Steelers Open As 7.5-Point Road Favorites Over Bears In Week 3

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now 2-0 following their 26-9 Sunday home win over the Minnesota Vikings and next up for them is a road game against the Chicago Bears, who enter Week 3 with an 0-2 record. Even though the Steelers don’t have a great history when it comes to playing the Bears in Chicago, they open the week as 7.5-point road favorites just the same, according to Vegas Insider.

The Bears first two games of the 2017 regular season resulted in them losing 23-17 to the Atlanta Falcons at home in Week 1 and then getting drubbed 29-7 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road Sunday.

In their Sunday loss to the Buccaneers, Bears quarterback Mike Glennon, who signed a three year, $45 million free agent contract with Chicago this past March, completed 31 of his 45 pass attempts in the game for 301 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Bears also only managed 20 yards rushing on 16 carries against the Buccaneers defense. In addition to Glennon’s two interceptions, the quarterback also fumbled once during his lone sack.

While Glennon’s career in Chicago certainly isn’t off to a great start, he’s had better games and one them came against the Steelers a few years ago. In Week 4 of the 2014 NFL season, Glennon started in place of an injured Josh McNown against the Steelers at Heinz Field and while he only completed 21 of his 42 pass attempts in that game, he threw for 302 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

That game also included Glennon engineering a five play, 46-yard game-winning touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter that culminated with him throwing a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Vincent Jackson with seven seconds left in the game. The Buccaneers won that game 27-24 even though the Steelers were favored by 7.5-points. The Buccaneers entered that game against the Steelers with an 0-3 record and after beating Pittsburgh, they went on to win just one more game the rest of the season.

As previously mentioned, the Steelers past trips to Chicago have mostly resulted in losses. In fact, the Pittsburgh franchise is 1-11 against the Bears in Chicago dating back to 1936. The Steelers lone win in the Windy City came way back in 1995 when they beat the Bears 37-34 in overtime. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has also not yet beaten the Bears as his teams are 0-2 in the two games played against Chicago since he was hired in 2007. Additionally, the Steelers have had their fair share of losses to teams with losing records since Tomlin took over as head coach.

Pardon the pun, but the Bears are a very wounded animal right now and Glennon is likely playing right now as if every game is his last as a starter being as his backup is Mitchell Trubisky, who Chicago selected second overall in this year’s draft. Bears head coach John Fox said Sunday after his team’s loss that Glennon is still the team’s starter moving forward into Week 3.

“I think after two games it’s really hard to evaluate somebody. …” Fox said. “But the truth of the matter is that right now, that’s the case. We’re playing arguably one of the better teams we’re going to play this year at home. We’re going to do everything in our power to look a little bit like we did in Week 1 than in Week 2. It gives us a chance.”

As far as the health of the Bears goes entering Week 3, they reportedly lost linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski in the first half of their game against the Buccaneers to a pectoral injury. Starting left guard Tom Compton also left that game for good in the second quarter with a hip problem and starting right guard Josh Sitton didn’t finish the game due to a rib injury.

It will be interesting see if the Bears will also be able to get wide receiver Markus Wheaton back on the field Sunday against the Steelers. Wheaton, who was originally drafted by the Steelers, signed a free agent contract with the Bears this past offseason. Wheaton has been sidelined since undergoing surgery to repair a broken left pinky that he suffered during an August practice. That injury happened just after he had returned from an appendectomy that kept him sidelined for nearly two full weeks.