Chicago Bears (1-3) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (1-3)
The Kansas City Chiefs have won two of the last three contests against the Chicago Bears, dating back to 2007. Unfortunately, that’s not saying much. But let’s give a little credit where credit is due. The Bears earned their first win of the season on Sunday over the Oakland Raiders at Soldier Field, thanks to Robbie Gould’s game-winning 49-yard field goal with :02 on the clock. Quarterback Jay Cutler returned to the line-up after a week due to a hamstring injury, completing 28 of 43 passes for 281 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. The Bears are on a roll. Kind of.
The Chiefs fell to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, 36-21, despite a stellar performance from Cairo Santos, who kicked seven field goals on the day. It wasn’t enough. Quarterback Alex Smith is now 93 of 143 for the year with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He simply has to find more ways to connect with receivers Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce that result in points. Meanwhile, Jamaal Charles has racked up more than 300 yards in the first four games, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. It’s time for the Chiefs to shine. Expect a win at Arrowhead.
St. Louis Rams (2-2) vs. Green Bay Packers (4-0)
The St. Louis Rams pulled off a nail-biting victory over the previously undefeated Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, 24-22, thanks in large part to the second-half performance of rookie running back Todd Gurley and some big turnovers. The defense looked strong. Strong enough to stop Aaron Rodgers and the undefeated Green Bay Packers at Lambeau? Unlikely.
The Packers lead the NFC North with a 4-0 record and keep piling on impressive wins. On Sunday, they defeated the hot-and-cold San Francisco 49ers, 17-3, with the defense taking center stage. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was all smiles, happy to not have all the pressure on him. Meanwhile, he continues to amass impressive stats, completing 89 of 123 on the season with 11 touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 125.9 rating. Expect more of the same Sunday on the soon-to-be-frozen tundra.
New England Patriots (3-0) vs. Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
The New England Patriots had a bye in week four and will be well rested for a Dallas Cowboys team that could use some R&R. The perennial power Patriots continue to do what they seemingly always do – win. Quarterback Tom Brady is 96 of 133 for the year with nine touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 119.6 rating. The run game is nothing to write home about, but four receivers each have more than 100 yards in the first three games. Wins over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars are just the beginning. The Patriots seem ready to keep this trend going.
With injured quarterback Tony Romo on the sideline, the Cowboys lost an overtime thriller on Sunday night to the previously winless New Orleans Saints, 26-20. Backup quarterback Brandon Weeden led the Cowboys with a heroic 91-yard march down the field to tie the game, but the end result was another loss for him — his 10th straight. Now, I’m not an NFL coach, but I can do basic math. And a guy who loses 10 in a row is probably not the guy you should expect to lead your team to victory. But, strapped with injuries, the Cowboys might just be doing the best they can. Receiver Dez Bryant and defensive end Randy Gregory were out with injuries, and defensive end Greg Hardy was completing his suspension. After Sunday night’s game, add two more to the injured list with linebacker Sean Lee and running back Lance Dunbar leaving the field. Despite all this misery, the Cowboys are somehow still tied for first in the NFC East with the New York Giants. But that won’t matter against Bill Belichick’s powerhouse. Patriots win big. CV