Chicago Bears vs Arizona Cardinals – Week 13 Game Preview: Overview, Keys to Game, Insights
The Bears (4-7) kept their thin playoff hopes alive with a dramatic Thanksgiving win over the winless Lions in Detroit. The degree of difficulty ratchets up significantly for Chicago when the NFC-leading Arizona Cardinals come to Soldier Field Sunday.
The Cards (9-2) are strong on both sides of the ball. The offense stagnated when dynamic quarterback Kyler Murray missed time with an ankle injury. He and stud receiver DeAndre Hopkins are game-time decisions on Sunday.
Linebacker Chandler Jones drives a nasty Arizona pass rush with 8 sacks and veteran Markus Golden has 10. Their +8 turnover margin is one of the best in football.
Justin Fields is still out with his rib injury and Andy Dalton gets another start. This beaten up Bears squad seems like a real long-shot in this contest, although, stranger things have happened. Might as well pull an upset and keep things interesting.
Where to Watch/Listen
- Sunday, December 5 at 12:00pm CT on FOX, WBBM Radio (English), and WRTO Radio (Spanish)
Keys to Victory
- Protect the ball at all costs. The Bears have been extremely sloppy in the turnover department of late. Obviously, it would be good for them to avoid a lot of those mistakes against a talented Cardinals team.
- Get David Montgomery back involved in the game plan in a big way. Arizona has an excellent pass defense but they do give up a fair amount on the ground. Chicago needs to get their star back in the fold early and often.
- No matter who the Cardinals quarterback is keep them in the pocket. Colt McCoy, Arizona’s backup, is also a very mobile QB that can keep plays alive. The Bears need to keep either player, McCoy or Murray, in the pocket and prevent them from scrambling.
- Take a couple deep shots with Darnell Mooney. Mooney has been the Bears best offensive player the last several weeks. Dalton needs to make a couple deep play action attempts for the speedy wide receiver and hopefully hit on them.
Don’t Tell Me the Odds
Even with Kyler Murray’s status uncertain for Sunday, Vegas has the Cardinals installed as a 7.5 point favorite. As has been the case with most Bears games recently, the over/under is 43, anticipating another low-scoring affair.
I’m going to predict that Kyler Murray does not play and McCoy gets the start. The Bears hang in for most of the day but a key turnover late in the game gives Arizona a 27-17 victory finally ending Chicago’s playoff chances.
Official Bears Preview
Here are Bears analysts Jeff Joniak and Tom Thayer with their preview of the Bears’ upcoming Week 13 matchup.