Here is a look at hypothetical propositional wagers between the Bears and Jaguars.
First team to score
Bears. There’s a darn good chance — no joke — that the Bears can shut out the worst offense in football. Because of the uncertainty of the way the ball bounces and because one mistake can drastically change field position, I would never predict it. But I do feel the Bears are a lock to score first, barring one of those weird bounces.
First Bears player to score
Matt Forte. Michael Bush is the Bears’ goal line back, but something tells me Forte will rip off a big run to score on one of the Bears’ first possessions.
More touchdowns or field goals for the Bears
Touchdowns. If field goals are plentiful for the Bears, then there will be a big cause for concern moving forward.
Number of catches by Brandon Marshall
7. One can never tell which Bears receiver will have a big game from week to week and Marshall said as much himself recently. But Marshall should be able to tear apart this Jaguars secondary and he and Cutler should make quick work of them.
More touchdown passes or interceptions by Jay Cutler
Touchdowns. The Jaguars don’t have a ball-hawking secondary and there should be virtually no pressure on Cutler (both physically from the lack of a pass rush and mentally because it’s not a big-time game). Cutler plays at a level among the best quarterbacks in the game when he’s relaxed and feeling confident.
Jay Cutler sacks
1. The Jaguars have just two sacks all season. And unless the Bears feel they want to try to get J’Marcus Webb some one-on-one work all game, I really don’t see Cutler getting grass stains on his jersey.
More passing yards – Jay Cutler or Blaine Gabbert
Jay Cutler. Next question.
More rushing yards – Bears or Jaguars
Bears. There will be two of the league’s finest running backs in Forte and Maurice Jones-Drew set to do battle, but the difference is that the Bears have one of the best run defenses in the NFL — ranked 3rd overall — and the Jaguars are 30th against the run.
Total rushing yards for Bears
135. See above explanation for more detail, but the Bears ought to pound the rock in excess of well over 100 yards.
Bears run-to-pass ratio
36 run-to-30 pass. Even though the Bears will take their shots in the passing game and have success doing it, offensive coordinator Mike Tice figures to call a balanced game against his former team and the Bears will be running the ball in the second half with a big lead.
Team to win the turnover battle
Bears. This is a golden opportunity for the Bears to further showcase their rejuvenated defense. Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert has only one interception on the season but that’s because they hardly throw the ball down the field. They’ll have no choice when they’re playing from behind later in the game.
Total points scored
44. The Bears realistically could score 44 points by themselves and hold the Jaguars off the scoreboard entirely. But the real score will likely fall somewhere in between, with the Bears scoring a little less than that and the Jaguars just barely making the scorecard.