NFL Pick: San Diego Chargers vs. Chicago Bears
Date/Time: August 15, 2013 8:00 pm EST
NFL Gambling Odds from BetDSI
NFL Betting Favorite: Bears -4.5
The Chargers and the Bears both lost their preseason opener last week. These two teams will meet in Chicago for their second preseason game this Thursday night. ESPN will have national coverage of this one. Let’s take a look at some of the storylines around both of these teams and then preview this contest.
The San Diego Chargers decided to go in a different direction. Norv Turner was seemingly always on the hot seat, and he finally got run out of town. Mike McCoy is the new man on the job with Ken Whisenhunt as the offensive coordinator. Phillip Rivers is still the starting quarterback here, but he doesn’t have the same kind of weapons around him that he had a few years ago when this team was a serious contender. Antonio Gates is a shell of his former self. Ryan Matthews still has a lot to prove in the backfield. Malcolm Floyd is arguably the team’s best play maker on the outside, but he went down with what could be a major injury earlier this week in practice.
San Diego doesn’t seem to have a lot going for them heading into the 2013-2014 season. This is a team that seemingly has the most injury problems of any NFL team every single season. The Chargers special teams play has been embarrassingly bad the last few years. McCoy likely will push his team to work hard in the preseason, so they might have some value in some of the preseason games, but I don’t see this team being competitive at all when the regular season rolls around.
The Chicago Bears had a solid team last year, but they didn’t do quite enough to get into the postseason. The NFC North is a very competitive league, and the Bears haven’t been able to get over the hump that is the Green Bay Packers. Jay Cutler has struggled for the majority of his time in Chicago, but many believe this could be a breakout season for Cutler. He is surrounded by more talent than he has been in the rest of his time in Chicago. Importantly, he is also in an offensive system that should help him thrive. Marc Trestman and Aaron Kromer’s system should be ideal for a guy like Cutler to have more freedom.
Expect Cutler to play a little more in this week’s game. He threw 8 passes in week one, and he completed six of them. He did throw an interception as well. Alshon Jeffery could be a breakout performer for the Bears in the season ahead Look for him to get more targets in the next couple weeks. Brandon Marshall has established himself as an elite performer, and he’ll likely get a lot of rest in the preseason. A position to watch in the preseason is the middle linebacker spot, where the Bears are looking for a replacement for Brian Urlacher.
Free NFL Pick: Over 38
Both of the first-team offenses should see more time here as they are trying to learn a new system. Week one of the preseason saw a lot of games go over the posted total, and I think this one will go over as well.