It’s a huge inter-conference clash as the 5-3 Chicago Bears are in Tennessee for a game with the 5-2 Tennessee Titans inside Nissan Stadium on Sunday as part of the Week 9 slate in the NFL. This is the first meeting between the two teams since 2016, and a win by either side will snap a 6-6 tie in the all-time series.
The road team has come out on top in the last five encounters, with Tennessee winning in Chicago four years ago and the Bears destroying the Titans the last time they were in Tennessee in 2012.
After a 5-1 start, the Bears have dropped two straight, falling to the Rams on Monday night and the Saints as the marquee game in the late window this past Sunday. Their struggles have been on display, which has prompted many to call for the team to go back to Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback.
Trubisky started the season under center but was replaced by Nick Foles in Week 3, and Foles engineered a come-from-behind victory to cement his status as the starter moving forward. His inconsistency of late, however, has reignited the quarterback controversy.
Quarterback play wasn’t the only talking point coming out of the Saints game in Chicago, though. Bears wide receiver Javon Wims was suspended two games for punching New Orleans cornerback C.J. Gardner-Johnson on Sunday, an ugly display after Wims claimed Garder-Johnson spit on him, which the Saint has denied.
The Bears aren’t the only ones heading into this matchup mired in a two-game slump, as the Titans have also dropped two straight after opening the season with five consecutive victories. Their first loss came at the hands of the Steelers, which resulted in Pittsburgh left as the last undefeated team in the NFL. But instead of bouncing back in Week 8, Tennessee looked lifeless against an inferior opponent in Cincinnati and got beat outright despite entering as a touchdown favorite on the road.
The day after the loss, the team acquired Desmond King from the Los Angeles Chargers to help shore up their secondary and signify their commitment to winning in 2020. Following the Bears game, the Titans will face the Colts in two of the next three weeks, which will go a long way in determining an AFC South champion, with both teams currently sitting at 5-2.
Betting Line and Pick
The Titans are 5.5-point favorites in this one, with an over/under of 46.5. The Bears are 3-1 on the road this season both SU and ATS, with wins over Detroit, Carolina, and Atlanta. Chicago is allowing 120 yards per game on the ground this year, and the Titans will enter as the fourth-best rush team in the NFL, led by Derrick Henry. Early line movement has folks on the Bears who gobbled up the early 6.5 point line, and it likely won’t get that high again.
An announcement hasn’t been made from Chicago in terms of quarterback, so it’s doubtful a change will be made for this game. But if the Bears falter, expect that chatter to intensify.
Pick: Titans - 5.5