Bears vs. Commanders: Time, how to watch, live stream, choose as Carson Wentz battles Justin Fields on 'TNF'

Bears vs. Commanders: Time, how to watch, live stream, choose as Carson Wentz battles Justin Fields on ‘TNF’

Welcome to another week of Thursday Night Football, where tonight we’ll be treated to a clash between the Chicago Bears and the Washington Commanders football team. Chicago got off to a surprising 2-1 start but lost straight games, while Washington lost four in a row after a season-opening win over the Jaguars.

Let’s quickly break down the match. But first, here’s how you can watch:

How to watch

Appointment: Thursday Oct 13 | Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: Soldier Field (Chicago)
Stream: Amazon Prime Video
follow: CBS Sports app
Odds: PICK, U/U 38 (courtesy Caesars Sportsbook)

When commanders have the ball

Carson Wentz enters this contest with serious bench danger in the game if he continues to play as he has recently. He started the season with strong back-to-back performances against the Jaguars and Lions (57 of 87 for 650 yards, seven touchdowns, three interceptions, six sacks, a fumble), but fell back hugely against the Eagles, Cowboys and Titans . (75 of 123 for 740 yards, three touchdowns, three picks, 14 sacks, five fumbles).

Ron Rivera threw Wentz under the bus earlier this week, and if he doesn’t make it against the Bears, Washington could turn to Taylor Heinicke or rookie Sam Howell. The team even has an incentive to shut Wentz down if he doesn’t seem like the answer, because if he plays 70% of the snaps, the third-round pick Washington owes the Colts becomes a second-round pick. The bet here is that a change will eventually, if not necessarily, be made tonight.

Washington’s injury issues among the pass-catching corps and offensive line aren’t helping matters. Sam Cosmi, Jahan Dotson and Logan Thomas will miss this game with injuries, and Dyami Brown is questionable. The Bears will recover Jaylon Johnson from his own injury, giving them a big physical corner to take on Terry McLaurin on the perimeter. If Washington can get him or Curtis Samuel to face off with rookie slot player Kyler Gordon, that would present a much more favorable matchup. The last time the Bears appeared on prime time television, Gordon was fired up by the Packers. It hasn’t improved much for him since. According to Pro Football Focus, while in slot coverage, Gordon allowed opponents to catch 23 of 24 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns. That’s a passer rating of 142.4.

Wentz is likely to take a sack or three, and Washington’s offensive line isn’t much of a jerk. Trevis Gipson (14 pressures) and Robert Quinn (10) have been the top pass threats for Chicago this season, and rookie Dominique Robinson has also flashed at times.

The Commies began phasing Antonio Gibson out of the backfield game plan after Brian Robinson returned last week. It could still be a committee three between these two and JD McKissic for a few weeks as Robinson regains his full strength, but time seems almost up for Gibson, who was comically misused during his time at Washington. . (He was a hybrid receiver/running back in Memphis and was used as an early crusher who hardly ever plays in passing situations.) Maybe Robinson can get the running game going again and help Wentz get back on track. the right track with more game-matching actions.

When the Bears have the ball

The Bears have actually looked like an NFL passing offense for the past two weeks after going to absurd lengths not to throw football early. Justin Fields only attempted 28 passes in Weeks 1 and 2, and even though one of those games was played in monsoon conditions, it’s still ridiculous. In Week 3, he was 8 of 17 for 106 yards and two interceptions against the Texans.

Chicago has finally started tossing the ball a little more often in its last two games, and Fields has come one step closer to rediscovering his chemistry with Darnell Mooney. It’s still not a high-volume passing attack (he threw 43 passes in the last two games combined; Patrick Mahomes threw that many passes against the Raiders on Monday night), but he’s showing signs of life — or at least an impulse.

Fields remains a top threat with his legs, and he has at least eight run attempts in every game this season. If Washington’s passing rush wins the battle up front, he’ll have to put in some work to create outside of the structure. Chicago’s offensive line has held up better than expected so far this season, but it’s still not a great unit, especially in the middle, where Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne can cause them problems.

Washington is much more vulnerable in the air (29th in the Football Outsiders DVOA) than on the field (sixth), so it will be interesting to see how much the Bears are willing to tip the scales from their offense to the game of passes. They preferred to rely on Fields, David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert to move the ball, but the likelihood of success in that department seems lower here than in some previous games.

Featured game | Chicago Bears vs. Washington Commanders

Prediction: Bears 17, Commanders 16

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