The short week has Las Vegas oddsmakers less optimistic about the Bears as they head to Detroit to take on the Lions.
Even after an impressive win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night, Chicago still opened as only three-point favorites for their Thanksgiving matchup, according to Vegas Insider.
This comes only two weeks after the Bears were favored by nearly a touchdown over the Lions back on Nov. 11.
Playing on the road instead of at Soldier Field may be a factor in the betting line, but the tighter spread is still surprising considering Chicago’s last few results.
Perhaps even more surprising is that the number hasn’t moved even with the unknowns surrounding Mitchell Trubisky’s shoulder injury.
Either Las Vegas doesn’t think he’s going to miss the game, or they don’t think there will be much of a dropoff with backup Chase Daniel in his place.
The over/under of 44 points is also a little bit on the low side compared to other lines in Week 12, especially since these two teams combined for 56 points just two weeks ago.
The short week of preparation will have both teams scrambling, likely with neither at their best, so maybe the matchup does have potential to be a little more close with a little less scoring.
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Chicago Bears do-it-all wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month on Thursday following an outstanding November slate of games that included 294 return yards, four tackles and two punts down inside the 10-yard line.
Patterson's productive November was a continuation of what's been a great year on special teams for one of the Bears' free-agent signings last offseason. He's averaging an NFC-best 30.9 yards per kick return in 2019.
Patterson was the first Bear since Devin Hester (October 2011) to be named Special Teams Player of the Month.
The Bears welcome the Dallas Cowboys to Soldier Field Thursday night in a game that may come down to field position and a big play or two from special teams. As a result, Patterson could be the difference between a win and a loss as Chicago begins the most critical four-game stretch of 2019.
Bears coach Matt Nagy was the darling of the NFL coaching fraternity in 2018 after he led his team to a 12-4 record and Chicago's first NFC North title in nearly a decade. But that was last year, and with the Bears sitting at 6-6 and falling way short of preseason expectations, some of the shine from his 2018 Coach of the Year Award has worn off.
But even though 2019 hasn't gone as predicted, Nagy isn't among the list of coaches who are on the hot seat, according to a new list compiled by ESPN. Instead, Nagy's seat is 'cool' and his job is safe barring a complete meltdown over the final four games of the year.
"Nagy doesn't have the same job security he enjoyed last season when he was the NFL Coach of the Year, but it's a stretch to think the Bears will fire him," ESPN's Jeff Dickerson wrote. "The team has struggled across the board on offense -- Nagy's specialty -- and the coach has shouldered his share of the blame. Still, the Bears are 18-10 in the regular season under Nagy. For comparison sake, John Fox went 13-34 in Chicago. Nagy isn't going anywhere."
It's pretty remarkable how far the Bears have come in two seasons under Nagy, even though their record this year doesn't scream success. If Chicago doesn't win another game this season, their six wins would equal the highest total in the four years preceding Nagy's arrival. If the Bears finish 8-8, it would be only the third time since 2011 that they were .500 or better. Chicago had just eight wins combined in 2016 and 2017.
Sure, Bears fans were hoping for a Super Bowl run in 2019 and Nagy was supposed to be the offensive genius who spearheaded the charge. It's true he's regressed as a play-caller this year, but it's only his second season as an NFL head coach. Much like his young quarterback, he's going through some growing pains and learning on the job.
But compared to the coaches who came before him -- John Fox and Marc Trestman -- Nagy is a beacon of hope for a bright future in Chicago.
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