At 7-7, the Chicago Bears head into Week 16 clinging to a slim chance at making the playoffs as one of the NFC's last wild cards.
At 1-13, the Jacksonville Jaguars head into Week 16 clinging to a good chance at landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The two teams meet in Jacksonville on Sunday in a game that is meaningful for different reasons.
This game pits two quarterbacks who began this season as the starter on their respective teams, lost their jobs for a few weeks, and are now back in the QB1 seat.
Chicago's Mitchell Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, started the Bears' first three games and led them to a 3-0 record. Despite the spotless record, Trubisky was benched in favor of former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.
By the time Trubisky regained the starting job in Week 12 (Foles injured his hip), the Bears were 5-5. Trubisky has gone 2-2 since then, and the Bears have averaged 31.0 points per game.
Jacksonville's Gardner Minshew II, a sixth-round draft pick in 2019 who became a fan-favorite underdog story, earned the Jaguars' opening-day QB1 job and led them to their only win of the season in Week 1. Minshew injured his thumb in Week 7, and after the Jaguars took turns with Jake Luton and Mike Glennon, Minshew returned to the field in Week 14.
Minshew has gone 0-2 (Luton and Glennon combined to go 0-6) and the Jaguars have averaged 12.0 points per game since his return.
Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars TV schedule
What time is the Bears at Jaguars game on Sunday?
1 p.m. EST
What channel is the Bears at Jaguars game on Sunday?
Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars coverage map
How to watch Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars
Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars Prediction
The Bears' offense has been rolling ever since head coach Matt Nagy relinquished play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Running back David Montgomery has rushed for 100-plus yards in three of their last four games, after not cracking 100 yards once before that.
Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano has Chicago ranked 10th in the NFL, allowing 22.7 points per game. Linebackers Roquan Smith (128 tackles) and Khalil Mack (8.0 sacks) lead the defensive charge for the Bears.
The Bears have to win this game to stay alive in the playoff race, and it's a much more winnable game than their Week 17 matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
Prediction: Bears 31, Jaguars 20Published 25 Dec 2020, 15:31 IST