Chicago Bears vs Denver Broncos Betting Preview
The Denver Broncos attempt to extend their five-game winning streak when they face off against the Chicago Bears who are still in solid position for the NFC Wild Card race but they have lost their last two games in a row, making them 0-2 since they lost Jay Cutler to a thumb injury.
Chicago vs Denver
When: 4:05 PM ET, Sunday, December 11, 2011
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
LINE: -3.5 (Denver) O/U 35.5
After looking decent in his first game, quarterback Caleb Hanie posted a miserable performance, passing for just 133 yards while going 11 for 24 and tossing three picks after replacing Cutler, as the Bears fell 10-3 versus the lowly Kansas City Chiefs.
Chicago’s injuries are starting to really mount on the offense and while the defense has played well, scoring points isn’t what this team is built for.
That should leave Chicago searching desperately for alternatives, including looking to Marion Barber, at least for the short term, to ramp up a running game that lost Matt Forte to a knee injury last week.
While the passing game does have Johnny Knox and Devin Hester, Hanie’s ability to complete less than 50 percent of his passes has caused the Bears air attack to come to a halt, leaving Chicago to play the field position game in hopes of giving their offense a short field to work with.
That’s going to be a difficult strategy to pull off against a Broncos’ team that has been riding a new “mile high” in quarterback Tim Tebow.
Last week, Denver picked up a close 35-32 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, and again Tebow engineered another second-half comeback, setting up Matt Prater’s 23-yard field goal on the final play of the game.
The win moved the Broncos into a first-place tie in the AFC West with the Oakland Raiders, and despite Tebow’s numbers being less than ordinary (completing 47.5 percent of his passes for 1,054 yards with 10 touchdowns and an interception while rushing for 468 yards and three touchdowns), there seems to have been a rebirth of this team after many critics doubted his ability to ever flourish in the NFL.
But the story in Denver doesn’t end three, as Willis McGahee has also had a resurgence in the backfield, averaging 4.9 yards per carry and scoring four touchdowns, while the receiving crops has gotten a boost from Eric Decker who has caught 39 passes and has eight touchdowns.
Demaryius Thomas is also being thrown to more and more as he looks to be Tebow’s favorite target, catching four balls for 144 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings.
Defensively, Denver has also experienced a renaissance of sorts as Von Miller has stepped up the Broncos pass rush with 10.5 sacks. He did miss the last game and is questionable for this one, though.
Matt’ s Prediction: Denver 27, Chicago 16–
This has all the makings of a fast paced ground game. An area were the Broncos tower over the Bears on both sides of the football. Look for Denver to take command of the AFC West with a win here.
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