Bears-Chiefs prop picks (12.04.11)

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Johnny Knox seems to have a good on-field relationship with Caleb Hanie and both he and the Bears should benefit from it.
Johnny Knox seems to have a good on-field relationship with Caleb Hanie and both he and the Bears should benefit from it.

Here is a look at hypothetical propositional wagers between the Bears and Chiefs.

First team to score

Bears. The Bears defense gave a supreme effort last week but they just couldn’t sustain 60 minutes of keeping the Raiders out of the end zone while battling poor field position and excess time on the field. This week, they face a much less potent offense that isn’t likely to find the scoreboard more than a few times.

First Bears player to score

Robbie Gould. Unless I see differently, I’m not sure the Bears can put up an early first-quarter touchdown for the rest of the season with Hanie at the helm, which is why I like Gould’s chances of getting on the scoreboard first.

First Bears player to catch a pass

Earl Bennett. Fresh off a new contract, Bennett should get involved in the game plan from the outset because he’s the Bears’ best receiver and has the most reliable hands on the team. I think Martz will open up the offense a little more than last week and Bennett will get an early look.

Bears player to catch most passes

Johnny Knox. Knox had a breakout game last week in large part because Hanie and Knox have a good rapport. There’s a good chance that connection continues rolling, not quite to the effect of the Cutler-Bennett combination but fairly close.

More passing yards – Caleb Hanie or Chiefs QB

Caleb Hanie. I’m keeping this one generic because I think there’s a better than good chance that we’ll see both Tyler Palko — who is listed as the Chiefs starter this week — and Kyle Orton against the Bears on Sunday. Regardless, even though the Chiefs will likely need to throw a lot to keep up in this one, I feel good about Hanie outperforming his counterpart(s).

More touchdown passes or interceptions by Caleb Hanie

Push. Last week seemed like a no-brainer and Hanie was a little too careless with the football. He should learn from his mistakes and take better care of the ball this week, but I still think he’ll make a mistake or two and the Bears will probably have more rushing touchdowns than passing ones.

Caleb Hanie sacks

2. The Chiefs do not have a good pass rush as they’re ranked dead-last in the league with just 13. However, seeing as how Hanie doesn’t have a lot of experience in the pocket and he was sacked four times last week, I think the Chiefs can get a pair on him.

More rushing yards – Bears or Chiefs

Bears. If the Bears can’t win this phase of the game, they might not be able to win the game itself — unless Hanie wows us with a great performance. The Chiefs are among the worst in the league at defending the run and they haven’t run the ball well lately on offense. Plus, as we all know, the Bears have to rely on their run game for the rest of the season.

Total combined rushing and receiving yards by Matt Forte

105. Forte is averaging 134 yards per game this year, but he had just 84 last week and he’s really seemed to hit a wall in the last three weeks. He’s still capable of breaking out at any moment, especially against a team with a shoddy defense like the Chiefs. But with Marion Barber getting an increased workload, Forte should have a modest game.

Team to win the turnover battle

Bears. The Bears are fourth in the league with a plus-9 turnover ratio whereas the Chiefs are ranked 25th with a minus-5. I think Hanie will protect the ball better this week and the Bears are likely to pick off Palko a couple times.

Total points scored

36. This should be a lower-scoring game more so because of what the Bears defense will do to the Chiefs than what the Bears won’t be doing on offense. They should be all right moving the ball this week and getting scoring opportunities.

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