NFL Week 15 and we will see the Chicago Bears travel to Cleveland, Ohio to take on the Cleveland Browns. The game has a start time of 1:00 pm (Eastern) and be will televised on FOX. Current odds have Chicago listed as 1 point favorites, while the total sits at 43.
Analysis: The Bears (7-6) are tied for the division lead with the Lions, who play Monday night against Baltimore. Chicago has little room for error, with Detroit holding the head-to-head tiebreaker and the Bears two games back for a wild-card spot. The Chicago Bears will have their starting quarterback in the lineup as Jay Cutler has been cleared to play. Josh McCown threw for 348 yards Monday in a performance that earned him NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors and has thrown 13 TD passes and just one INT to Cutler's 13 and eight this year. Still Cutler gets the nod. The offense hasn'tbeen a problem for the Bears this year as they have averaged 28.3 ppg, which is 2nd in the league. It has been their defense that has let them down this year. The Bears' D is particularly inept at stopping the run, ranking dead last in the NFL by allowing 157.0 yards a game on the ground. Overall the Chicago defense is just 27th in the league while giving up 381.5 ypg.
Cleveland was on the verge of snapping its losing streak last Sunday before allowing two touchdowns in the final 61 seconds en route to a 27-26 loss at New England, which ensured them a 6th consecutive losing season. Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden practiced Wednesday for the first time since sustaining a concussion Dec. 1, though Chudzinski said he's uncertain of whether Weeden can back up Jason Campbell. A bright spot for the Cleveland offense has been rookie WR Josh Gordon, who leads the NFL with 1,400 receiving yards. Defensively the Browns have not been bad this year, ranking 7th overall, 8th vs the pass and 4th vs the run, while allowing 24.9 ppg. The Browns have lost their last two by a combined five points and they have beaten the Bears in 4 straight meetings here.
Pick: I like the over in this game. Jay Cutler heard all week how it is a mistake to start him over McCown, so you can bet he will come out firing. He does have two of the best WR's to throw to in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, who have combined for 2,283 receiving yards, the most of any WR combination in the NFL. Cleveland is good statistically, but they still have allowed 24.9 ppg and I feel the bears can at least get that. The Cleveland offense has not been that great this year, but they have averaged 433 ypg in their last 3 games and 27 ppg in their last 2 games. They will be going up against a Chicago defense that is 28th overall and 28th in points allowed, giving up 27.7 ppg. I expect both teams to put up at least 24 points each in this one.
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