Bears 27, Panthers 23. No one expected a close game when the teams met a year ago, and this looks like it could be a blowout. But the Panthers have too much talent on offense not to take off at some point.
Matt Bowen (6-0)
Bears 26, Panthers 17: Cam Newton still has the ability to produce in the Panthers' spread offense, but Carolina doesn't have enough here to limit Matt Forte and Michael Bush as the Bears grind out a second-half victory.
Bears 35, Panthers 10: Provided Steve Smith doesn't go nuts, the Panthers have no chance. This isn't the confident team that put up 543 yards at Soldier Field last season. And the Bears defense is playing much better than a year ago.
Dan McNeil (5-1)
Bears 33, Panthers 9: There's no case for the Panthers. Not even in this wacky NFL. The 28th-ranked scoring offense vs. the Bears' No. 1 scoring defense? And the Panthers' best defensive player and maybe they're only leader is 21-year-old Luke Kuechly.
Bears 27, Panthers 17: It's time for the tight ends to get more involved, particularly with the possibility of Jay Cutler being limited. Matt Forte and Michael Bush also figure to play a major role in the running and short-passing games.
Mike Mulligan (5-1)
Bears 26, Panthers 20: Doesn't it seem like these teams play each other far too often? It's getting a bit awkward, really, and not just for Ron Rivera and Lovie Smith. What does Jay Cutler say to Greg Olsen? Julius Peppers must be bored by it all.
Dan Pompei (5-1)
Bears 30, Panthers 20: The Bears are superior to the Panthers in many ways. There are two X factors, however. The first is the potential for spectacular and unpredictable playmaking from Cam Newton. The second is the possibility of a Bears letdown because of a short week.
Bears 37, Panthers 0: The Panthers fired their general manager, their quarterback is cranky, their offensive line mix-and-match, and they have some big injuries on defense. The game plan is euthanasia.
It's in my nature to always worry about "trap" games. Whenever playing against a team who we're expected to "blow out"...I get very nervous. They say every game is important but COM'ON MAN!!! (Chris Carter voice). It's only human to not work as hard or prepare as much for a 1-5 team vs. a 6-0 team. You want to be the ones who defeated the undefeated, knocked them down back to earth. Nobody gives a crap when you win against a team your supposed to beat. I just hope we don't under-estimate the Panthers too much.
All I want is to see this 30 point per game offense we're supposed to have and we're falling far short of that so far. About 10 points short by my estimates.
If we can't run the ball down the Panthers throats and role up 30 points then somebody needs to sit down with Tice and examine how he's going about it. Forte usually kills these guys and now we have Bush and Forte to carry the load. They could both have 100 yard games if we run right at them.
Just control the ball most of the game and stop the Panthers from killing us on the ground and force Newton to throw. He's handing out picks like my bank hands out Dum Dums. This is one game where the offense and the defense should both be at the top of their games by now.
I'm getting to that age where a lifetime warranty just doesn't mean as much to me anymore as an afternoon nap.
Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit.