With the Eagles winning yesterday, this is a pretty critical game for the Cowboys to keep pace with them. It seemed like it was inevitable that Dallas was going to be able to clinch this division. Not so fast, as Chip Kelly and the Eagles have done considerably better lately. Faced with a 14-0 hole in a game marred by extreme snowy conditions yesterday against the Lions, the Eagles rushed for a franchise record on the ground. I know the Cowboys were keeping tabs, and now it is their turn to pick a win up. They’ll need to do it on the road against the Bears who are clinging to life in the NFC North. It is looking pretty dim that we will be seeing Chicago in the postseason, but they are still statistically alive, so anything can happen given how erratic the Lions are, and the status of Aaron Rodgers.
I had a good day yesterday personally with the picks, going 2-0 with the Broncos and Saints on SNF. Had a loss Thursday in that crummy matchup between the Texans and Jags, which was a smaller play thankfully. A loss tonight will give us a 2-2 week or 3-1, so it is an important one. With week 15 of the NFL just around the corner, let’s finish week 14 off the right way.
Cowboys vs. Bears Betting Odds:
Dallas Cowboys -1.5(-110)
@Chicago Bears +1.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Cowboys vs. Bears Pick:
The Cowboys have been in this position before this time of year, with respects to them being on the cusp of the playoffs and being left out in the cold barely. It could be that way again this season, as it looks like the Cowboys and Eagles will decide this division in the final week. It is refreshing that it isn’t the same old Cowboys and Giants race for the division crown, and to be completely honest, I think there is a 50/50 chance of either team winning it. I could make an argument for both, so it looks like I won’t be making any bets on this division title needless to say. The Cowboys, if they make it, are maybe capable of pulling out a win in the first round before exiting in the next round. They will need a much better effort defensively for that to happen. Life seemed tough with Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator last year, but the defense has taken a nose-dive without him. It is safe to say that Ryan really wasn’t the problem with this defense. I would have to say it’s more a reflection of injuries. They are dead last in the NFL in yards allowed, giving up 421 a game. However, the Cowboys are doing better in the points yielded department, 25 per game. I spoke of injuries, and Dallas will be getting one of their best defender back Monday night, Sean Lee. It can be argued the best player is DeMarcus Ware or Sean Lee. I would have to give the lean to Lee here. When he went out against the Saints a few weeks ago, the entire defense took a major slide. He is a leader out there and holes seem to close up a lot faster with his presence on the field.
The defense will be going up against a Jay Cutler-less Bears team, with Josh McCown making another start. Cutler is listed as OUT, so don’t get your hopes up if you’re a Bears’ fan. It isn’t really a bad thing, I mean Cutler is better I won’t deny that, but McCown has done a fine job playing the backup role. He has a 103.6 quarterback rating and is coming off a 355 yard performance against the Vikings, which isn’t saying much, but 355 yards and 2 touchdowns against any team for any quarterback is a good day at the office. The most impressive thing with McCown is that he only has 1 interception on the season in his 6 starts. With that said, he has a 9 to 1 touchdown interception ratio. So the brand name isn’t there, but there hasn’t been much of a regression with McCown playing.
Again, like the Cowboys, the offense hasn’t been the problem, defense has been the achilles heel for both squads. The Bears’ defense is ranked 29th and giving up 27.7 points a game, a couple points more than the Cowboys. This isn’t the easiest game to handicap tonight, as I see the Bears and Cowboys being similar to one another. At least with the Cowboys on the road I think this is an even matchup. Bears vs. Cowboys in Dallas and it should be an easy when for the Cowboys. However, this one will be out in the cold of Chicago, with wind and chilly conditions being the story of the game. Tony Romo is much more efficient in a dome, but the most glaring statistic is of Romo on MNF, where he is 10-17 in his career. I will make a small play on the Bears for MNF to go to 3-1 in week 14.
PICK: Bears +1.5(-110)