Seven days after a crushing, Thanksgiving Day 26-15 loss to the Buffalo Bills — a loss that reportedly left their locker room in turmoil — the Dallas Cowboys face a must-win game on Thursday Night Football. But their opponents, the Chicago Bears, are even more desperate despite coming into the game with a 6-6 record, identical to the Cowboys' mark.
The two teams enter the Thursday showdown on seemingly opposite trajectories, however. The Bears have won two straight, and three of their last four. But the last four games for Dallas have been the mirror image of Chicago's record. The Cowboys have lost their last two, and three of four games. Yet somehow, Dallas is still clinging to the top spot in the NFC East, largely because the entire division has proven mediocre at best in the 2019 season.
The second-place Philadelphia Eagles blew an opportunity to take over the first place when they faced Chicago on Sunday — but turned in an uninspired outing, and left with a 22-14 loss.
Even though momentum would appear to lean in the Bears' direction, a Chicago Sun-Times survey of five NFL experts found that only one was willing to predict a victory for the home team.
That was Sun-Times Bears beat writer Patrick Finley, who noted that Chicago has defeated only one team this season with more wins than losses. But the Cowboys have no victories at all against teams that currently boast winning records.
Watch a preview of the Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears Thursday Night Football game in the video below.Las Vegas oddsmakers also see Dallas as slight, 2-and-a-half-point favorites on the road, according to USA Today. The Cowboys have gone 4-2 against the spread in their last six games, and according to the USA Today prognosticators, they should be able to pull out the victory on Thursday by at least the margin of a single field goal.
Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, the team's first-round draft pick (second overall) in the 2017 NFL draft, posted his two best games of the season in the Bears last four outings, according to Pro Football Reference. Last week against the Eagles, Trubisky completed 76 percent of his passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns.
In Week 10, in a 20-13 win over the Detroit Lions, the former North Carolina star tossed for just 173 yards, but still found the end zone three times, for a season-high passer rating of 131.
But the Bears need a win on Thursday to stay just two games off the Wild Card playoff qualifying pace set by the Minnesota Vikings, with three games remaining on the schedule.
The Thursday Night Football game kicks off at 7:20 p.m. CST on December 5. The game will be televised by Fox Network, with a live online stream available via Amazon Prime, for subscribers to that service.