky are loud and clear within the Bears’ fanbase. The rookie was excellent in his first NFL game, albeit feasting on second and third-team defensive units. Trubisky is expected to follow both Glennon and Sanchez once again on Saturday, but another stellar outing might force John Fox’s hand about moving the former second overall pick up the depth chart. It’s believed Glennon will play as much as the first half with his offense, Sanchez will get a few series, and then it’ll be Trubisky to close the game out into the fourth quarter.
For Arizona, this is actually their third pre-season game opposed to second. This is because they featured in the Hall of Fame Game back on August 3rd. They lost that one to Dallas, before putting in a very solid outing last week vs. the Oakland Raiders. It is believed that head coach Bruce Arians will finally unleash his starters, but not to the extent other teams do around this time in the pre-season. David Johnson, Carson Palmer, and Larry Fitzgerald are all slated to play the first quarter, but after that – no guarantees. Arians has said “twenty plays is the maximum,” though after last week’s stint Carson Palmer visibly wanted to play a bit more.
Beyond Palmer is where the Cards’ run a little thin. Quarterback depth is paramount to winning pre-season games, and Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert don’t really inspire much confidence beyond the aging Palmer. Though both have shown some promise this pre-season, it seems to be a case of waiting for the bubble to burst – especially with Gabbert.
Going into tonight’s clash, it seems like the Bears are taking their pre-season contests a bit more seriously, especially given the fact that their starters are expected to play longer than Arizona’s tonight. That advantage should give Mike Glennon a needed confidence boost against the second-teamers of Arizona. Beyond Glennon though, I heavily favour the Bears’ depth, especially at the quarterback position. Say what you will about Mark Sanchez, but he’s a decent option as a backup, and has fit in nicely in Chicago. Beyond that, Trubisky seems to be a budding star and should again put up big numbers late in tonight’s contest against third-team defenses. Look for the Cards to get out to an early lead, but the Bears’ depth takes over late.
PICK = Bears +3 (-120)