NFL Monday Night Football: Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

NFL Monday Night Football:  Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

The second week of Monday Night Football (but the third MNF game after last week’s doubleheader) serves up a strange, hard to handicap game. The Chicago Bears will host the Philadelphia Eagles in a matchup of teams in serious transition. The Bears are in the second year of the John Fox regime and there was only marginal improvement in 2015 with a 6-10 record compared to 5-11 in 2014. Fox will be given time to rebuild this team–if they gave Marc Trestman two years they’ll be patient with a coach of Fox’s gravitas. Still, there is some pressure on him to show progress and that was hard to see in their opening game against Houston. The defense wasn’t bad but the offense was unimpressive at best. Both teams are in bad ATS situations–Chicago has been horrible at home in recent years (3-13 SU/5-11 ATS) while the Eagles have gone 9-15 ATS against conference opponents. It is worth noting that Fox has historically shown a ton of results in the second year with a new team. In his first years with Carolina and Denver he went 16-18 SU. In the second years with both franchises? Try 27-10.

The Philadelphia Eagles are a hard team to figure out at this juncture. Doug Pederson is in his first year as head coach and rookie Carson Wentz is the starting quarterback. The Eagles did get his tenure off to a winning start with a home win against Cleveland last week. Not really sure if Pederson has a plan and it’s unclear if the ‘rebuilding’ has started in earnest. The real test will come this week as Wentz has an aging and somewhat marginal offensive line and a mediocre group of receivers. The Bears should be a solid defensive team this year–the defensive front was upgraded during the offseason and for all of his faults the much maligned Jim Schwartz is a decent defensive coordinator.

The Bears really struggled at home in Fox’s first season going 1-7 SU/2-6 ATS so this game takes on more importance than it ordinarily would. Neither team looks like much at this stage of the game but we’ll lean to the proven class of Fox and a Bears team that in theory should be further along in the rebuild process.