Rams vs. Chicago Bears: Who has the edge?

Rams vs. Chicago Bears: Who has the edge?

RAMS (4-2) vs. BEARS (5-1)

When: Monday, 5:15 p.m.

Where: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood

TV/radio: ESPN 710-AM, 1330-AM (Spanish)

Line: Rams by 6

What’s at stake? The Rams seek the validation that would come with a first victory over a team with a winning record. They’ve been proud of their intensity in practice since a sloppy performance against the 49ers, and now must show it in a game. It’s not too early to look at playoff implications: They began the week tied with Arizona for one of the last two NFC berths.

Who’s better? Honestly, hard to tell. The Rams have been winning against one of the weakest schedules in the league so far, and the Bears have been winning despite having the league’s 28th-ranked offense. Rams coach Sean McVay (.685) and the Bears’ Matt Nagy (.658) are first and third in win percentage among coaches with two or more NFL seasons; Bill Belichick (.679) is second.

Rams win if: If their high-ranked pass defense forces Bears quarterback Nick Foles into mistakes. If their ground game keeps Jared Goff out of third and long against Chicago’s tough pass defense. If Samuel Sloman, still kicking at least until Kai Forbath gets on board, denies runback opportunities to Cordarrelle Patterson.

Matchup to watch: Rob Havenstein vs. Khalil Mack. Last year, with right tackle Havenstein hurt, fill-in Bobby Evans and blocking tight end Johnny Mundt held the Bears’ star edge rusher without a tackle in a Rams win. Havenstein is healthy and the challenge is his again.

Fantasy sleeper: Even as good as the Bears’ pass defense is, some tight ends have fared well against them this season, and Gerald Everett could continue his 2020 resurgence for the Rams with Tyler Higbee (hand injury) listed as questionable.

Prediction: Rams 20, Bears 16. Las Vegas sees it as Rams 26-20. McVay’s teams have done well (7-3 straight up and against the point spread) in games following upset losses. But the Bears should keep it close with the best defense the Rams have run into this season.