NFL Thursday Night Football - Bears vs. Cowboys - GreenZone Alert
[6.6 Units] Chicago Bears (+3) at Home vs. Dallas Cowboys
6.6 Units – CHI +2 or more
3.3 Units – CHI +1.5 or more
No Action – CHI pick 'em
Watch out for a Dak Mack attack tonight
The Cowboys are just an underachieving, sleeping giant with a shot to win the Super Bowl and the Bears stink, right? Right? That may not actually be the case. Both squads are 6-6, the Bears have won 3 of their last 4, and the Cowboys most recently got embarrassed at home by the Bills on Turkey day. Add in the fact that the Cowboys have yet to beat a team with a winning record and you have a recipe for a hungry home dog (who is still technically alive for the playoffs) getting the outright win on the shores of Lake Michigan.
There is no doubt that Dallas has an elite offense, but they very often refuse to play to their strengths, i.e. run the ball with one of the best running backs behind one of the best offensive lines. Perhaps if they went with a more dedicated run focus, they could control the games more and have a better record than 3-6 over their last 9 games. However, there are zero indications that Jason Garrett is planning on switching it up tonight. If you listen to the talking heads describe the Dallas defense, you’ll hear the words “great” and “top ranked” thrown around. Well we just don’t see it. We have the Cowboys D as a bottom 10 squad. Throw in the fact that they will be missing 3 starters in this game and you have a resistible force vs. moveable object situation with the Bears offense.
The Bears, however, do still have an elite defense. They may not be as dominant as they have been in years past, but they are definitely a top 10 unit. Many of the points and yards this defense has given up has been at least tangentially related to the offensive woes. Things like consecutive 3 and outs, turnovers, and falling behind has put them in bad positions. While their recent hot streak has included 2 wins vs. the Lions and 1 vs. the Giants, they are still wins and may have provided the Bears and Trubisky with the confidence they need to make a run at the post season. Not to mention Detroit and New York probably have comparable defenses to the one Dallas is going to trot out there tonight.
A final aspect that pushes this one into the GreenZone is the often forgotten about aspect of hidden yards. While both of these teams have had their share of kicking issues (the Cowboys actually worked out kickers this week), there is a significant gap on the return side of the ball. The Bears have one of the best return units in the league (both punts and KOs), while Dallas probably has the worst overall special teams in the NFL. In a game that we anticipate being pretty close, do not be surprised if this one turns on a big special teams play in favor of the Bears. Take the points at home with a great defense and an offense on the verge of a turnaround.