Two of the NFL’s best offenses (and teams) clash, as the Los Angeles Rams (11-1) take their 3rd-ranked offense to Soldier Field to do battle with the Chicago Bears (8-4) 5th-ranked offense on Sunday Night Football (December 9th at 8:20pm EST).
Online sports betting sites are believers in these high-powered offenses, as they’ve set the game total at a healthy 52.5, with the Rams opening as 3.5-point favorites.
Los Angeles Rams
After a win in Detroit in Week 13, coupled with a Saints loss on Thursday Night Football, the Los Angeles Rams became the first team in the 2018 season to clinch their division and have also taken back the top seed in the NFC.
And if they can manage to leave Chicago with a victory on Sunday night, their remaining schedule lines up well to hold onto home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
— NFL (@NFL) December 3, 2018
But beating the Bears not be an easy task. Los Angeles’ damn near unstoppable offense will not only have to perform on the road and in the cold, but also against one of the league’s best defenses.
LA averages 300.5 yards per game through the air (4th) and 139.4 per game on the ground (4th). The Rams ability to attack in multiple ways has resulted in a lot of points, as they’re scoring 34.9 points per game (3rd).
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) December 2, 2018
They have only been held under 30 points twice this season – scored 29 in Week 8 against Green Bay and 23 in Week 6 in Denver.
Jared Goff has simply been outstanding this year. He’s completing 66.4% of his passes while tossing for 3,754 yards and 27 TDs, with just 7 interceptions – a 109.9 passer rating.
Meanwhile, it’s been MVP candidate Todd Gurley leading the way in the backfield, totaling 1,649 yards from scrimmage and 19 total touchdowns. The 24-year-old certainly made his presence felt last week, churning out 132 yards on 23 carries, finding the endzone twice.
🗣 M 🗣 V 🗣 P
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 5, 2018
The Bears defense will need Khalil Mack to be very disruptive on Sunday for Chicago to slow this Rams offense down.
The Rams defense has been a little underwhelming this season. Aaron Donald has been absolutely incredible, but the unit as a whole has been bleeding yards and points lately.
Is Aqib Talib the elixir for the Rams defense?
Weeks 1-3 with Talib
• 12.0 PPG allowed (1st in NFL)
Weeks 4-12 without Talib
• 30.8 PPG allowed (T-29th in NFL)
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) December 2, 2018
They have allowed at least 30 points in three of their last four, with two of those scored being 45+. But expect this defense to get better each week now that Aqib Talib is back.
Entering Week 14, they are giving up 248.9 passing yards per game (17th), and 118.4 on the ground (18th). Unsurprisingly, the consequence is teams scoring 24.8 points per game against them, which is 19th in the NFL.
Rams vs Bears Statistical Comparison
|34.9 (2nd)||PPG||28.7 (5th)|
|439.9 (2nd)||YPG||351.6 (20th)|
|139.4 (4th)||Rushing YPG||115.4 (16th)|
|300.5 (4th)||Passing YPG||236.2 (19th)|
|24.8 (19th)||PPG Allowed||20.1 (4th)|
|367.3 (18th)||YPG Allowed||317.9 (4th)|
|118.4 (18th)||Rushing YPG Allowed||85.8 (2nd)|
|248.9 (17th)||Passing YPG Allowed||232.1 (11th)|
|+11 (2nd)||Turnover Differential||+12 (1st)|
Los Angeles’ defense has their work cut out for them this week against a Chicago offense that has had no issue scoring points.
The Bears may not rack up a ton of yardage, only averaging 351.6 per game (20th), but this is a very opportunistic offense. They have scored touchdowns on 27 of their 41 drives (65.9%), which is 10th in the NFL.
FACT #1: @EJackson_4 has the most (5) defensive TDs in the NFL since the start of the 2015 season.
FACT #2: He was drafted in 2017. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/2S6UqNk7q5
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 27, 2018
They’ve also gotten help from their defense in putting points on the board. Chicago has scored six defensive TDs this season, the most in the league.
The focal point of the Bears offense, though, has been their rushing attack, helping them post 28.7 PPG (fifth). Led by Jordan Howard, they average 115.4 yards per game on the ground (16th). But you certainly can’t forget about Tarik Cohen, who is just doing everything for the Bears offense.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 2, 2018
This isn’t to suggest Mitchell Trubisky has been bad. In fact, he’s been very good. And the Bears will be praying they have the second-year pivot back under center in Week 14, after Chase Daniel has been forced into action the last two weeks.
Trubisky has thrown for 2,469 yards with a 20:9 TD to INT ratio. He’s also contributed 363 yards on the ground, as well, which is second-high on the team and fifth-most among QBs.
Flipping to the other side of the ball, Chicago’s defense has been next to impossible to score on.
KHALIL MACK IS NOT HUMAN 😱
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 2, 2018
They’re allowing just 20.1 points per game, the fourth-fewest in the NFL. Turnovers have been their calling card. The Bears have generated 29 turnovers this season, tops in the NFL.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 2, 2018
With two heavyweights squaring off, there’s a good chance this game is decided by turnovers. And it’s no coincidence these are the top two teams in the league in turnover differential.