If you’re looking for offensive fireworks look elsewhere, but if you can’t get enough of Tim Tebow you will surely want to see this one. The Tim Tebow train keeps on rolling, as the Broncos pulled out another close one last week against the Vikings. The Broncos won the game after an interception by rookie Christian Ponder deep in Vikings territory. They ultimately sealed the victory with a field goal to give Tebow his fifth straight victory. Many argue Tebow is getting too much credit, and the defense should be getting praised. And while this is partially true, Tebow has provided an emotional spark to ignite his once lifeless club. The Broncos severely lacked any kind of leadership before Tebow took over, so it could be said that he has put a jolt of energy into his teammates. The Bears on the other hand, are searching for answers after Matt Forte went down with an injury last week. That adds to the already devastating blow of losing starting quarterback Jay Cutler for the year.
There is no surprise why the Bears looked so anemic on offense last week. Matt Forte accounts for around 50 percent of their offense, so without Cutler or Forte it is a train wreck waiting to happen. The Bears only managed to muster up three points against an average to below-average Kansas City Chiefs defense. This is an offense that was ranked in the top-5 of the NFL not that long ago, but is quickly sliding without Cutler. I think even Bears fans that proclaim to be Cutler haters want him back at this point. This will be Caleb Hanie’s third consecutive start. His first two are certainly worth forgetting. There is no reason why the Bears shouldn’t have beaten the Raiders two weeks ago, but critical mistakes by Hanie doomed them. For instance, with seconds remaining in the first half, Hanie tried to fit a screen pass into traffic, it was intercepted for about 80 yards where the Raiders settled for a field goal. It seemed like the Bears were going to come out with at least 3 points there, but ended up surrendering points. Again late in the game, Hanie botched a simple spiking the ball play. With it being Hanie’s third start, he is going to need to show he can perform against better defenses that he played the last two weeks. If not, he may be on the unemployment line in the offseason.
Hanie will get plenty of help from his defense in this game. One massive advantage the Bears have is their ability to plug the run. The Bears have seen mobile quarterbacks before this season, Cam Newton and Michael Vick. In both games, they managed to slow them down to pick up victories. And if there’s one kind of defense that keeps Tebow up at night, it’s a defense like the Bears. They have a ton of team speed on the edges, and up the middle with their linebackers. The Bears, 7th against the run can get exploited through the air (28th), but do you think Tebow will be able to take advantage of it? I still have my doubts about Tebow’s arm, so if the Bronco’s plan on dishing the ball around a lot, he’ll be prone to mistakes against a defense that will force him to make decisions quickly. Consider what Tebow did against a Detroit Lions defense that is susceptible against the pass, but still has speed to get in quarterbacks faces. It was mistake after mistake after mistake.
Bears vs. Broncos Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Chicago Bears +3.5
@Denver Broncos -3.5
Over 35.5 (-110)
Under 35.5 (-110)
Bears vs. Broncos Pick:
I’m going to end this article the same way I opened it up. Don’t expect a lot of points here. It could get ugly at times with the ability of these defenses going against anemic offenses. So, the question comes down to what offenses is going to be able to scrape across enough points? Well, I do believe the Bears offense won’t look as terrible as it did last week. They looked absolutely lost when Forte went down, the whole game plan was to let Forte go to work. With a week to prepare, and knowing what the Bears have to work with, they’ll certainly look better. Marion Barber will fill in for Forte, who is a capable backup.
To me, the Bears athletic defense will cause trouble for Tebow and force him into mistakes. All I can envision right now is Julius Peppers coming off the edge and stripping Tebow off of his unorthodox delivery. Not to say Hanie won’t make mistakes, but nobody is going to be blowing anyone out in this game. It will most likely be another last second field goal, like the Bronco’s have been accustomed to seeing this season. As a result, take the points in a game that should be decided by a field goal.