NFL Game Preview - Bears v Rams

 
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7
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Chicago 0 0 7 0 7
LA Rams 0 10 0 7 17
17
5:20 PM PT6:20 PM MT7:20 PM CT8:20 PM ET1:20 GMT9:20 6:20 PM MST8:20 PM EST7:20 PM CT5:20 UAE (+1)20:20 ET23:20 , November 17, 2019
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California  Weather: 79°, Clear  Attendance: 70,758

Bears-Rams Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams

  1. The Bears have won six of the last seven games against the Rams, allowing just 10.7 points per game in the six wins but 42 points in the one loss (21-42 in 2013). The Rams are 35-53-3 (.399) against the Bears all-time, their worst record against any NFC team in franchise history.
  2. The Bears snapped a four-game losing streak with a 20-13 win over the Lions despite putting up just 226 yards of total offense. It was their eighth win with fewer than 300 total net yards since last season, most in the NFL.
  3. The Rams fell to the Steelers last week, 17-12, their second game with 12 points or fewer this season. Last year, the Rams only scored fewer than 23 points once all season -- Week 14 at Chicago (15-6 loss).
  4. David Montgomery has 235 rushing yards and three touchdowns in his last three games after putting up 231 yards and two touchdowns over the first six games. He is the first Bears player with at least 450 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns through nine career games since Thomas Jones in 2004.
  5. Cooper Kupp was held without a catch against the Steelers after he had seven receptions for 220 yards in Week 9 against the Bengals. He is the second player in the last 40 seasons with 200+ receiving yards in one game and no receptions in the next, joining Tennessee's Kenny Britt in 2010.
  6. The Rams and Bears have both allowed 18 rushing plays of 10+ yards, tied for the fewest in the NFL. Offensively, the Bears have just nine rushing plays of 10+ yards, fewest in the NFL, while the Rams have 22, 12th fewest.
Team Comparison

Chicago
 
Los Angeles
18.0 Points 25.1
201.8 Pass Yds 292.6
80.6 Rush Yds 96.2
12 Takeaways 14
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

LOS ANGELES (AP) Even Sean McVay realizes there’s a strong argument to be made that the Chicago Bears ended the Los Angeles Rams’ two seasons of offensive brilliance with their 15-6 victory at Soldier Field last season.

McVay, Jared Goff and the Rams (5-4) get a chance to reply when the Bears (4-5) visit the Coliseum on Sunday night in a game that could wreck the loser’s realistic playoff hopes.

That loss on a chilly, biting night last December still stings for McVay and Goff, who threw a career-high four interceptions while the Rams were held without a touchdown for the first time in McVay’s tenure.

“They were a great defense, period,” McVay said. “They still are a great defense, but they did do some different things schematically that - I don’t run away from the fact that I didn’t handle that night well at all.”

Los Angeles was 11-1 and cruising through a season that would bend with a Super Bowl trip, but Vic Fangio’s defense reduced McVay’s offense to a wan shadow of its usual self. Todd Gurley produced only 28 yards rushing, Goff went 20 of 44 for 180 yards, and the Rams managed only 214 yards - less than half of their season average.

Fangio largely did it with a deceptively simple 6-1 alignment: Six defenders right at the line of scrimmage, with one linebacker just behind them looking to snuff out the run game. When Gurley couldn’t move the ball on the ground against that setup, the Rams’ play-action strategies were largely useless - and then Goff made mistakes.

“All of these teams, at some point, you hit some patches where you have to figure some things out and re-adjust and all that,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said of the Rams’ struggles in Chicago last season. “We’re going through that right now offensively.”

Other teams copied the Bears’ strategy, and New England played its version to perfection while holding the Rams to three points in the Super Bowl. But with Gurley still largely ineffective this season, opponents haven’t even needed the strategy to beat the Rams lately.

“I wouldn’t say what they did has shown up a lot,” Goff said, recalling the Bears’ setup. “It’s something that teams have tried, and we’ve beat it at times, and we haven’t at times. It’s definitely part of a scheme that people have played not only to us, but across the league. Nothing too crazy. Pretty simple. We’ll be ready if they do it again.”

Chuck Pagano runs the Bears’ defense now, and it has scarcely lost a step statistically despite Chicago’s overall struggles.

The Rams’ offense is a shadow of its former self, sitting in the middle of the pack in most statistical categories and coming off an inept performance at Pittsburgh in which it scored only three of Los Angeles’ 12 points.

The Bears’ biggest concern this time around likely should be Aaron Donald and the Rams’ defense, which has been on a roll since the week before it acquired shutdown cornerback Jalen Ramsey from Jacksonville.

“Really good defense,” quarterback Mitchell Trubisky said. “I think it starts up front for them. They’ve got obviously really talented players in Donald, and they do a lot of stuff up front with twists and getting pressure. Last year, they kind of zoned us out and tried to keep everything in front and take away our big plays.”

Here are more things to know about the prime-time showdown between 2018 division winners:

OLD FRIENDS

Allen Robinson figures he’s in for a physical confrontation and plenty of trash talk from Ramsey.

The Bears’ leading receiver and Rams’ brash star cornerback figure to be matched against each other just like old times, when they would go at it in practice as teammates in Jacksonville for two seasons. Robinson was three years into his career when the Jaguars drafted Ramsey with the No. 5 overall pick in 2016, and the rookie went at him right away.

“It’s gonna be physical, it’s gonna be competitive, it’s gonna be fun,” Robinson said. “I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

Robinson signed with Chicago last year, while Ramsey forced a trade to Los Angeles last month. But during their time together, Robinson heard plenty from him.

“I talk, he talks, so it’ll be fun,” Robinson said.

SHAKY LINE

Khalil Mack will be lining up against a Rams offensive line with four of the five starters in unfamiliar positions. Los Angeles lost center Brian Allen and right tackle Rob Havenstein to injuries last week, so guard Austin Blythe moves to center and untested youngsters David Edwards, Austin Corbett and Bobby Evans likely join the starting lineup. The Rams’ line struggled against Pittsburgh even before the injuries, so McVay is scheming to help his profoundly inexperienced unit - but Mack still could be in for a feast.

WORK IN PROGRESS

The Bears got the win they needed last week against Detroit, ending a four-game skid with Trubisky throwing three TD passes to match his season high. But the defending NFC North champions still have plenty of room to improve. Though they scored on three consecutive possessions in the second and third quarters, the offense went long stretches without moving the ball.

The defense held Detroit to 98 yards rushing on 27 attempts, but the Bears lost linebacker Danny Trevathan to a left elbow injury, and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks is on injured reserve with an elbow injury, leaving Chicago without two disruptive players inside against Los Angeles.

KUPP COMEBACK

McVay is still disappointed after leading receiver Cooper Kupp was held without a catch last week. The Steelers felt free to double-team Kupp more frequently with Brandin Cooks sidelined by a concussion, and Cooks is out again this week. Goff and McVay both believe their offense needs the ball in Kupp’s hands to reach its potential.

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AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman in Chicago contributed to this report.

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Updated November 14, 2019

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