The Chicago Bears have won two straight games, and they find themselves right in the thick of the NFC postseason race just one game out of the playoffs. Which means these final two weeks are even more important, especially considering they need to win out and need some help along the way.
It certainly helps that the Bears will face the 1-13 Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16, a game that could be over quickly or one that be surprisingly close.
Can Chicago keep their playoff hopes alive with a win against Jacksonville? Our Bears Wire staff shares their predictions for Sunday’s Week 16 game.
Alyssa Barbieri: Bears 34, Jaguars 13
AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn
At first glance, Sunday's game against Jacksonville appears to have the makings of a trap game. But with the way this Bears team has been playing over the last few weeks, I have a hard time believing they expect any win to come easily at this point. In many ways, this match-up between the Bears and Jaguars has a chance to be similar to Chicago's Week 14 game against the Texans, where the Bears were in control from start to finish both on offense and defense. When you're 1-13 like Jacksonville, you're thinking big picture, and for the Jaguars that's consensus first-overall pick quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who thanks to a blunder by the Jets appears headed to Jacksonville. Not that the Jaguars are going to tank. The players have too much pride and are too competitive to do that. But they have lost 13 straight games for a reason, although they have given a couple teams like the Packers and Browns a little fight. For the Bears to win their third straight game and keep their playoff hopes alive, they need to come out with a similar game plan that they've had over the last few weeks -- start fast, finish strong. And I believe that this Chicago offense will continue its dominance against another bad defense and jump out to a substantial lead in the first half that'll be almost impossible to overcome.
Brendan Sugrue: Bears 31, Jaguars 14
AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn
Although this week could be a trap game for the Chicago Bears as they might be looking ahead to their week 17 date with the Green Bay Packers, let’s not overthink this. The Jacksonville Jaguars are not a good team and the Bears will win this game. The Jaguars are suffering through a 13-game losing streak and are now in prime position to get the number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. They have the second-worst point differential in the league with -148. Their defense is last in the league in total yards, surrendering 418.2 yards per game and are third-to-last in points allowed, with 30.2. They don’t know who will be starting at quarterback and their best offensive weapon, running back James Robinson, may be out due to injury. For the Bears, they’re playing their best football of the season and are coming into this week thinking playoffs. Their offense has scored 30 or more points in their last three games and their running game has finally turned the corner. Running back David Montgomery should have another field day against this defense. And don’t count out wide receiver Allen Robinson, who is facing his former team for the first time. We know he’ll want to pop off against the organization that let him walk out the door nearly three years ago. I am so confident that the Bears win this game, I will actually buy a Jaguars jersey of either Mike Glennon or Gardner Minshew if they lose.
Greg Williams: Bears 31, Jaguars 13
AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn
The past two weeks I have gone against the Bears and they have pulled out a win in each of those games, so it might make sense for me to pick the Jaguars. However, there’s absolutely no way I see the Jaguars winning this game and blowing the No. 1 pick for Trevor Lawrence. The past two weeks I’ve been skeptical about the Bears, but after the win over the Vikings, I’ve bought in. Now, the hope is that they don’t let me down, again. This should be an easy win for the Bears, but the Jaguars m have pulled out some close games (Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and the Tennessee Titans). The Jaguars aren’t a team anyone should just expect a free win because they could hang around for that reason. However, with the Bears needing to win out and the Jaguars needing to lose out, I think that’s all you need to pick the Bears in this game. If the Bears lose because of me picking them, you can throw me into Lake Michigan along with the entire team.
Ryan Fedrau: Bears 41, Jaguars 17
AP Photo/David Berding
Whether it’s a matchup between Mitchell Trubisky and Mike Glennon (which is a fan-friendly matchup) or it’s Gardner Minshew vs Trubisky, the outcome will remain the same. The Chicago Bears will defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is going to be an interesting game. Some people look at it as a trap game for Chicago, others understand that the locker room gets how important winning out is. With that being said, the notion Trubisky has given us is this locker room is taking it one day at a time, without the worry of how many games they have to win to make the playoffs. I just don’t see how a focused and confident Trubisky is stopped by the Jaguars. The last 4 weeks the Bears have put up 25-plus points, with them having 30-plus points in their last 3 games. They’ll continue that streak, but this time, they’ll score 41-points in a dominating victory.