Since the bye week, the Bears’ season has plummeted with losses to an Aaron Rodger-less Packers’ team, a blowout loss to the Eagles and a three-interception game by Mitch Trubisky to the Lions last Saturday. But a loss to the 0-14 Browns – on Christmas Eve – would absolutely be rock bottom for the franchise.
Imagine this …
It’s next summer and you (a Bears fan) and your buddy (an average NFL fan) get a burger and a beer at your local sports bar. As random topics are discussed, football gets brought up and after talking about Tom Brady winning his sixth Super Bowl ring and stating he is the greatest quarterback to ever play, you bring up the worst team in the league: the Browns.
Then your friend asks,
Did the Browns win a game last season?”
Yes, yes they did. They beat the Bears on Christmas Eve.”
For the Bears to finish with any ounce of pride in yet another disappointing season they must defeat Cleveland.
But here are two things that concern me.
1. The last time the Browns won will be exactly a year ago on Sunday, in Week 16, when the Chargers were defeated in FirstEnergy Stadium, 20-17.
2. According to Westgate Superbook, the Bears open up as 7-point favorites against the Browns. Since John Fox became head coach in 2015, he is 0-7 when favored.
Will the Browns receive an early Christmas gift? Will Fox go 0-8 in games he his favored?
Possibly, but this is the Browns we are talking about.
To put how bad the Browns have been into perspective, take a look at your hand, count the five fingers on it and just think over the last three years (at least 48 games) the Browns have four wins. You can see firsthand how difficult it has been for this win deprived team.
If the Bears want to prevent what would be a Christmas miracle from happening, the defense will need to create some turnovers. In the Bears’ four wins this season, the defense has caused at least two turnovers per game and has 10 of its 19 turnovers in those games.
It just so happens that the Browns lead the league in giveaways this season with 36 total turnovers. So, for a Bears’ team that is tied with the Browns for the second least interceptions with six, going against a team that has thrown the most interceptions (25), this could end up as a wash or the giving may be plentiful come Sunday. ?
But in all seriousness, the Bears should win this game. The Bears may be bad, but they are not quite Browns Bad™. Three of the Bears’ four wins have come against teams that are currently in playoff contention.
With a win, the Bears will have swept the AFC North – and more importantly – avoid being labeled as the only team that lost to the Browns.