Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Chicago Bears NFL Monday Night Football Picks
So how’s Justin Fields doing? Well, probably good enough to keep starting games for the Chicago Bears. But perhaps not well enough to help head coach Matt Nagy keep his job. What BetAnySports customers are curious about is whether he’ll be good enough to withstand the pressure the Pittsburgh Steelers will bring. The Bears and Steelers will get together on Monday Night Football, starting at 8:15 PM ET at Heinz Field.
These teams appear to be going in different directions. The Bears have lost three games in a row, while the Steelers are on a three-game winning streak. Pittsburgh needs this win to stay within a game of the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North.
The QB face-off
While Fields has had only a handful of NFL starts, Ben Roethlisberger may be looking for one last hurrah before he rides off into the sunset. Big Ben, the winner of two Super Bowls, has thrown for just 6.6 yards per attempt. So it is clear that he doesn’t have the arm he used to. And the Steelers have been trying to transition over to an offensive approach that includes more from the ground game.
It was not the original plan for Fields to be the starter for the Bears in his rookie year, or at least this early as a rookie. But an injury to Andy Dalton, and Chicago’s indecision as to what to do with Nick Foles, thrust him into the #1 role. Dalton could play right now, but the Bears figure they might as well let the rookie play and develop.
And he’s experiencing growing pains. Fields has an accuracy rate below 60% with seven INT’s, and has suffered more sacks (26) than anyone else.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Chicago Bears Odds
In the odds that have been posted on this game, the Steelers are the favorites:
|Bears||+7 (-110)||40 (-110)||+255|
|Steelers||-7 (-110)||40 (-110)||-315|
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What will the Bears look to do?
You’ve got to believe that with the strength of the Steelers’ pass rush, led by TJ Watt, the Bears will try to run. That might be the only way to keep Pittsburgh honest. And they will put their best foot forward. A pleasant surprise has been rookie Khalil Herbert, who’s averaged 4.3 ypc. He’s a sixth-round draft choice from Virginia Tech. And they expect to have David Montgomery, the regular featured back, available after a knee injury.
Chicago’s defense is second in the NFL in sack percentage, so they will do their best to put a lot of pressure on Roethlisberger. This will not be easy, as Big Ben has been getting rid of the ball quicker this season. There are two significant absences on the stop unit. Neither linebacker Khalil Mack nor safety Eddie Jackson will be in the lineup.
What will the Steelers look to do?
Offensive coordinator Matt Canada is a great proponent of injecting a heavy run element into what the Steelers do. He believes it is beneficial by taking pressure off his quarterback. Using their first-round draft pick to take Najee Harris out of Alabama was part of that.
Harris has been coming on of late. He’s totaled 475 yards on the ground and also has 37 catches. And over the last three games, the Steelers have had 49% run plays. The best thing that could happen would be for them to have Harris be the workhorse, as something down the field opens up for Roethlisberger with people like Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool (averaging 15.5 yards per catch).
Hassling Fields is a top defensive priority. But take note that the Steelers are not much in the “takeaway” department, with only TWO interceptions.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Chicago Bears NFL Picks – Our conclusion
We are leaning toward Pittsburgh, because their offensive concept is really taking shape. Chicago has not been as menacing on defense as it has recently been. The Bears are just 27th in the NFL in yards allowed per drive. And they have allowed 4.5 yards per carry. That’s just not like what we’re familiar with.
Chicago’s offense has been the worst at third down conversions (34.7%). And Pittsburgh is stingy in that respect. Oh, and they expect to have kicker Chris Boswell, who was knocked out with a concussion last week.
This will be a true learning experience for Fields, as we lay the points.
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