Chicago Bears vs. Cleveland Browns Matchup Preview (9/26/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

Chicago Bears vs. Cleveland Browns Matchup Preview (9/26/21)

Plenty of teams came into the year with big questions. While the biggest headlines in the offseason revolved around the Aaron Rogers drama in Green Bay and the hiring of Urban Meyer in Jacksonville, there were plenty of other stories that might not have gotten as much attention. For example, the Chicago Bears are in an interesting spot with a coach and GM on the hot seat and a promising young QB in Justin Fields. The Cleveland Browns, meanwhile, are entering the second year of the Kevin Stefanski era, with heightened expectations for the long-suffering franchise. When the two teams play this Sunday, we’ll get a better feeling about what to expect.

Both teams are currently 1-1 and coming off their first wins. In Week 2, the Chicago Bears had a close win at home against Cincinnati. Starting QB Andy Dalton got hurt, meaning we got an extended look at Justin Fields.  The Cleveland Browns, meanwhile, just beat the Houston Texas 31-21. While the game was a bit closer than expected, it’s hard to complain about a win when you have Super Bowl aspirations. With the two teams facing off at FirstEnergy Stadium in Week 3, let’s take a deeper look at what to expect. 

Chicago Bears vs. Cleveland Browns Betting Odds

The Bears face a tough task against the Browns this weekend, with the likelihood of rookie QB starting against a playoff team. Luckily, Fields will face a defense that hasn’t been as great as advertised so far, allowing an average of 349.5 yards per game.

Plus, the Bears offense simply hasn’t been impressive so far. Outside of David Montgomery’s great performance against the Rams, nobody has shown much on an offense that mustered only 206 yards against the Bengals. If the Browns’ balanced offense starts strong and puts points on the board, how are Fields and company going to keep up? 

This has the potential to be a blowout, especially if Fields gets the start. Outside of Mac Jones, rookie QBs have been struggling so far this season. Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson have combined to throw 10 interceptions already. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns are a well-built team offensively and can be downright dangerous when their defense performs. Fields might be a star someday, but he’ll need more time to develop. Watch the QB struggle in a double-digit loss against these strong AFC North competitors. 

My predictions: Browns win 27-17, Browns -7.5, under 46.5 points

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TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, September 26
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium – Cleveland, Ohio (OH)
TV Coverage: Fox (FOX)

Chicago Bears vs. Cleveland Browns Live Stream

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Injuries

Chicago Bears: QB Andy Dalton (knee) Q, DL Eddie Goldman (knee) D, OL Larry Borom (ankle) O, OL Jason Peters (quad) Q, LB Robert Quinn (back) Q, WR Marquise Goodwin (quad) Q, LB Joey Iyiegbuniwe (shoulder) Q, WR Darnell Mooney (back) Q, WR Nsimba Webster (hamstring) Q
Cleveland Browns: WR Odell Beckham Jr. (knee) O, WR Jarvis Landry (knee) Q, QB Baker Mayfield (shoulder) Q, G Michael Dunn (back) Q, CB Troy Hill (hamstring/foot) Q, WR Anthony Schwartz (knee) Q, C JC Tretter (knee) Q, T Jedrick Wills Jr. (ankle) Q

Chicago Bears Analysis

As mentioned, the Bears have gone into this season with a bit of a QB controversy. While they signed veteran Andy Dalton in the offseason, they also drafted Justin Fields in the first round. Although the team’s been starting Andy Dalton, fans and even media have been clamoring for Fields to jump in from the beginning. After an injury to Dalton in the second quarter last week, the future might be now. Despite no official word, some aren’t expecting Dalton to start.

Fields is still a bit of a mystery. He only touched the ball three times in Week 1, scoring a rushing touchdown. He finished the game against the Bengals with 60 yards and an interception, completing 46% of his passes. The team might have to keep it easy on the young QB and feed the ball to RB David Robinson throughout the day. Montgomery compiled 1,508 yards from scrimmage last season and started this season strong with 108 yards and a touchdown with a 6.8-yard average. 

The Chicago Bears defense has become concerning. What was once a team strength is now in question. The team allowed the Rams to put together 386 total yards, including 312 through the air. Against the Bengals, the team started out strong, shutting them out completely in the first half. They also allowed two fourth-quarter touchdown drives that made the game much closer than it should have been. Facing a Cleveland Browns offense that’s averaging 406 yards and 30 points per game is not a welcome sight.

Chicago Bears Depth Chart

QB: Andy Dalton
RB1: David Montgomery
RB2: Damien Williams
WR1: Damiere Byrd
WR2: Allen Robinson II
WR3: Darnell Mooney
TE1: Cole Kmet

Cleveland Browns Analysis

So far, the Browns have lost a game they were expected to lose and won a game they were expected to win. The heartbreaking loss to the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium must have hurt, especially with the game essentially ending on an interception by QB Baker Mayfield. While they didn’t come back and completely blow out the Houston Texans, they came home with a W and did everything they needed to do. After airing it out for 321 yards in Week 1, Mayfield had a more relaxed day against the Texans, with 213 yards but an extremely impressive 90% completion percentage. Mayfield’s been very accurate this year, with an overall 81.6% completion percentage, the best in the league. 

In his fourth year with the Browns, RB Nick Chubb continues to show why he’s the star of this offense. In two games, Chubb has 178 yards and three TDs. The combination of Chubb and RB Kareem Hunt, who himself has added 84 yards and a touchdown this season, will win the Browns some games this season. After seeing what the Rams were capable of against the Bears in Week 1, this talented offense will be excited to put up some big time yards. 

The Browns had a few injury scares Sunday. QB Baker Mayfield experienced a shoulder injury but came right back to throw for a touchdown and run for another. Jarvis Landry, on the other hand, is week-to-week with a sprained MCL. With the possibility of both Landry and fellow starter Odell Beckham Jr. out, expect Mayfield to spread it out to the talented tight end trio of Austin Hooper, David Njoku, and Harrison Bryant.  Mayfield himself is questionable, although an MRI revealed no structural damage.

Cleveland Browns Depth Chart

QB: Baker Mayfield
RB1: Nick Chubb
RB2: Kareem Hunt
WR1: Donovan Peoples-Jones
WR2: Anthony Schwartz
WR3: Jarvis Landry
TE1: Austin Hooper

Chicago Bears vs. Cleveland Browns Daily Fantasy Picks

There might be some value with Nick Chubb here. The running back is averaging more fantasy points than Dalvin Cook, yet is $800 cheaper on DraftKings at $7,600. If the Browns do get ahead early on, expect Chubb to get plenty of action throughout the day while splitting the occasional carry with Kareem Hunt ($5,600). 

Despite the early struggles, you might want to consider the Browns D/ST as well. Although the squad has only averaged 3.0 fantasy points per game so far, they could definitely take advantage of rookie Justin Fields if he gets the start. At $3,200 on DraftKings, they’re $1,100 cheaper than the Denver Broncos, who are also facing a rookie QB.

Week 3 Matchup Previews
  • Patriots @ Falcons
  • Colts @ Bills
  • Ravens @ Bears
  • Lions @ Browns
  • Texans @ Titans
  • Vikings @ Packers
  • Dolphins @ Jets
  • Saints @ Eagles
  • Washington @ Panthers
  • 49ers @ Jaguars
  • Bengals @ Raiders
  • Cowboys @ Chiefs
  • Cardinals @ Seahawks
  • Steelers @ Chargers
  • Giants @ Buccaneers
Anthony Elio is a professional writer based in Denver, CO. While he’s written about everything from video games to couponing in the past, he’s set his sights on sports betting. He also plays drums in the Denver rock band Television Generation.

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