NFL Monday Night Football Picks: Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears
Monday, September 19, 2016, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Soldier Field – Chicago, Illinois
Opening Line: Chicago -1
Current Line: Chicago -3
Opening Total: 43
Current Total: 42 1/2
Opening Money Line: Bears -170 / Eagles +150
Current Money Line: Bears -155 / Eagles +135

The Chicago Bears host the Philadelphia Eagles Monday night.

The Chicago Bears host the Philadelphia Eagles Monday night.

The Chicago Bears host the Philadelphia Eagles Monday night. The Bears lead the series 29-12-1. Chicago has won four of the last six games in the series dating back to 2007. However, the Eagles won the last meeting at home 54-11 in 2013.

Philadelphia is 1-0 this season under new coach Doug Pederson. The Eagles beat the Cleveland Browns 29-10 last week at home. Philadelphia was a 4 point favorite and the total was 41.5.

Chicago is 0-1 under coach John Fox. The Bears lost at the Houston Texans 23-14. Houston was a 5.5 point favorite and the total was 43.

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After trading quarterback Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings late in the pre-season, Philadelphia announced #2 overall pick Carson Wentz would start at quarterback. The rookie out of North Dakota State had an impressive debut against the Cleveland Browns last week. He completed 22/37 passes for 278 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions.

Wentz threw his first career touchdown pass midway through the first quarter on a 19 yard throw to Jordan Matthews. The Eagles would expand the lead to 10-0 but Cleveland pulled to within 10-7 with 9:10 left in the second quarter. Philadelphia added another field goal to make it 13-7 at halftime. The Browns pulled to within 13-10 early in the third but would not score again. The Eagles scored a safety and Wentz threw his second touchdown pass of the game on a 35 yard pass to Nelson Agholor. Ryan Mathews added a one yard touchdown run late in the fourth to make the final 29-10.

Philadelphia had 403 total yards including 270 passing and 133 rushing. Cleveland had 288 total yards including 168 passing and 120 rushing. The Eagles had 23 first downs to 14 for the Browns. Cleveland was 2/10 on third down conversions and 0/2 on fourth downs. The Eagles were 5/15 on third downs and 1/1 on fourth downs. Cleveland had 4 penalties for 15 yards and Philadelphia had 7 for 46 yards. Cleveland had the only turnover of the game. The Eagles had possession for 39:20.

Running back Mathews had 22 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown. Kenjon Barner had 4 carries for 42 yards. Receiver Matthews had 7 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Zach Ertz had 6 catches for 58 yards. He is out with a displaced rib. Agholor had 4 catches for 57 yards and a touchdown.

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Chicago took a 7-0 lead against Houston last Sunday midway through the first quarter on a one yard touchdown run from running back Jeremy Langford. Houston scored 10 straight points to take a 10-7 lead. Chciago would take the lead going into halftime on a 19 yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal from Jay Cutler. The Bears would not score in the second half though. Houston kicked a field goal in the third quarter to make it 14-13 Chicago going into the fourth. Houston scored a touchdown and a field goal to take a 23-14 lead with just over 6 minutes left. Chicago had two more possessions but did not score as Houston took the win.

Houston had 344 total yards including 215 passing and 129 rushing yards. Chicago had 258 total yards including 185 passing and 73 rushing yards. The Texans had 17 first downs to 14 for the Bears. Chicago was 4/13 on third down conversions and 0/2 on fourth downs. Houston was 12/20 on third down conversions. The Bears had 4 penalties for 30 yards and the Texans had 6 for 69 yards. Each team had a turnover. Houston had possession for 36:19.

Cutler completed 16/29 passes for 216 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and rushed for 12 yards on 2 carries. He was sacked five times though. Langford had 17 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown, plus 2 catches. Receiver Alshon Jeffery had 4 catches for 105 yards. Royal had 4 catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. Kevin White had 3 catches for 34 yards. Nine defensive players are on the injury report.

Philadelphia is 4-1 ATS in Monday games, and after gaining more than 350 total yards, 5-12-1 in September, 4-10 in grass, 1-4 in NFC games, 1-6 in week two, and 0-4 after allowing less than 15 points. The underdog is 8-3 ATS in this series recently.

Chicago is 4-1 ATS in Monday games, 6-19-1 at home, 1-4 in week two, against NFC teams and on grass, 1-5 overall and and 0-5 in September. The over is 4-1 in this series recently.

Philadelphia looked good last week, but Cleveland is arguably the worst team in the league. Chicago had a tough opening game at the Houston Texans who could be a contender in the AFC. It is hard what to make of either of these teams. I like the Eagles to pull off the mild upset on the road in a high scoring game.

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