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Redskins to scalp Bears? Get NFL tips for Monday night

Leigh Copson 18 Sep 2019
Khalil Mack sacks Joe Flacco (credit:Jose M. Osorio/Zuma Press/PA Images)

NFL Monday Night Football predictions for Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season. The Chicago Bears produced some last-gasp heroics to snatch their first win of the season in Denver – can they now build on that with an important Monday night win at Washington? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins (Tuesday 01:15 BST)

It took an incredible last-gasp rally, but Chicago got off the mark with their first win of the season in week two. The Bears came into the 2019 season as a leading contender for Super Bowl glory following their remarkable turnaround under first year coach Matt Nagy in 2018, but they could not have made a worse start to the franchise’s 100th year as the offense produced a pitiful performance in an opening-night loss to bitter rivals Green Bay that saw them put just three points on the board. The long wait between that game and the week two trip to Denver meant there was plenty of time for the coaches, players, media and fans to perform an autopsy on the wreckage, and it also served to pile more pressure on Chicago to bounce back quickly. An 0-2 start would put them in serious danger of seeing their season die out before it had even rally begun, and although the Broncos are not one of the premier teams in the league it is always incredibly difficult to beat them at Mile High at this time of the year, especially in their home opener. Adding to the pressure was the fact that Mitchell Trubisky and the rest of the offense, which had played so poorly against the Packers, were coming up against former Bears defensive co-ordinator Vic Fangio, a man who had come up against this unit every single day in practice during the team’s run to the playoffs last season.

If anyone would know how to stifle Nagy’s offensive unit it was Fangio, and he managed to do that for much of the game. Chicago did enjoy some success on the ground as Nagy learned his lesson for abandoning the run game in the season-opener, but the passing game once again spluttered and that piled pressure on the defense to prevent the Broncos from getting in front and pulling away. Of course, this outstanding Chicago defense was capable of doing just that despite the incredibly difficult conditions and when Kyle Fuller picked off Joe Flacco to deny Denver a touchdown with five minutes to go the Bears just needed the offense to put together some sort of drive to kill off the game with the score at 13-3 in their favour. They failed, presenting the home side with another opportunity and they took it as Emmanuel Sanders made a superb catch to haul in a Flacco pass to the back of the endzone with just 37 seconds remaining. Fangio went ‘all in’ by calling for a two-point conversion that would see his team move in front, but he was forced to change his mind when a delay of game penalty forced the Broncos out to the seven. However, a false start from Buster Skrine bailed out Denver, moving the ball to the one, and Fangio went back to his original plan with resulted in Flacco finding Sanders once again to make it 14-13 with 31 seconds to play. Chicago fans had that sinking feeling but Nagy had told his men all week that they needed just one second and the ball to have a chance at victory – he could not have been more on the money.

The Bears benefited from a soft roughing the passing call at the start of the drive – one of several questionable calls made during the game – and any hopes of a comeback appeared to be over when Trubisky threw three straight incompletions and the Bears then got penalised for having 12 men in the huddle. Trubisky showed his mettle though – he may not have made many plays during the first two weeks but when Chicago needed one most he delivered, stepping out of the pocked to fire a dart to Allen Robinson, who gave himself up with just one second left to give the Bears one last shot at glory. Of course, this is a team who have had tremendous issues with the kicking game in recent years and saw their Super Bowl quest come to an end last season due to a botched field goal against Philadelphia, but after several months of try-outs the Bears felt like they had their man in Eddy Pineiro and the young kicker stood up to the challenge. Having already nailed kicks from 40 and 52 yards, the former Oakland Raider drilled home a 53-yarder to stun Mile High and spark jubilant scenes on the sidelines. The Bears had snatched a 16-14 victory, but the importance of that victory may diminish considerably if they do not follow it up with another win on Monday night.

Next up for the Bears is a trip to the nation’s capital to take on a Washington Redskins team who have opened up with back-to-back defeats to division rivals and are probably already considering when to unleash rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins on the NFL. It is not that Case Keenum has been terrible through two games – he has racked up 601 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions – but he has been unable to come through in the second half of both of their games so far and that allowed the Eagles to come storming back to win in the second half in week one and let the Cowboys pull away to win in week two. Now Keenum is coming up against a defensive unit that is arguably the best in the league – one that has showed no signs of slipping despite the departure of Fangio in the offseason. In fact, under Chuck Pagano this defense may look even better than it did a year ago despite finding turnovers hard to come by so far. This unit is loaded with talent from front to back and it should have no issues shutting down this Washington offense on Monday. The question is can the Bears get the job done on the opposite side of the football to take full advantage?

They have failed to do it in both of their games so far and for that reason I am wary of backing them to win this matchup, even though they are the favourites. But on the flip side, it is difficult to have faith in Washington somehow finding a way to open up this dominate Bears defense. Therefore avoiding the Moneyline and Point Spread markets is the way to go here, with Under 39.5 Total Points a very appealing pick. It has been a winner on both of the Bears’ games so far and given what we have seen from them on both sides of the football so far it is highly likely that they will be involved in another low-scoring encounter here.

And if the offense stalls again, Chicago may have to rely on its new kicking hero Eddy Pineiro to maintain his perfect start to the season to keep them in the game or win it. Pineiro is four for four with field goals, while also converting his sole point after attempt, and given that the Bears have managed only one touchdown so far it is certainly not unfeasible to think that his number could get called again a few times in Washington. He was successful from 40, 52 and 53 yards a week ago and it is well known that he has the leg strength to convert from 60, so should Trubisky & Co. at least get him near to his range then Pineiro’s number could be called a few times. Given how he performed in Denver, I would have faith in him to bang home at least three field goals for Chicago.

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Redskins to scalp Bears? Get NFL tips for Monday night

NFL Monday Night Football predictions for Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season.

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