Pro Picks takes Commanders to rally around Wentz, beat Bears
Carson Wentz takes enough hits on and off the field that short rest is just another obstacle.
Fresh off his coach running him over figuratively, Wentz leads the Washington Commanders (1-4) against the Chicago Bears (2-3) on Thursday night with each team trying to snap a losing streak.
Commanders coach Ron Rivera caused quite a stir this week when he blamed the team’s four-game skid and last-place standing in the NFC East on his quarterback. Rivera later explained his response was misconstrued but the damage was done.
For Wentz, it’s just another shot. He’s been taking plenty of them since his days in Philadelphia when nothing seemed to go right after he helped the Eagles start 13-3 in 2017, tore two knee ligaments and watched backup Nick Foles become a Super Bowl MVP.
“I learned very early on you gotta just find a way to get out there Thursday,” Wentz said. “Your recovery is definitely expedited. ... It’s very tough, very challenging, but it’s also prime time and guys get fired up to go play and hopefully put on a put on a good performance.”
The Bears have lost two in a row after a 2-1 start. Second-year quarterback Justin Fields is the league’s third-lowest rated passer and has only 17.6 attempts per game.
Chicago is a 1-point favorite, according to FanDuel. In a week with seven road favorites, Pro Picks likes the slight underdog Commanders to rally around Wentz.
UPSET SPECIAL: COMMANDERS 23-19
New York Jets (plus 7) at Green Bay
The Jets (3-2) are improved but Aaron Rodgers and the Packers (3-2) can’t lose to New York teams two straight weeks.
BEST BET: PACKERS 30-17
Tampa Bay (minus 8 1/2) at Pittsburgh
The Steelers (1-4) were embarrassed in Kenny Pickett’s first career start. The Buccaneers (3-2) still haven’t played up to their lofty standard after barely holding on to beat the Falcons.
Jacksonville (plus 2 1/2) at Indianapolis
Matt Ryan and the Colts (2-2-1) seek to get even for a 24-0 shutout in Week 2. The Jaguars (2-3) have stumbled lately.
Cincinnati (minus 1 1/2) at New Orleans
The defending AFC champion Bengals (2-3) try to even their record after another late loss. The Saints (2-3) look to do the same. Joe Burrow is the difference-maker in this one.
New England (plus 3) at Cleveland
The Browns (2-3) gave up 238 yards rushing to the NFL’s worst rushing team. Facing that kind of run defense, the Patriots (2-3) don’t need Mac Jones.
Minnesota (minus 3) at Miami
The Vikings (4-1) facing the Dolphins (3-2) and third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson seems like a mismatch.
Baltimore (minus 5) at New York Giants
After knocking off the Packers in London, the Giants (4-1) get no respect from oddsmakers. The Ravens (3-2) should be undefeated if they could hold big leads.
San Francisco (minus 5 1/2) at Atlanta
Jimmy Garoppolo is the DJ Khaled of the NFL. All he does is win.
Carolina (plus 10 1/2) at Los Angeles Rams
Welcome back to head coaching duties, Steve Wilks.
Arizona (minus 2 1/2) at Seattle
Kyler Murray and the Cardinals (2-3) are far better on the road than at home under coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Buffalo (minus 2 1/2) at Kansas City
A potential preview of the AFC title game that could determine who hosts the game in January. Bills (4-1) look to get even for their playoff loss in Kansas City last season. The Chiefs (4-1) have a short week after a Monday night win.
Dallas (plus 5) at Philadelphia
The Eagles (5-0) face their toughest test as they aim to remain the only unbeaten team in the NFL.
Denver (plus 5 1/2) at Los Angeles Chargers
Russell Wilson hasn’t given the Broncos (2-3) and their fans what they expected. Justin Herbert and the Chargers (3-2) are back on track.
Last Week: Straight up: 11-5. Against spread: 6-9-1.
Season: Straight up: 49-31. Against spread: 40-39-1.
Best Bet: Straight up: 1-0. Against spread: 1-0.
Season: Straight up: 4-1. Against spread: 4-1.
Upset Special: Straight up: 0-1. Against spread: 1-0.
Season: Straight up: 2-3. Against spread: 3-2
Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter at https://twitter.com/robmaaddi
More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL