The Denver Broncos had high hopes this season under Coach Sean Payton but are 0-3 straight up and against the spread while coming off a 50-point loss. The Chicago Bears had high hopes this season with an expected third-year jump from QB Justin Fields but are 0-3 SU and ATS and coming off a 31-point loss. The two massive disappointments met Sunday in Chicago and the Broncos are -3.5. If the Bears aren’t favored at home in this matchup, they might not be again all year.
Sunday is just the fifth game since the 1970 merger between teams both coming off 30-point losses and the first since 2011. Rather interestingly, the NFL’s two other winless SU teams, Minnesota and Carolina, also play Sunday. Only one team in NFL history has ever made the postseason after starting 0-4: 1992 Chargers. Denver had an over-under win total of 8.5 entering this season and Chicago 7.5 but now both are set at 5.5.
Since 2005, teams that are 0-3 ATS in Week 4 are 23-30 (43%) against the spread, including 7-22 (24%) ATS as underdogs. So that latter stat benefits Denver (and Minnesota). However, in that same span when two SU winless teams play the underdog has gone 71-37-4 (66%) ATS. So that benefits Chicago (and Carolina).
The #BroncosCountry and #DaBears are at the bottom of the NFL in points allowed with Denver having surrendered 122 following last week’s embarrassing 70 allowed in Miami, and Chicago having given up 106. It’s just the second all-time Week 4 game in NFL history between teams with 100+ pts allowed in Week 1-3 (1968 Philadelphia def Washington, 17-14). The Broncos’ 122 allowed are the second-most through three games since 1970 (2019 Dolphins).
Denver has lost six straight road games and Chicago eight in a row at home, the longest such streak in team history, and 13 consecutive overall.
Since the start of 2022, Fields leads the NFL with 15 losses and 68 sacks taken. Broncos counterpart Russell Wilson is second with 14 losses and with 65 sacks taken. Wilson is 0-3 for the first time in his career. Payton is looking to avoid the second 0-4 start of his career (2007).
The loser might be in the driver’s seat for Caleb Williams atop the 2024 draft.