They say the key to life is expectations. If one manages them appropriately and doesn’t expect much, it lowers the bar to achieve satisfaction. However, if one constantly expects perfection or an abundance of what they’re looking for, it leaves them vulnerable to a letdown.
Enter the Bears and Chargers for Sunday Night Football in Week 8. As fans, we are always happy to have a live game on TV to end our Sundays before the work week begins again. This is an opportunity to think about those times in March and April when football feels as far away as possible, and the warm weather hasn’t returned yet. We’ve got beautiful fall foliage, and we sure have football.
Chicago and LA rank among the league’s worst on defense. They give up at least 5.5 yards per play to opposing teams, are allowing more than 25 points per game, and are 26th and 27th in % of opponents’ drives ending in a score, respectively. The total for the game is 46.5 as of this writing.
The Bears played a solid game against the Raiders last week, accumulating more snaps, yards, and takeaways to win handily at home, with Tyson Bagent starting at QB for the injured Justin Fields. They relied on an effective running game and short-to-intermediate throws to move the chains 23 times and convert 62% of their third downs.
The Chargers have lost two straight to Dallas and Kansas City and have been outgained by over a yard per play in each loss. The defense was carved for 825 total yards combined, making life difficult for Justin Herbert and company to keep pace and establish a rhythm on offense. Despite these recent struggles, the Chargers are 8.5-point favorites at home.
Our Week 7 SNF props finished 2-1, and we look forward to extending a recent 8-1 run to our weekend-ending prop plays. These lines are courtesy of the Underdog Fantasy app.
Ekeler’s return from injury has not cured the recent scoring troubles his team has experienced. In 28 carries against Dallas and KC, he rushed for 72 yards (2.6 ypc). The matchup, surprisingly, does not get better this week.
Chicago has allowed just 3.4 yards per attempt to opposing runners this season, which ranks second-best in the league. That’s compared to giving up 6.8 yards per pass attempt, the fifth-worst team rate in 2023.
Ekeler was briefly taken off the field before returning for the second half in Week 7, and each week like these last two builds the case for a timeshare with Joshua Kelley. We project that he will struggle to get to 50 yards Sunday night.
Moore was targeted nine times in Tyson Bagent’s first start, almost twice as many as the next Bears’ receiver. Bagent averaged 5.6 yards per attempt on 29 throws, and Moore caught eight balls for 56 yards in a 30-12 Chicago victory in Week 7.
This is to say, we’re confident in Bagent looking for Moore, and we are not banking on Moore’s catches to be down the field like they’ve been when Justin Fields is under center.
The Chargers allow 7.4 yards per pass attempt this season and have the second-worst pass defense in the league. Bagent is serviceable enough to connect with Moore on 6+ passes Sunday night, and we expect their off-season acquisition to lead the team in catches against LA.