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Good morning, frents!
What a mixed bag of a weekend. The Hawks fired Jeremy Colliton (and won their first game under interim coach Derek King), the Bulls dropped their second straight to a depleted Philly team and the Red Stars advanced to the NWSL semifinals with a win that ended Carli Lloyd's career on Sunday.
This week starts off with the Bears on primetime against the Steelers (peeks between fingers) and the 6-3 Bulls welcoming the Nets to the United Center tonight.
Reminder: Anyone who successfully refers a friend to Midway Minute before Friday will be entered into a drawing for a BreakingT t-shirt.
Bears (3-5) at Steelers (4-3)
⏰ : 7:20 📺 : ESPN, WGN
🎙️ : Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick
💰 : Bears +7, O/U 39
Last week: The Bears fell to the 49ers at home on Halloween. The Steelers took home a 15-10 road win over Cleveland.
All-time record: The Bears lead 19-7-1
Last meeting: A 19-yard touchdown run by Jordan Howard in overtime gave the Bears a 23-17 win on Sept. 24, 2017. The Bears have won three straight in the series.
Three Things to Know
The Monday following daylight savings time is always a bummer. The day feels longer at work and it's already pitch black when you're heading home. So what better way to cap the day than watching the Chicago Bears try to not embarrass themselves on national television? I can think of nothing better.
Here are three things you should watch for:
1. Reinforcements are likely on the way for the Bears
RB David Montgomery is expected to make his return to the lineup after missing the last few weeks with a knee injury. Montgomery was off to a fantastic start to the season before suffering a knee injury against the Detroit Lions in Week 4. He was near the top of the league in rushing with 309 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Montgomery has missed the last four weekends, but rookie Khalil Herbert has filled in nicely, totaling 344 rushing yards and three touchdowns. It'll be interesting to see how the carries break down, but the run game has been a plus for the Bears and they'll need to keep it going if they have any chance at upsetting the Steelers.
2. Ben Roethlisberger has trouble beating the Bears
Sure, the Bears and Steelers don't meet often since they play in different conferences. But Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hasn't defeated the Bears since his rookie year in 2005. Even then, running back Jerome Bettis led the way for a Steelers victory with over 100 yards and two touchdowns. Since then, Roethlisberger has defeated every team in the league except Chicago, going 0-3.
Big Ben's numbers against the Bears aren't impressive, either. He's thrown five touchdowns and three interceptions for a quarterback rating of 89 in four career games. But if Roethlisberger is going to snap the skid, he has a great chance in this one. The Steelers have won 19 home games on Monday night in a row, dating back to 1991. One of these streaks is going to end.
3. The Bears D likes scoring on Monday nights
If you're looking for the Bears to score in unconventional ways, you might be in luck for this game. Since 2017, the Chicago Bears have scored either a defensive or special teams touchdown in five consecutive games.
They all have come in pretty much every format too. In 2017, Pat O'Donnell threw a touchdown on a fake punt. In 2018, Prince Amukamara returned an interception to the house. In 2019, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix did the same thing. And in 2020, Eddie Jackson had a scoop and score off a fumble recovery in one game, while Cordarrelle Patterson took a kickoff back for a touchdown in another.
But if the Bears want to keep this streak alive, they'll have to do it without a few key players on defense. Khalil Mack was already ruled out for another week while he deals with a foot injury and Jackson likely won't go as well. He's listed as doubtful with a hamstring injury.
Still, the Bears find creative ways to get points on Monday nights and with how this week has gone in the NFL, nothing would surprise me.
Kevin Kaduk — Midway Minute (5-3)
Steelers 24, Bears 13
"Hoping for the moral victory of Fields looking good in his first prime-time game, but I'm worried about the defense."
Scott Koral — Midway Minute (6-2)
Steelers 27, Bears 10
"If you have Najee Harris in fantasy, this is your game."
Brendan Sugrue — Midway Minute (7-1)
Steelers 19, Bears 13
"It's nice to know the rest of the country has to suffer through the Bears' offensive ineptitude we know all too well."
David Brown — Midway Minute (4-4)
Steelers 28, Bears 24
"Did I see where Mike Tomlin's teams are 24-4 against rookie quarterbacks? Good thing Matt Nagy's not an idiot!"
Maggie Hendricks — Bally Sports (5-3)
Steelers 21, Bears 3
"Pittsburgh has the fifth-best defense in the league, and they’re averaging 2.7 sacks a game. I am concerned."
Alyssa Barbieri — Bears Wire (7-1)
Steelers 20, Bears 13
"The Steelers will be able to do enough on offense to send the Bears to their fourth straight loss. But at least the bye week is coming up."
Usayd Koshul — Fireside Bears (6-2)
Bears 19, Steelers 11
"The Bears offense sees a boost in confidence with Justin Fields building on his best game of the season."
Greg Braggs Jr. — Braggs in the Stands (6-2)
Steelers 28, Bears 20
"I'm having trouble picking Bears games now. Especially when they are playing someone that isn't very good. Because... well... the Bears aren't very good either. At least Fields is getting better, Wiederer!"
The Worst Celebrity Steelers Fan
This GIF will haunt your soul.
Guest beer recommendation
Punk Rock For Rich Kids
By Karl Klockars, Guys Drinking Beer
"The only Chicago/Pittsburgh connection I can think of when it comes to beer is Cinderlands Brewing, a PGH brewery started by a former brewer at Solemn Oath. That's a good enough reason for me to crack open one of my favorite SOB beers with one of the best names ever: Punk Rock for Rich Kids. Available at both of their Chicago and Naperville locations, this 5.5% ABV Belgian-style pale ale is an all-game-long drinker."
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