NFL Week 8 Preview & Odds: Bears vs. Patriots

The struggling Chicago Bears (3-4) will travel to Foxborough this Sunday for a matchup against the red-hot New England Patriots (1:00 p.m. Eastern on FOX).

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2476/3865551999_0d5b9851c6_z.jpg

The struggling Chicago Bears (3-4) will travel to Foxborough this Sunday for a matchup against the red-hot New England Patriots (1:00 p.m. Eastern on FOX).

The Bears have been abysmal at home this season, losing all three of their games at Soldier Field.  Fortunately, their play has been better on the road, as have their results (3-1).  They will need another solid road performance to beat New England.

An ugly 27-14 loss to the Miami Dolphins has raised a lot of questions about Chicago’s quarterback play (including from former teammate Brian Urlacher).  Jay Cutler has some lethal playmakers around him, but his turnovers have killed the team.  All but one of Cutler’s ten turnovers this season have come in the team’s four losses.  Still, his teammates believe in his ability.

“I think that we have all the coaches we need, I think we have all the players that we need to get the job done,” explained star wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

Meanwhile, the 5-2 Patriots are riding high despite being plagued by injuries.  Defensive end Chandler Jones is out the next few weeks, but the defense will adjust accordingly, as it has all season.

“You do the best you can with whatever the situation is,” said head coach Bill Belichick.  “That’s the way it always is, every day. … You hate to see it happen.  You hate to be without any player, but every week there’s something you have to deal with.”

While the Patriots’ defense has been fairly consistent, the team’s offense has improved dramatically through the season.  With their top rusher Stevan Ridley out for the year, the pressure is now squarely on quarterback Tom Brady and the passing game to keep putting up points.  Thus far, they have been up to the task, scoring 27 against the Jets in their first game without Ridley.  And though Brady has struggled at times this year, he hasn’t given games away like Cutler. The future Hall-of-Famer has just two interceptions this season (to go with 13 TDs).

The Patriots are currently a five-point favorite.  The over/under is an even 50.

(Photo credit: Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/] via Creative Commons. Photo may appear cropped from its original.O)