Message to Carolina Panthers fans: Do not overlook the Chicago Bears this weekend. A quick glance as the chatter on social media reveals that most are assuming this weekend’s game against the Bears is an automatic win. A closer look at the Bears’ season reveals that simply just is not the case.
The Chicago Bears currently have the 6th ranked defense in the NFL. That ranks higher than the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense that just finished mopping up the field with the Carolina Panthers offense. In fact, it ranks higher than the Buffalo Bills defense that did not allow a Panthers touchdown. If you were hoping the Carolina Panthers’ offense would “get right” against Chicago, prepare to be disappointed.
The Chicago Bears have not lost a home game by more than one score. In those games, they allowed no more than 23 points against offenses much better than the Panthers have (Atlanta, Pittsburgh). They held Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons to 23 points, do you think they are at all worried about Mike Shula’s offense?
The Chicago Bears just defeated the Baltimore Ravens, a team that had a winning record heading into Chicago. Could the Panthers defeat the Ravens at home? I am not so sure.
Now throw in the fact that John Fox has a little extra motivation to hand Jerry Richardson and Marty Hurney an L this weekend, and things become even more uncertain.
Any way you slice it, this weekend looks like yet another low scoring nail biter that will likely come down to the final drive of the game. Folks, this game could easily go either way.