I rarely give score predictions but I can always offer my thoughts on who I believe will win a game, and I think the large advantage in the point spread for the LA Rams is representative of the popular option that I also share.
That belief that the Rams will beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football.
Though I think that people are underrating the Bears defense and overrating the difference in value right now between Andy Dalton and Justin Fields, Chicago nevertheless lacks a proven NFL star at quarterback (the Bears quarterback who most closely resembles that remark might be Nick Foles) and LA moved heaven and Jared Goff to avoid having that issue in Week 1.
The quarterback advantage for the Rams is one reason I’m picking LA to win, but I have more confidence than it being a coin toss because of significant advantages that appear to exist between the receivers and cornerbacks on each respective side.
Though the Bears present a front-seven attack that is good enough to keep them in the conversation as a top-five defense this season under first-time defensive coordinator Sean Desai — Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, Akiem Nicks, Bilal Nichols, Robert Quinn, Alec Ogletree present unique challenges for opposing offenses, while nose tackle Eddie Goldman might sit this one out — Chicago has similar questions at cornerback to the three other teams in the NFC West who aren’t the Rams.
Trading two first round picks for Matthew Stafford was perhaps less risky than trading for Jalen Ramsey, despite their age differences, because we know that the reward of finding an elite quarterback far outweighs the possibilities of two first round picks. However, trading for Ramsey was also important because of nights like Sunday, when the Rams are one of the few teams that can present a cornerback who can shut down anybody.
Including Allen Robinson.
If Darious Williams and Ramsey team up to remove Robinson and Darnell Mooney — who still has a ways to go to prove himself in the league entirely — then where does Dalton turn to next? Chicago lacks many weapons of note beyond Robinson and Mooney, and the added obstacle of having to keep Donald and Leonard Floyd off of Dalton only makes it harder to believe that the Bears could partake in a shootout on Sunday.
With the Rams make their home debut in front of fans this weekend, I am comfortable picking them to win.
I go in more detail on a new episode of the Turf Show Times radio podcast: