Here is a look at hypothetical propositional wagers between the Bears and Cardinals.
First team to score
Bears. The Cardinals have a playmaking defense but I’m betting they’ll need to score themselves if Arizona hopes to put up the first points in this one. The Cardinals offense is just terrible, and although the Bears offense has had its problems, too, they’re a bit more potent.
First Bears player to score
Matt Forte. With Michael Bush out, the Bears could turn to Kahlil Bell for the goal line duties, but I think they’ll lean on Forte a lot more in this game.
More touchdowns or field goals for the Bears
Touchdowns. Yes, the Bears offense has struggled to put points on the board during their five-loss drought. But the Bears have played some good teams during that six-week period and the Cardinals are much worse.
Number of catches by Brandon Marshall
5. Marshall goes up against a strong secondary and Jay Cutler will be under pressure from the Cardinals’ solid front four.
More touchdown passes or interceptions by Jay Cutler
Interceptions. The Cardinals lead the NFL with 22 interceptions and Cutler can get careless with the ball, as we know.
Jay Cutler sacks
4. In addition to leading the NFL in interceptions, the Cardinals are ranked No. 7 in sacks. The Bears have protected Cutler better as of late but it’ll be difficult on the road.
More passing yards – Jay Cutler or Ryan Lindley
Jay Cutler. Cutler hasn’t had the best season of his career — that’s an understatement — but Lindley isn’t exactly Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick. Lindley doesn’t have the athleticism of those other young quarterbacks.
More rushing yards – Bears or Cardinals
Bears. The Cardinals are the worst rushing offense in the NFL, averaging only 80 yards per game. The Bears are ranked No. 12 in the NFL and should be more committed to the run in this one.
Total rushing yards for Bears
120. The Cardinals have a strong pass rush and a playmaking secondary but they’re not stout against the run. Forte should find some success if the Bears stay committed to the run game.
Bears run-to-pass ratio
35 run-to-32 pass. On the road against a good pass defense, I expect the Bears to stay focused on running the ball and controlling the clock.
Team to win the turnover battle
Cardinals. The Cardinals have the propensity to give the ball away on offense as much as they take it away on defense. In a road battle, I’ll give the Cardinals the edge as Cutler might toss them a few picks.
Total points scored
41. In a climate-controlled environment, despite two pretty solid defenses versus struggling offenses, I like the two teams to top 40 points.