The NFC playoff picture is slowly taking shape with a key Thursday Night Football showdown, the Dallas Cowboys travel North to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears in Week 13 of the NFL Season. For the Cowboys after a disappointing loss on Thanksgiving, the team will look to widen their NFC East division lead. Meanwhile, the Bears who sit at 6-6 are in a must win situation over their next four contests to stay alive for one of the two NFC wildcard spots.
The Cowboys enter this head to head matchup with the Bears winning two straight meetings between the two clubs including a 31-17 thriller in Dallas on September 25th, 2016. In that contest, the Cowboys running attack was too much for the Bears defense as the team combined for 199 yard on the ground and three rushing touchdowns. Leading the charge was Ezekiel Elliott who finished the contest with 140 yards on the ground. In addition, to controlling the time of possession 35:19 to 24:41, the Cowboys won the turnover battle 2-1.
Heading into this Week 13 Thursday Night showdown, the Cowboys are a three-point favor playing on the road, while the over/under sits at 42.5. Here is an NFL Game Preview for the upcoming matchup between the Cowboys and Bears.
Lean on Elliott
The Cowboys enter Week 13, with the NFL’s top overall offense averaging 432.8 yards per game including an NFL high 305.2 yards per game through the first 12 weeks of the 12 NFL season. Despite the success, the team sits at just 6-6 while failing to have success throwing the football. As the Cowboys enter this matchup, the Cowboys must turn to their running game to help control the time of possession while limiting the opportunities the Bears have on offense.
This includes giving the football to Elliott early and often to help pace the running attack. Entering this contest, Elliott has five games this season topping the 100 yard mark and 990 yards total on the ground. In those five contests, the Cowboys are 4-1 with their only loss coming to the Jets 24-22 in a contest that saw Dak Prescott struggle to find consistency throwing the ball within the red zone. In the teams other seven games in which Elliott failed to reach 100 yards, the Cowboys are just 2-5.
Find a Rhythm on Offense
Entering Week 13, the Bears have struggled to find a rhythm on offense ranking 29th in the NFL with 281.8 yards per game and 27th in points per game with 17.7 per contest. Despite their struggles on offense, the team has found a way to post a 6-6 record led by a solid performance by their defense. The defense ranks 7th in the NFL in yards allows (319.7 yards allowed per game) and 4th in points allowed per game at just 17.3 per contest.
As they enter this contest, the Bears must find a way to get into a rhythm on the offensive side of the ball much like they produced against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day. In that contest, the Bears mixed in both the run and pass while finding the end zone three times. Mitchell Trubisky threw for 338 yards with three touchdowns, David Montgomery rushed for 75 yards on 16 carries while Allen Robinson and Anthony Robinson combined for 226 yards with one touchdown.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears NFL Pick and Prediction
This contest looks very tight on paper with the Cowboys holding as a three point favor leading into the Thursday Night Football showdown. As both teams have struggled with consistency at times this season, making it a difficult to make an NFL prediction in this contest. Entering this contest the Bears have been inconsistent at Soldier Field this year posting a 3-3 record. In those losses, the Bears fell to the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers. The three losses come against teams with a combined 23-13 record on the year while their three wins came against teams that have combined for 13-18-1 overall record.
While both teams have been very inconsistent at times this season, the Cowboys enter this contest more balanced on both sides of the football. In addition, the Bears have struggled against the spread this season posting a 3-9 mark while the Cowboys have a 7-5 record against the spread. Take the Cowboys at -3 on the road as your NFL spread pick for Week 13.