The Chicago Bears will enter Dallas Sunday fighting for a playoff spot. After a 33-14 upset win against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, the Bears find themselves only a half game out of the last wild card spot. A win against the Cowboys would help catapult them forward for the rest of the season as their schedule softens. While the Cowboys should still be favored in this matchup, the Bears match up great against America’s team.
The Bears have the best rushing attack in all of football. The Bears currently have rushed for 1267 yards on the year (the most in the league). They are also averaging a league high 181 yards per game and an impressive 5.3 yards per carry (5th highest in the league).
Their rushing attack was on full display Monday night when they ran the Patriots off the field, amassing 243 yards rushing on 45 attempts. The Bears rushing attack is a multifaceted beast that involves the quarterback, the running backs, and even the wide receivers, with Fields 4.4 speed being utilized in sweeps, draws, and scramble situations.
The Bears not only boast a prolific rushing attack but they also have a stingy defense. The Bears are the 7th ranked scoring defense in the NFL, only allowing 18.9 points per game. They also boast the 5th best passing defense in the league only allowing 180 passing yards per game and have only surrendered 5 passing touchdowns all year. The Bears are also 3rd in the NFL in interceptions tallying 8 so far this year. The Bears have a rushing offense that can exploit Dallas’ weakness to the run and a defense that can neutralize the Cowboy’s already anemic passing attack. So why will the Cowboys still win??? While it is true that the Cowboys have issues stopping the run the Bears are MUCH worst against the run. In fact the Bears and Seahawks are tied for most rushing yards surrendered in the league at 1048.
That translates to an average of 149 rushing yards a game! So while they can attack Dallas’ defense with the run, the Cowboys should be able to do the same and do it more efficiently; and while the Cowboys run defense has been an issue it has played better as of late. Over the last three games the Cowboys run defense has only allowed 3.7 yards per attempt, which is the 3rd best in the NFL over that time. They are also only 15th in rushing yards allowed and have only allowed two rushing touchdowns all season. The Cowboys run defense is shaky, but it isn’t as bad as it has been in years past and with the addition of veteran defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins the run defense should see an even bigger improvement.
On the other side of the ball the Bears will also have to contend with Dallas’ ferocious front 7. Dallas leads the league with 29 sacks on the season and Justin Fields has the unfortunate distinction of being the most sacked QB in the league having been sacked 27 times through 7 games.
The Bears have the ability to win this game but the Cowboys can exploit their weaknesses better than they can exploit the weaknesses of the Cowboys. Dallas rushing offense will have little trouble running against the Bears front and the Bears have not shown they can consistently protect their QB in passing situations. So while it is possible that the Bears can pull the upset it’s not very likely.