Bears vs. Rams predictions: Can Chicago pull off an upset on Sunday Night Football?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·6 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Chicago Bears will open the 2021 season against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football, where they’ll be tasked with upsetting a team that many have pegged as Super Bowl contenders.

Chicago and Los Angeles will meet in prime time for the fourth consecutive season, where the Rams have won the last two games.

The Bears have plenty of questions heading into Week 1 — from offensive line to cornerback — and we’ll get to see exactly where this team is as they face the Rams with the whole world watching.

Can the Bears pull off an upset over the heavily-favored Rams? Our Bears Wire staff shares their predictions for Sunday’s season opener.

Alyssa Barbieri: 24-13 Rams

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The Rams are heavily favored in this game, and it's easy to see why. Not only does Los Angeles return a dominant defense led by reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Aaron Donald, but their offense should be more explosive with the addition of quarterback Matthew Stafford and his host of weapons ranging from Robert Woods to Cooper Kupp to Tyler Higbee. Meanwhile, the Bears have plenty of questions at both positions. Despite Chicago's fearsome front seven -- which returns Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith Akiem Hicks and Bilal Nichols -- the concern lies in the secondary at cornerback. While there's a belief Jaylon Johnson will take the next step in his development, there are questions about the inexperience of Kindle Vildor lining up opposite him and who will step into the primary slot role. With the Rams' arsenal of weapons, it could get ugly. While there are concerns at cornerback, it's not the defense that's the biggest concern heading into this matchup -- that honor belongs to Chicago's offense, which didn't much to assuage any concerns with their lackluster preseason. Quarterback Andy Dalton will be getting the starting nod behind an offensive line that looked slow and unimpressive in the Bears' preseason finale. The key will be getting the run game going with David Montgomery. Things could get pretty ugly for the Bears on Sunday night, who play the Rams for the fourth consecutive season in prime time. These meetings over the last three years have been relatively low-scoring affairs, with Chicago not scoring more than 15 points and Los Angeles not scoring more than 24 points. But it's also worth noting the home team has won each of the last three meetings. The Rams are also undefeated in season openers (4-0) since Sean McVay took over.

Bryan Perez: 24-14 Rams

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 feels like a predictable loss for the Bears, who have to travel to Los Angeles and face the new-look Rams offense led by Matthew Stafford. Rams coach Sean McVay has an established track record of big offensive numbers with a middling Jared Goff behind center, so the expectations with Stafford at the wheel are justifiably high. Combine Stafford slinging passes with the Bears’ questions at cornerback, and it’s easy to foresee Chicago struggling to keep the Rams offense in check. I don’t think it’ll be a slaughter, as the Bears do have top-notch front-seven and safety Eddie Jackson is good for a big play or two. The bigger problem for Chicago is Andy Dalton and the offense. It’s unlikely Dalton will generate many big plays behind a pedestrian offensive line that’s charged with blocking future Hall of Famer and the NFL’s best game-wrecker, Aaron Donald. Plus, let’s face it...it’s Andy Dalton. He’s never been a guy who can put a team on his back and win games. David Montgomery will get his touches and the duo of Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney should have some good moments, but it won’t be enough to upend a Los Angeles team that’ll have little trouble posting 20+ points on Sunday night.

Brendan Sugrue: 23-21 Rams

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams are the heavy favorite in this game and are likely one of the popular survivor picks for Week 1. And honestly, I get it. Sean McVay is undefeated in Week 1 (4-0) since becoming the Rams head coach in 2017, averaging approximately 26 points in those contests. On the other side, Bears head coach Matt Nagy is 1-2 and was one D’Andre Swift drop away last year from being 0-3. To put it in layman's terms, the Rams usually get off to a hot start and the Bears have been somewhat cold. I’m predicting a Rams win, but it’s going to be very close. The vaunted Rams defense is due for some regression. They still have a bit of firepower but lost a few key players and have new defensive coordinator Raheem Morris calling the shots. He’s a significant downgrade from Brandon Staley. I think Bears starting quarterback Andy Dalton finds some success against that unit and gets off to a fruitful start, contrary to popular belief. But it’s the Rams offense that will prove to be the difference maker. New quarterback Matthew Stafford seems to have built quite the rapport with McVay in a short amount of time and with issues looming at nose tackle and cornerback for the Bears, he could be difficult to stop. Though Nagy does tend to start slow, he finds a way to keep his team in it until the end. We’re in for an entertaining game and this game certainly can’t be worse than the last time the Bears went to Los Angeles.

Ryan Fedrau: 23-17 Rams

AP Photo/David Banks

In all reality, the Bears are playing against an upgraded Rams team that has a better quarterback. On paper, this game shouldn’t be close. How does Chicago win? They have to run the ball well, Andy Dalton can’t make critical mistakes, and they have to play defense. How does this game end up? I think the Rams win, but this game will be more competitive than expected. Matthew Stafford is an obvious upgrade at quarterback for LA and they have a defense stacked with pro bowl talent. Crazier things have happened, but with Dalton, it’s likely one more in the loss column.

Sky Kruse: 31-17 Rams

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Dalton makes his debut against the Los Angeles Rams on prime time Sunday night. The Rams are currently 7.5-point favorites, which in all honesty is fair with the talent they have on both sides of the ball. They were a playoff team with subpar play from former quarterback Jared Goff and upgraded with new familiar foe, Matthew Stafford. The Bears haven’t given much confidence to their fan base with what their first team offense and defense have done in the preseason. I think ultimately the Bears will have to rely on their defense to get stops in crucial situations and get a couple turnovers so this offense can get favorable field position. One matchup that really scares me is Cooper Kupp in the slot, that’s definitely a favorable matchup they’ll look to expose. If the Bears stand a chance their offensive line will have to stop reigning DPOY Aaron Donald and former draft pick Leonard Floyd. All of Chicago has been eager to see this team play but don’t get your hopes up, the Rams are strong where the Bears are not. This game will tell us where they truly are as a team. [listicle id=480221] [listicle id=480167] [listicle id=480207]

1

1