The Chicago Bears and New England Patriots are two teams that are going in opposite directions this season. Despite a slow start to the year the Patriots have rattled off two wins in a row to get them back to .500. They also nearly beat Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, which is not the feat it once was, but it still would have been an impressive win, nonetheless. The Bears on the other hand have lost three games in a row including a loss last Thursday night to the Washington Commanders who are one of the worst teams in football. The Patriots opened up as a six-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook a little over a week ago but that total now sits at 8 points and looks likely to grow even more. DraftKings also projects this to be one of the lowest scoring games of the week as the over/under of 40 is the second lowest total of Week 7.
Justin Fields has been one of the worst quarterbacks in football this season as his QBR of 34.3 is the seventh worst mark in the league and his passer rating of 72.7 is the second lowest in football. Fields’ completion percentage of 54.8% is also the worst mark in the league but his expected completion percentage of 65.5% is about league average.
The Bear's defense has been putrid against the run as they have allowed the most rushing yards to opposing running backs. In addition to that the defense as a whole has the fourth lowest expected points contributed against the run at -17.72 points. The defense has been significantly better against the pass as they have the 8th best passer rating against of 79.9.
New England Patriots
There is uncertainty as to who is starting at quarterback against the Bears as it is looking increasingly likely that Mac Jones will be returning from his ankle injury for this week’s game. Although, that does not impact the offense too much as New England relies on the ground game to move the ball. They have the sixth most rushing attempts in the league this year with 178 and they’ve rushed for the ninth most yards with 788. They have a relatively average passing game as their team passer rating of 91.9 ranks 14th whilst they’ve thrown for the 17th most yards at 1,340.
New England has had a strong defense this season as their passer rating against of 81.1 is the ninth best number in the league. They also have 17 sacks which is tied for the 7th highest tally in the NFL. They have also allowed the 8th lowest net passing yards per attempt at 5.8 yards. Their run defense is not great as they allow 4.7 yards per attempt which is tied for the 10th worst total in football and their expected points contributed against the run of -7.24 is the 11th worst mark.
The status of Patriots running back Damien Harris and quarterback Mac Jones are both up in the air as the duo have missed time with a hamstring and ankle injury respectively. There is hope Jones will be active for this game, although currently the same cannot be said for Harris.
Prediction - Patriots -7 - Under 40
I think the rushing attack of the Patriots is going to be too much for the Bears to handle and I believe Justin Fields is really going to struggle with a Bill Belichick defense that will likely bring consistent pressure. I do not think either offensive is explosive enough in order for this game to reach 40 points.
(All advanced stats cited provided by Pro Football Reference)