NFL Week 14 Sunday Night Football Free Pick: Rams at Bears
Does Home Field Decide This One For Chicago?
The NFL has flexed to give us a great matchup from Chicago on Sunday when the Rams visit the Bears. LA is 11-1 on the year including 5-1 on the road. Chicago has gone 5-1 at home this season and temps are supposed to be around 25 degrees at game time. Will the cold (and the Bears defense) slow down the Rams offense in the NFL week 14 free pick or is this a statement game for LA that the NFC is there’s for the taking.
Can Rams Offense Produce vs. Bears Defense?
LA has had one hiccup this season, a 35-45 loss to the Rams in week 9. Besides that it’s been a clean slate for the Rams powered by their offense that has produced 30+ points in 10 of 12 games this season. Jared Goff was held to just 207 yards passing last week vs. Detroit and Green Bay had the Rams on the ropes before a late costly fumble – both opponents from the NFC North. The Bears defense gets a lot of hype but the Giants did get a 30-27 win over Chicago last week. Then again 14 of those points came on a trick play and a defensive TD and Eli Manning still had just 170 yards passing. Basically Chicago can win the NFL week 14 free pick if they stop Todd Gurley – something KC (55 yards), NO (68), and SF (63) have managed to do in 3 of the last 6 games.
The Rams defense has to feel a bit overlooked in this matchup as Chicago is getting all the hype on that side of the ball. LA has their own $100 million dollar man on defense in Aaron Donald but do have the tendency to give up some points especially in the 54-51 win over Kansas City on Thursday night two games ago. Chicago coach Matt Nagy is a disciple of Chiefs coach Andy Reid and runs a very similar offense. Can the Bears put up the same kind of offensive explosion vs. the Rams in another primetime affair?
Chicago Gets Their QB Back But How Effective Will He Be?
The Bears offense gets a huge boost in the NFL week 14 free pick as Mitch Trubisky returns under center after missing two games. You can tell Chicago has a good offensive system in place because they averaged 25 ppg in Trubisky’s absence – with both games being on the road. The Bears last played at home in another spotlight game beating Minnesota 25-20, holding the Vikings to 22 yards rushing on 15 carries. As good as the Bears defense will have to be again tonight vs. the Rams, their offense can more than carry them in this game. The Rams defense ranks in the bottom half in yardage (rushing, passing, and total) so it should be a big night for Tarik Cohen, Taylor Gabriel, and a plethora of other Bears offensive players.
Tonight’s O/U of 51 seems a bit on the low side but it could be a testament to the weather and the fact that Chicago’s defense is going to be amped up in primetime. The Bears have held 5 of the last 6 opponents to 22 points or less and should slow down Goff who has much worse splits on the road. The Rams QB completion percentage goes down from 70 to 62% away from LA but it’s his 9TD to 5 INT on the road that give the Bears hope (18 to 2 at home). Pressure from Khalil Mack and co. can rattle Goff early and really fire up this home crowd.
NFL Week 14 Free Pick Betting
The big question heading into tonight’s contest is how much the Rams really need/want this game especially in the cold weather. The Saints coming from behind to beat the Bucs did put more pressure on LA who has at the very least already clinched the NFC West. A loss to the Bears would put the Saints on pace for home field through the NFC playoffs but LA has a much easier three game stretch to close out the year. The Rams simply won’t travel well in this game and Chicago will have great momentum with #10 back under center.
NFL Free Pick: Chicago Bears +3