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Choosing Sides

Choosing Sides: How many points will Bears score?


Prior to every Bears game this season, we ask a panel of experts one question to test their clairvoyant powers. The panel consists of writers Larry Mayer and Nathan Smith; former Bears players Alex Brown, Patrick Mannelly and Jim Miller; and one guest celebrity.

This week's question is: How many points will the Bears score against the Jaguars Sunday in Jacksonville? The Bears have generated at least 30 points in three straight games with 30, 36 and 33 for the first time since 2013.

Our guest celebrity this week is former Bears guard and longtime radio analyst Tom Thayer. A fourth-round draft pick, the Joliet native appeared in 123 games with 120 starts in eight seasons with the Bears from 1985-92, and was a key member of the Super Bowl XX championship team.

Larry Mayer,
Prediction: The Bears will score 34 points against the Jaguars.
Comment: Mitchell Trubisky, David Montgomery and the Bears offense will stay on a roll against a Jacksonville team that has lost 13 straight games since a season-opening win over the Colts. The Jaguars allowed at least 30 points in six consecutive games before their bye, then held their next five opponents to 27 points or less before permitting 31 and 40 points in their last two games.

Nathan Smith,
Prediction: The Bears will score 38 points against the Jaguars.
Comment: The offense can drive the ball and should have an easier time scoring touchdowns in the red zone in a game that's likely to get out of hand early.

Alex Brown, former Bears defensive end
Prediction: The Bears will score 28 points against the Jaguars.
Comment: The Bears are in a groove now on offense and I believe they've found a formula to win, allowing Montgomery and the O-line to lead the charge rushing and getting Mitch out of the pocket using his athletic ability. Looking forward to another good outing offensively heading into a finale with the Packers.

Patrick Mannelly, former Bears long-snapper
Prediction: The Bears will score 30 points against the Jaguars.
Comment: The Bears are averaging 31 points in their last four games. The Jaguars are really struggling this season, and I love what I am seeing from this Bears offense.

Jim Miller, former Bears quarterback
Prediction: The Bears will score 31 points against the Jaguars.
Comment: The Bears just need to follow the blueprint of the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens, who rang up 31 and 40 points against the Jaguars the past two weeks, respectively: Run the ball against the Jaguars' 30th-ranked run defense.

Guest celebrity: Tom Thayer
Prediction: The Bears will score 34 points against the Jaguars.
Comment: As long as the main offensive emphasis stays on the running game, that allows them to have an effective two-dimensional attack—and that attack helps the Bears defense be more aggressive.

Recap of last week: Mitchell Trubisky passed for 202 yards in last Sunday's 33-27 win over the Vikings in Minnesota. Fittingly, former Bears quarterback Jim Miller came the closest with a prediction of 230 yards. 

Your turn: We want to know what you think, so please register your vote below:

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