Thursday Night Football kicks off tonight at 8:15 p.m. ET as the Chicago Bears host the Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field. Da Bears are 3.5-point favorites, according to our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook, and the total is set at 38 points.
biggest smallest thing I’ll be watching for tonight is Bryce Young.
Carolina selected the former Bama star first overall despite his generously listed 5’ 10”, 200-pound frame. Young became the first Crimson Tide quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy back in 2021, but his height-weight combo is near-unprecedented at the pro level. It’s one thing to be a short passer; the real concern is that Young doesn't carry the same density as comparable NFL players like Russell Wilson or Kyler Murray.
The Panthers won their first game of the season in Week 8 as Young completed 71% of his passes for a season-high 7.6 yards per attempt. The following Sunday, though, he averaged just 4.4 yards per attempt and threw three interceptions -- including two pick-sixes.
Tonight, Young will face a Chicago defense that’s generated the lowest sack rate (2.9%) and allowed the highest passing touchdown rate (6.1%) of any team this season. If there’s ever a time for the recent No. 1 overall pick to play like it, it’s on national television against the 2-7 Bears.
Here are our staff’s picks for tonight’s game.
This is now an open thread for the game. Let us know your TNF thoughts in the comments below!