Chicago Bears versus the Dallas Cowboys Game Preview

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By Bryan Dietzler

The Chicago Bears come into their game this Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys limping seriously.  Their previous game, against the Eagles which was a 29-14 loss, saw several of their key starters go out with injury.  Some of these starters will be out for a lengthy period of time making winning this season that much tougher.  Will they be able to overcome the loss of so much talent and earn their first victory of the season over the Cowboys this Sunday?

The answer to that is coming up soon but first, we need to look at how this game is going to shape up for the Bears and determine if they have a shot at winning this Sunday night.

The Bears had been keeping the status of their starting quarterback, Jay Cutler, close to the vest for a better part of the week and it would appear that he will not be playing this Sunday night.  In his place, longtime journeyman quarterback Brian Hoyer will start and it’s tough to say just how well he will do.  Hoyer has been a starter before and has the experience but has he had enough time to ramp up and prepare for this game?  He does have the talent around him to make a difference but does he have the ability to use that talent?  Consider him a true wildcard for this game.

The running game has yet to really get going this season although there have been some brief flashes.  Chicago has used a bit of a rotation with their running backs to start putting Jeremy Langford, Ka’deem Carey and Jordan Howard in.  Langford has been good, Carey has been ok (and will be out of this one with a hamstring injury) and Howard has been quite surprising.  The Bears will probably decide to start Langford but use Howard much more often to help invigorate the rushing attack and make it click.  They could get going big against the Cowboys.

The wide receivers will have Hoyer to throw the ball to them and will either find success or not find the ball at all.  Hoyer has had some time to prepare and work with starters like wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White along with tight end Zach Miller but when the game starts will he be able to get his passes out to them?  Hopefully these guys will be able to give Hoyer some targets getting open and catching passes or else it’s going to be a long day for the Bear’s offense.

The offensive line looked out of sorts on Monday night against the Eagles.  One culprit in particular was Bobby Massie who struggled greatly.  The Bears may need to start looking for help at his position.  Cody Whitehair has shown flashes but is not stable at the center position right now.  This will be the third game this unit has played together and it’s about time that they started to get things right because if they can’t come together in this game it’s going to be a long season for both the line and the offense as a whole.  Hopefully something will click and they will start playing better.

The Dallas defense has been allowing teams to pile up the yards on them in two games they have played this season so if Chicago can get things going then they might be able to win this game at least on offense.  The right game plan and the proper execution will put the Bears in the driver’s seat for a big game on offense.  But can they do it with a backup quarterback?  That’s the key.  Another key is the play calling.  Can that get better?

Chicago’s defense may be hurting worse than their offense is.  They had some pretty significant injuries on Monday night and some of those injured players will probably not be available for this game.  One starter who will definitely be out is defensive tackle Eddie Goldman.  Goldman has been a rock in the center of the Bears defense but at the end of last season he was hurt and this year, so far, he will miss four games.  Someone will have to step up and do contribute in his absence.

The defensive line has not been making significant plays in the two games they have been in this season.  They brought in some additional talent in the offseason (guys like Akiem Hicks and Jonathan Bullard) but the spark is just not there.  Whether it’s the scheme or the talent, it has yet to be determined, this group has not performed well in a defense that should be solid and productive.  They are starting off worse than they ended last season.

The linebacker group had a lot of promise coming into the season and but now it has lost one of its starters for this game and for a little bit longer.  Danny Trevethan is going to be out of this one after injuring his thumb on Monday night.  This means that the next man up will be Jonathan Anderson who will most likely be stepping in to take over.  Jerrell Freeman has been lights out in the first two games and is the Bears best defender right now. Sam Acho has been steady.  Meanwhile the Bears patiently wait for Pernell McPhee to get back into the lineup and help make this one of the best groups in the NFL.

The secondary was rocked with injuries in week two.  According to the latest injury report, Adrian Amos is questionable, Bryce Callahan is questionable, Kyle Fuller is questionable, Tracy Porter is questionable and Chris Prosinski is questionable.  No one is doubtful (at least in the secondary), which is good, but some of these guys who are questionable may not play.  Fuller has been out the first two weeks but may finally make an appearance this Sunday.  Porter’s injury isn’t that serious.  The two guys with concussions, Callahan and Amos should have already passed the protocol.  Hopefully the Bears will have most of their hands on deck in the secondary for this game.

The Cowboys have been relying on rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and he had a pretty decent game in week two.  The Cowboys receivers are very good with Dez Bryant leading the way there.  Their running game is bolstered by rookie Ezekiel Elliot so if their offense is clicking, they could be hard to stop.  The Bears defense is not only ailing but hasn’t been performing that well.  Will it all break down again Sunday night?

Special teams for the Bears have been fairly solid minus some kicking miscues by Connor Barth.  Punting is always good and the return teams have been doing well, especially the punt return group which is headed by wide receiver Eddie Royal. Royal had the punt return for a touchdown last week and has sparked the return teams.  If he’s healthy, he’s a solid player on both special teams and offense.

This game could be one that sees a lot of yards gained by both teams with few points or a lot of points scored.  It’s almost nearly a toss-up at this point.  Injuries have hurt both teams but the Bears may be hurting the most coming into the game.  The X factors are all over the place.  How will Hoyer do?  Can the Bears run the ball?  Will the defensive line disappear?  Can the secondary hold up?  Can Barth make all the kicks?  So many questions and too few answers heading into the game.

The Cowboys have issues as well so the winner will be the most opportunistic team with the fewest issues.  That team may not be the Bears.  Too many things are going on, in the negative and there is not enough talent to overcome the problems they have right now.  Dallas has the edge in this one.

Look for the Bears to put up a fight but fall short for the third game in a row.  This will be a big “revelation” game for the Bears players and the coaching staff however and changes will be coming following this contest.  Keep an eye out for that.

Instead of the Bears progressing, following last season’s disappointment, they appear to be regressing.  Is it yet another rebuilding year for the Bears?  It’s really starting to look that way.

Prediction: Dallas 28 Chicago 20

Additional Injury Update:  In addition to the players listed previously, who are injured, the Bears also listed Jeffery as being questionable with a knee injury, Massie being questionable with a toe injury, Sherrick McMannis appearing to be fully ready to go but suffering from a wrist injury, Josh Sitton questionable with a shoulder injury, Will Sutton questionable with an elbow injury and Willie Young questionable with a knee injury.

Bears WR Alshon Jeffery Misses Practice with Sore Knee

Alshon Jeffery

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s likely absence against the Cowboys on Sunday night at AT&T Stadium was complicated by yet another key injury — wide receiver Alshon Jeffery did not practice Thursday because of a sore knee after being limited in practice Wednesday, Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Bears coach John Fox said the team is keeping close tabs on the situation, which remains fluid.

“It’s something we’re monitoring,” Fox said. “We’ll see what [Friday] brings. Obviously it didn’t go as well from yesterday to today. We’ll see what happens [Friday].”

Jeffery leads the Bears with nine receptions for 201 yards, including a 54-yard catch against the Texans in the opener and a 49-yard reception against the Eagles. In fact, with a 29-yard catch against the Texans, Jeffery has three of the Bears’ four longest pass plays — and each has led to the only offensive touchdowns the Bears have scored in the first two games.

Bears vs Cowboys NFL Week Three Capsule

CHICAGO BEARS (0-2) AT DALLAS COWBOYS (1-1)

REGULAR SEASON SERIES

  BEARS COWBOYS
SERIES LEADER   12-11
STREAKS 3 of past 4  
COACHES VS. OPP. John Fox: 1-6 Jason Garrett: 1-2
LAST WEEK L 29-14 vs. Philadelphia W 27-23 at Washington
LAST GAME 12/4/14: Cowboys 41 at Bears 28. Dallas QB Tony Romo throws for 205 yards & 3 TDs.

Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray rushes for 179 yards & TD.

LAST GAME AT SITE 10/1/12: Bears 34, Cowboys 18. Chicago QB Jay Cutler throws for 275 yards & 2 TDs for 140.1 rating. Bears WR Brandon Marshall has 7 catches for 138 yards & TD.
REFEREE Craig Wrolstad
BROADCAST NBC (8:30 PM ET): Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, James Lofton. SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 83 (Chi), 81 (Dal). XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (Chi), 225 (Dal).

STATS

PASSING Jay Cutler: 28-46-373-1-2-75.7 Dak Prescott (R): 47-75-519-0-0-83.1
RUSHING Jeremy Langford: 28-85-3.0-2 Ezekiel Elliott (R): 41-134-3.3-2
RECEIVING Alshon Jeffery: 9-201-22.3-0 Cole Beasley: 13-140-10.8-0
OFFENSE 271.0 354.0
TAKE/GIVE -3 +1
DEFENSE 312.0 374.0
SACKS 3 tied: 1 4 tied: 1
INTs Tracy Porter: 1 Brandon Carr, Barry Church: 1
PUNTING Pat O’Donnell: 40.6 Chris Jones: 48.2
KICKING Connor Barth: 4 (4/4 PAT; 0/1 FG) Dan Bailey: 22 (4/4 PAT; 6/6 FG)

NOTES

BEARS: QB JAY CUTLER passed for 341 yards & 2 TDs & added rush TD in last meeting. Averaging 297.7 yards per game with 7 TDs vs. 1 INT for 118.8 rating in 3 career meetings…RB JEREMY LANGFORD aims for 3rd in row with rush TD…WR ALSHON JEFFERY had 6 catches for 95 yards & TD in last meeting. Aims for 3rd in row vs. Dal with TD catch…LB SAM ACHO had sack in Week 2. LB DANNY TREVATHAN had INT in only game vs Chi (10/6/13 with Den). LB WILLIE YOUNG had sack last week. Has sack in 2 of 3 career games vs. Dal. CB JACOBY GLENN led team with 7 tackles & 2 PD in Week 2. CB TRACY PORTER aims for 4th in row vs. Dal with 6+ tackles…COWBOYS: Rookie QB DAK PRESCOTT has 75 pass att. without INT, most att. without INT in 1st 2 career games in NFL history. Rushed for 6-yard TD last week, 1st career TD…Rookie RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT rushed for 83 yards & TD vs. Was. Has rush TD in both career games. RB ALFRED MORRIS had rush TD in Week 2…WR COLE BEASLEY caught 2 TDs in last meeting. Had 5 receptions for 75 yards last week. WR DEZ BRYANT had 7 receptions for 102 yards vs. Was. Aims for 4th in row vs. Chi with 80+ rec. yards or TD. Since 2011, has 53 rec. TDs, 2nd most in NFL…TE JASON WITTEN has TD catch in 2 of past 3 vs. Chi. Had 13 receptions for 112 yards & TD in last home meeting…LB SEAN LEE has 12 INTs since entering NFL in 2010, tied most by LB (LUKE KUECHLY). Led team with 10 tackles in Week 2. CB ORLANDO SCANDRICK had 9 tackles & INT in last meeting…S BARRY CHURCH had INT last week. Has 7+ tackles in 5 of past 6.

Chicago Bears versus the Philadelphia Eagles Game Review

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By Bryan Dietzler

The Chicago Bears had high hopes heading into their Monday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles.  They had thought that their game against the Texans the previous week was a fluke, at least the second half was, and felt that they could overcome the problems that plagued them.  The Eagles were high coming off a win heading into the game but they had beaten the lowly Cleveland Browns so that might have watered down their previous victory, at least somewhat.  The Bears stated all week they had made adjustments and were ready for the Eagles.  Was this to be their first victory of the season?

But Chicago only showed short flashes of continuity and solidity on the evening as they lost to the Eagles, at home 29-14.  The Bears were in control for a short period of time during the game but the Eagles started to get a better handle on what he Bears were doing and, as they have done in the past, Chicago started to break down in certain key areas and not too much longer after the breakdowns happened what was a close game turned into a mini rout.

A lot of fans, as well as some in the media, are laying the blame for the loss on quarterback Jay Cutler.  He had the lost fumble and an interception which gave way to something that has happened several times in previous years, exited the game with an injury.  Before the injury, Cutler looked a little shaky and out of sync at times but he was struggling with pressure from a decent Eagles defensive line and receivers that were actually covered pretty well.

The running game was not helping Cutler and the rest of the offense out Monday night.  The Bears switched up between three backs (Ka’deem Carey, Jeremy Langford and Jordan Howard).  Carey exited early with a hamstring injury, Langford had the Bears lone touchdown but didn’t run well in the first half and Howard shined and may need to be used more.  The Eagles did clamp down on the Bears rushing attack very well and made it a long night for the Bears offense overall.

A decent amount of blame has fallen on Cutler for the loss but anyone who watched the game should be able to see that the Bear’s offensive line is not playing well and had a direct contribution to some of the difficulty, if not most of it, on offense Monday night.  Bobby Massie looks very out of place at right tackle and got beat several times.  Josh Sitton, although a solid player in the past, may still be getting used to playing in a new system.  Cody Whitehair is decent but still not quite ready to be an NFL starting center.  Remember that this line was “slapped” together just a few days before the start of the season and hasn’t had a chance to bond and be a “unit”. Maybe in time it will but for now this is not a high caliber NFL offensive line.

The defense did its best to keep the team in the game but the offense didn’t give them too much of a chance to rest and recover before they had to be out there again, gassed and attempting to make plays on little rest.  What also happened to the defense on Monday night was that, methodically one by one, their starters started to fall like dominos until key starters were out and the defense started giving up bigger plays as a result.

The pass rush was hot and cold on the evening but they faced a quarterback who, although he is a rookie, is a very good quarterback.  The Bears had some strange substitutions on the night and the most peculiar one was subbing Leonard Floyd, who was brought in to be a pass rusher in the draft (first round even!) with Lamar Houston (at least until he got hurt) in passing situations.  Granted, Floyd has shown himself to be a good run defender but why put him on the sideline in known passing situations?  He did get some pressure on a few passing plays and may have been underestimated by some.

The defense kept the Eagles rushing attack from gaining a lot of momentum but they couldn’t stop the passing game.  The front line cleaned up the trash along the line and allowed the linebackers to get in and make the play but some of the linebackers weren’t having their best games.  Jerrell Freeman played very well, Sam Acho had some good moments but Danny Trevethan did not play well and got hurt.  The linebackers have a lot of potential but just aren’t living up to it.

The secondary didn’t have starter Kyle Fuller in as he was a last minute scratch.  Tracy Porter was decent but the rest of the group was shaky and, as the game went on, started to be taken apart by injury.  There was a nice moment out of rookie Deiondre Hall (in deflecting a sure touchdown pass) but then he had some downside (slapping an Eagle after the play was over to draw a penalty).  Hall is good but he’s not that good just yet.  The safeties were ravaged by injuries but the backups are decent but they can’t start and be effective for long periods of time.

There were two MVPs of the game for the Bears.  Punt returner/wide receiver Eddie Royal had a nice game receiving and then returned a punt for a touchdown.  He played well in running his routes, run blocking and, when healthy, can be a solid number two receiving option.  The other MVP is punter Pat O’Donnell.  O’Donnell is a workhorse game in and game out and has helped out the defense by providing opponents with less than stellar field positon.

A common theme in this game review is injury.  Several players were injured on Monday night.  Here is an update on where each of them stand as of the time of this writing:

Cutler-Thumb-Reports now say the thumb was injured in week one.  There is no timetable yet and it is not known if surgery is needed but it’s possible he could be out for a while.

Houston-Knee-He hurt his knee early in the game and is out for the season with a torn ACL.

Trevethan-Thumb-He will need surgery for the injury and no timetable has been set for how long he will be out if he will be out.

Bryce Callahan-Concussion-In the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Adrian Amos-Concussion-In the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Carey-Hamstring-Not much is known about how long, or if, he will be out.

Chris Prosinski-Calf-Not much is known about how long or if he will be out.

Eddie Goldman-High ankle sprain-Goldman will be out for four weeks with the injury.

After this MASH unit of a game the Bears have a lot of regrouping to do.  They will be without several key players for an extended period of time so it’s a next man up mentality in Chicago.  They have good depth at certain spots but not well developed in others.  We are going to see just how good of a general manager Ryan Pace is over the next few weeks.

The Bears will play the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday night.  A full preview of that game will be posted at the end of the week.

Bears LB Danny Trevathan To Have Thumb Surgery; Won’t Be Placed on IR

Danny Trevathan

Bears coach John Fox said Tuesday that inside linebacker Danny Trevathan suffered a thumb injury that will require surgery Wednesday morning, Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune reports.

Fox did say Trevathan’s injury was not season-ending. The Bears will not put him on injured reserve to free up a roster spot in his absence. If they did, he would have to miss at least eight weeks under the NFL’s new injured reserve rule.

Chicago Bears Week One Thoughts/Eagles Game Preview

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By Bryan Dietzler

The Bears came into the 2016 season, in their second year under head coach John Fox with high hopes.  There is a lot of promise on the team as they have a lot of new faces and have done a lot of work to get better.  Their season started off early in decent fashion as, in the first half of their game against Houston they did well but it all fell apart in the second half of that game and they couldn’t finish.  Hopefully this isn’t indicative of the way the Bears will play all season.  And it was only one game.  There are 15 left to go.

You can say that the season begins yet again when the Bears take on the Eagles.  It’s time to start anew.  But first, let’s take a quick look back at the Bear’s first game against the Houston Texans.

The Bears offense is a little bit disheveled right now and may still need a little time to get put together.  The passing game was hot and cold last Sunday as quarterback Jay Cutler had his moments but his wide receivers did let him down at times.  Alshon Jeffery had a stellar first half but was invisible in the second half.  Kevin White looked a little lost and needs some help (and more coaching).  Eddie Royal looked good and hopefully he will remain healthy.  The tight end position looked a little bit good (but wasn’t used that often) with Zach Miller there but he is not be what Martellus Bennett was.  This group, overall, still needs some work.

While former Bear’s running back Matt Forte is tearing it up in New York, Chicago is relying on second year running back Jeremy Langford to get the job done.  He had a mediocre game last Sunday but should get better as the season goes on.  The Bears depth at the position is not as tight as some might think so if they can work some of the other guys in to give Langford a rest from time to time then their running game should improve.

The offensive line still needs some work but it will most likely take a few games (something like three or four) in order for them to gel.  Rookie Cody Whitehair did a pretty nice job out there last week as did Kyle Long (playing with a torn labrum).  Josh Sitton was solid as was expected.  The unit should be pretty good, barring injury, as the season rolls along and this will help the Bears offense improve.

The Bears defense was a little bit rusty last Sunday but, like the offense, could get better as the season rolls forward.  The true star of the unit was linebacker Jerrell Freeman.  He was all over the field making tackles and plays.  He was the defense last week and has proven that he may have been the Bear’s better free agent pickup from this past offseason.  The defensive line may need some time to work things out but Eddie Goldman and Johnathan Bullard are looking pretty good and will have a solid future with the Bears.

As previously mentioned, Freeman was the star of game for the defense but he can’t be making all the plays.  The others need to step up and help such as guys like Danny Trevethan and the seldom used Leonard Floyd.  Remember that Floyd was a first round pick this past May and needs to develop into a solid starter.  The Bears cannot afford to have spent a first round pick on him only to find out he is a situational player.  There will be more discussion about Floyd in future articles.

The secondary was tasked with covering one of the better wide receivers in the league (DeAndre Hopkins) and they did a decent job on him but they allowed another Texan’s receiver, Will Fuller to run rampant and beat them.  Chicago’s secondary needs to do a better job against opposing receivers.  They had their ups and downs last season but last year they were better.  But then again, it’s just been one game.

Contributing to the problems they had in the secondary last week was the fact that they were without Kyle Fuller but their depth in the secondary, which is actually decent, needed to come up and take care of things.  It didn’t.  Their best corner, Tracy Porter, looked a little rough out there.

Special teams, with Royal returning punts, actually looked decent last Sunday.  Deonte Thompson had a few growing pains but soon he will be an adequate and perhaps an even more than adequate, kick returner.  Kicking and punting was solid.

Week One Author Quick Hits

Floyd is a solid run defender but not a great pass rusher, which is what the Bears brought him in for.

I understand White being out last year and being a little rusty but he struggled with wide receiver basics last week.  Scary!

The Bears should not have let Forte go.  They will regret that this season.

The offense struggled perhaps because of the play calling by their new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggins.  Hopefully there will be improvement very soon.

Coming off of the loss to the Houston Texans last Sunday the Bears will look to get into the win column this Monday night as they host the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field.  The Eagles beat the Cleveland Browns 29-10 last week and looked pretty good in doing it.  They have rookie Carson Wentz at the helm and he isn’t looking like a rookie that much to start his career.  Can the Bears stop him from getting his second win and help themselves earn their first?

The Bears need to get off to a fast start to get an early lead.  They can do this by moving the ball down the field quickly though the air and they have the weapons to do that.  As long as Cutler can curb the mistakes and stay upright, he should be able to find his receivers and make plays.  Jeffery is solid, there is no questioning his ability but White is a bit of an X-factor and might just need to keep learning.  Miller is a nice tight end but he’s not an all-star.  He can be effective however.  Hopefully he can turn into a go to tight end.

The running game is going to be key because the Bears cannot be one dimensional against the Eagles.  This should be the game that Langford “breaks out” and does something special.  There is depth so the Bears can do some things running the ball.  Taking pressure off of Cutler is a must and the running game is the doorway to do that.

Chicago’s defense was re-tooled during the offseason and brought in some nice talent.  This is the game where that talent has to finally put it all together.  Remember that the Eagle’s starting quarterback, Wentz, is a rookie and he got the best of the Browns last week (although the Browns had a hand in doing that to themselves).  Chicago cannot make him look like a superstar.

The way to foil Wentz is to get pressure on him and the Bears have the players to do that.  There wasn’t too much pass pressure in week one so hopefully the Bears will be able to put it together this week and get to the quarterback consistently.

The Eagles rushing attack is a “middle of the road” attack that does have potential but could be easily shut down.  The Bears need to shut it down and put their best pressure on Wentz.  If they can do that and make him look like a rookie, they will win this game.  Making teams one dimensional is the path to winning.

The Bears linebacking corps has the potential to be one of the best in the NFL.  This group should be flying around the field making plays swarming to the football all the time.  Freeman was doing that in week one but Trevethan and the rest of the gang need to join him and contribute.  If they can have a breakout game, they can be dominant, shut down the Eagles and help the team win on defense.

It would appear that the secondary will get Fuller back for this game so having him and Porter on the corners will be beneficial.  The safeties are solid and this group is good although it may not have shown last week.  The Eagles receivers are not big name guys and remember that there is a rookie quarterback starting so the passing game will be unpredictable.  Put a little pressure on Wentz and he will struggle.  If they can cover the Eagles top receiver (last week) Jordan Matthews well enough, they should do fine.

Special teams for the Bears have been up and down over the past season and a game since Jeff Rodgers took over.  They didn’t look bad last Sunday though and will get better.  If Royal can stay healthy the Bears then have a solid punt returner.  Thompson is good but not “Devin Hester” good.  But then is anyone as good as Hester?  Kicking and punting units are solid and should do well against the Eagles.

The Eagles are in a state of transition right now.  They have a new coach and a new quarterback but the base of this team is solid.  They have some good players but should have some growing pains just like the Bears did last season.  Some people are singing their praises because they won last week but they beat the Browns.  The Browns could be the worst team in the NFL this season so that was not a valid test for the Eagles.

The advantage in coaching experience goes to Fox and the Bears although, as mentioned, it is Loggins first year as a play caller so there could be some issues.  The Bears need to be aggressive on offense and solid on defense to win this game.  As stated earlier, pressure on Wentz will make him crumble and getting the running game going with Langford and company will make the Bears golden.

Who wins?  Expect Chicago to get their first win of the season with an “in control” offense and solid defense.  Keeping the mistakes at a minimum is a must and if they can do that they will beat the Eagles.

Prediction: Chicago 23 Philadelphia 14

Bears Make Three Changes To Practice Team

The Chicago Bears have announced that they now have one free roster spot on their practice squad, with Tuesday’s selections only leading to just two cuts, along with one addition. Running back Raheem Mostert was the only arrival to the team following his signing, with fellow running back Senorise Perry and offensive lineman Laurence Gibson the two unlucky parties who were cut from the roster. Perry had spent two seasons with the Bears after arriving as an undrafted free agent back in 2014, finishing his opening season with a team high of 17 special team tackles. However, following a broken foot in 2015, Perry found himself in the practice team this year, before his eventual cut this week. Meanwhile, Gibson was originally a 7th round pick by the Dallas Cowboys back in 2015, also spending time with the Chiefs practice squad in the past. As a result of such changes, the Bears practice squad now consist of just nine players, meaning they have room for one more player.

The Bears suffered a disappointing opening defeat in the NFC North at the hands of the Houston Texans on Sunday, going down 23 points to 14 eventually, and will be looking to put things right as they take on the Philadelphia Eagles at the beginning of next week. Keep up to date with this week’s betting, with bookmakers Betway offering the Bears American football odds of 10/17 to overcome Doug Pederson’s men.

Bears head Coach John Fox remains upbeat despite the negativity surrounding his team, believing that his team missed opportunities to claim victory at the NRG Stadium. Fox pointed out two major reasons for the defeat, with the first coming with the Bears leading 14-13 midway through the third quarter. At this point, Akiem Hicks stripped the ball from Lamar Miller at the Houston 28. However, the Texans running back recovered the loose ball. The second such reason mentioned by Fox was during the second play, in which a Nick Novak field goal was fluttered over the cross bar after it was deflected by Sherrick McManis. Such errors are part of the reason as to why the Bears are the outsiders in the betting odds with Betway to win the NFC North title this season, with odds of 18/1.

Elsewhere, having been awarded a seven-year contract extension worth more than $125 million back in 2014, has Jay Cutler really lived up to such backing. Let’s be straight up about Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears and ask the key questions.

Should Cutler have been signed to a seven-year extension for more than $126 million back in 2014? Did keeping him produce any noteworthy results? Many Bears fans are certainly questioning the capabilities of the 33-year-old, with many believing that a young quarterback is needed in order to take the team to the next level.

Bears Tripped Up in Houston; Fall to Texans in Opener 23-14

Chicago Bears v Houston Texans

The huge offseason investment the Houston Texans made in Brock Osweiler paid immediate dividends in the season opener.

Osweiler threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns in his debut with Houston to lead the Texans and their revamped offense to a 23-14 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

“I think he’s everything that we thought he would be,” Texans owner Bob McNair said.

Osweiler, who signed to a $72 million contract from Denver in the offseason, was helped by an offense filled with playmakers.

“There was nothing about the game that was perfect but we just kept playing … and we made the big plays when we needed to,” Osweiler said.

He completed passes to eight different receivers, led by rookie first-round pick Will Fuller, who became the first player in franchise history to have 100 yards receiving in a debut with 107 and a touchdown.

DeAndre Hopkins added 54 yards and a score and running back Lamar Miller had 106 yards rushing in his first game with the Texans.

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