National Football League
Preview
Carolina at Chicago
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, October 22, 2017
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois

Rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky has faced tough assignments in his first two starts for the Chicago Bears, and now the opposition gets even tougher. Trubisky and the Bears host the Carolina Panthers and their excellent defense on Sunday.



The Bears haven’t asked too much of Trubisky in his first two starts, as he has passed for only 241 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while primarily focusing on handing off to Jordan Howard. “As a quarterback, you want to be throwing the ball,” Trubisky told reporters. “But as a competitor and a leader of this team, you're going to do whatever it takes to win. If it's running the ball, if it's passing the ball, whatever it is, that's what we're going to do.” Leaning on the ground game might not be a viable option against the Panthers, who rank fifth in the NFL against the run and allow just 3.4 yards per carry. Carolina had a two-game winning streak snapped with a 28-23 loss to Philadelphia last week.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Panthers -3. O/U: 40.5



ABOUT THE PANTHERS (4-2): Carolina has been inconsistent on offense, as quarterback Cam Newton is the only player with a rushing touchdown – he has three – and the ground game has totaled only 108 yards over the last two games. Newton could be without one of his top receivers Sunday with Kelvin Benjamin listed as questionable with a knee injury. The Panthers’ defense has been stout but might be without leading tackler Luke Kuechly, who left last week’s game with a concussion.

ABOUT THE BEARS (2-4): Chicago’s defense has been solid, ranking sixth in total defense, but the team's 14 turnovers have led to too many easy points. The Bears forced a season-high three turnovers last week but still are 31st in the league in turnover margin at minus-8. Howard and rookie Tarik Cohen have proven to form an excellent backfield duo, but the passing game hasn’t shown much life regardless of who is under center.



EXTRA POINTS

1. Panthers DE Julius Peppers has registered 150 career sacks and needs one more to move past Chris Doleman for fourth place on the all-time list.

2. Bears TE Zach Miller and Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey each have caught a touchdown pass in consecutive games.

3. Howard has recorded 995 scrimmage yards and eight rushing touchdowns in his last eight home games.



PREDICTION: Panthers 20, Bears 13


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Carolina 4-2 L1 21.3 20.3 1-2 3-0 2-2 0-0 - - 2-2
Chicago 2-4 W1 17.5 24.7 1-2 1-2 1-4 0-0 - - 0-4
Last Meeting
Carolina Chicago
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/5/14 CHI 24 CAR 31 322 91 231 347 85 262
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Carolina C. Newton 54.3 255 2 1
Chicago J. Cutler 77.8 289 2 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Carolina D. Reaves 10 36 3.6 0
Chicago M. Forte 17 61 3.6 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Carolina G. Olsen 6 72 12.0 2
Chicago M. Forte 12 105 8.8 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Carolina G. Olsen 2
Chicago J. Cutler 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Carolina C. Newton 64.5 1476 9 8
Chicago M. Glennon 66.4 833 4 5
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Carolina J. Stewart 85 247 2.9 0
Chicago J. Howard 118 495 4.2 4
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Carolina K. Benjamin 26 371 14.3 1
Chicago K. Wright 20 236 11.8 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Carolina D. Funchess 3
Chicago J. Howard 4