Bears and 'Boys step into Monday Night Spotlight
Two teams with a penchant for laying eggs on occasion meet when the 2-1 Dallas Cowboys host the 2-1 Chicago Bears in this week's Monday Night Football matchup (8:30 pm ET, ESPN).
Chicago opened its season with a 41-21 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Soldier Field, and looked pretty good in doing so. After a slow start QB Jay Cutler eventually threw for 333 yards and two scores and RBs Matt Forte and Michael Bush combined to rush for 122 yards.
But four days later the Bears looked bad in losing at Green Bay 23-10, as Cutler got sacked seven times and threw four interceptions.
Chicago then got back above .500 with a 23-6 win over St. Louis last week. But one of the Bears' scores came on an interception return, and while they rushed for 103 yards it took 34 attempts to do it. (And 21 of those yards came on one scramble by Cutler.)
Chicago covered the spread as 10-point favorites over Indy, lost as 5-point dogs vs. the Packers and covered as 7-point faves vs. the Rams.
Dallas, meanwhile, opened this season with an impressive 24-17 win over the Giants in New Jersey. The Cowboys got 131 yards rushing from DeMarco Murray and held New York to 269 total yards - a big chunk of that while in 'prevent' mode late in the game.
But ten days later Dallas put on a dud of a performance at Seattle, losing 27-7, getting a punt blocked for a score and garnering just 49 yards on the ground.
Last week the Cowboys climbed above .500 with a 16-10 victory at home over Tampa Bay. Dallas squandered chances to put that game away, settling for three very short field goals, and for the game the Cowboys could only produce 38 yards rushing. But the Dallas defense stuffed the Bucs to the tune of 166 total yards of offense.
The Cowboys beat the Giants outright as 3-point underdogs, lost outright as 3-point favorites vs. the Seahawks, and failed to cover as 9-point chalk vs. Tampa.
The main injury news concerning Monday night's game is the uncertain status of Forte, who's missed recent action with a sprained ankle. His availability looks like a game-time decision.
As of Monday morning most NFL betting outlets tracked by OddsShark.com were listing Dallas at -3.5, with an OVER/UNDER of 42.
These two teams are a combined 1-5 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as these two defense have combined to allow an average of 15 PPG.