Chicago (2-5) at San Diego (2-6)
When: Monday, November 9th 2015
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: ESPN
The Chicago Bears visit the San Diego Chargers on Monday night and both teams are hoping to start long winning streaks in order to get back into the playoff race. The Bears will be without running back Matt Forte after he was injured in last week’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Forte was not only their lead back, but also a big threat out of the backfield catching passes. Rookie Jeremy Langford, who rushed for 46 yards on 12 carries last week, will get the bulk of the workload tonight. Quarterback Jay Cutler has been playing better recently, throwing 6 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions in his last four games, but the Bears are still ranked 26th in the league in passing. Cutler will also be without slot receiver Eddie Royal with a knee injury. Alshon Jeffrey is healthy again after missing four games and has 18 receptions for 263 yards and two touchdowns in the past two games. Defensively, the Bears allow only 214.3 passing yards per game but rank near the bottom of the league in interceptions (four) and sacks (12).
San Diego sits in last place in the AFC West and have lost four games in a row giving up an average of 29.2 points in that stretch. The Chargers know what it feels like to lose an offensive star. Leading receiver Keenan Allen was placed on season-ending injured reserve this week with a kidney injury suffered in Sunday’s loss at Baltimore. Allen ranked second in the league with 67 receptions and will be sorely missed. Philip Rivers has thrown for more than 300 yards in five consecutive games and is on pace for a 5,500-yard season but San Diego keeps coming up short, losing its past four games despite scoring 20 or more points in each one. Rivers has thrown for 13 touchdowns against only three interceptions over the last five games and the Chargers are averaging a league-high 423.3 total yards per game on the season. Their defense has been a major problem all year ranking 28th in the league in points allowed with 28.4 per game.
Neither one of these teams is really going anywhere this year and the loser tonight will definitely be out of it. If this was a Sunday afternoon game, I wouldn’t touch it, but its a Monday nighter, so here goes. I liked Langford in college, but he’s not Matt Forte. The significance of Forte’s absence will outweigh Allen’s absence for San Diego, but I do think 4.5 is a little too much to lay here. I’ll take San Diego to win by a field goal.
Pick: Bears +4.5