Chicago Bears (1-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-1)
Kickoff: Noon, FirstEnergy Stadium
The Line: Browns by 7 1/2 (Over/Under 44 1/2 ); SI Betting Info and trends on game.
BearDigest Pick: Browns 27, Bears 13
BearDigest Record to date: 2-0 (2-0 vs. spread)
TV: Fox (Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Pam Oliver)
TV Streaming: Fox on fuboTV, free trial.
Radio: WBBM-AM 780, FM-105.9 (Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Mark Grote)
Spanish Radio: TUDN AM-1200, Latino Mix FM-93.5 (Omar Ramos, Miguel Esparza)
The Series: This is the 17th matchup. Cleveland leads the series 9-7. The Bears have won three straight in the series in 2009, 2013 and 2017.
The Coaches: Bears coach Matt Nagy is 29-21 in his fourth season and has an 0-2 record in the postseason.
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski is 12-6 in his second season and is 1-1 in the postseason.
The coaches have not faced each other.
Last Week: The Bears defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 20-17 as the defense had four takeaways, including a 53-yard interception return for a TD by linebacker Roquan Smith. Justin Fields replaced Andy Dalton due to a knee injury and finished the win by going 6 of 13 for 60 yards with an interception.
The Browns scored their first win, 31-21 over Houston, after losing their opener to Kansas City. Baker Mayfield went 19 of 21 for 213 yards with a TD and an interception against Houston, while the Browns ran for 156 yards, including 95 from Nick Chubb.
Injuries: The Bears are without Dalton (knee), safety Tashaun Gipson (hamstring) and nose tackle Eddie Goldman (knee).
The Browns are without linebacker Sione Takitaki (hamstring) and lineman Chris Hubbard (triceps).
What to Watch: Fields returns to the state where he was a college star and makes his first pro start for injured Dalton, blending in a strong arm with 4.4-second speed in the 40-yard dash. He'll be trying to activate a Bears offense that has produced only three touchdowns in the first two games.
Cleveland's defense badly needs a strong effort after giving up 21 points to a rebuilding Houston team and 33 in the loss to Kansas City. Defensive end Myles Garrett is looking for his second sack while Jadeveon Clowney is looking for his first sack with the Browns.
Matching Up: The Bears are 30th on offense, eighth in rushing and 31st passing. They are eighth on defense, fifth against the run and 14th against the pass.
The Browns are eighth on offense, third in rushing and 13th passing. They rank 14th on defense, ninth against the run and 23rd against the pass.
Notable: The Bears have won nine straight games against opponents from the AFC North, dating back to 2009. They won their lsat game in FirstEnergy Field in 2017, 38-31. ... Nagy's teams have a record of 10-3 in September and are 14-11 on the road overall. ... WR Allen Robinson has made at least one catch in all 90 of his career games. His active streak trails only DeAndre Hopkins (128). ... CB Jaylon Johnson had his first career interception last week and his five pass defenses lead the NFL. ... The Bears are 19-7 in games when Khalil Mack records at least half a sack. ... Kicker Cairo Santos has a team-record field goal streak of 29 straight.
The Browns are trying to start 2-0 at home for the second straight year, something they haven't done since 1979-80. ... Mayfield's 81.6% completions is the highest by any passer in NFL history through the first two games of the season. ... Former Northwestern standout Greg Newsome starts for Cleveland at cornerback and has four total tackles. ... Chubb is sixth in rushing with 178 yards and Bears back David Montgomery is seventh with 169.
Key Individual Matchups
Bears OLB Robert Quinn vs. Browns LT Jedrick Wills
Quinn has looked drastically better than in his first Bears season, perhaps a tribute to new defensive coordinator Sean Desai's ingenuity as he moved Khalil Mack over to the same side as Quinn on some downs to create a real dilemma for blockers. Or it could be new outside linebackers coach Bill Shuey, or most likely simply Quinn with better health and a determination to make up for last year's two-sack season. The stat keepers took away a sack from him Sunday when he ran Joe Burrow out of bounds for no gain, a play that normally goes for a sack. He was flagged for hitting Burrow out of bounds after the play, a questionable call but one which should not have eliminated his sack. The league has since admitted its mistake and given it to him. That gave him half a sack over last year's total with 2 1/2 on the year. Wills is the former Alabama left tackle who has been average, but the weakest point on a strong Browns line. Last year Wills graded out at 57th of 79 tackles Pro Football Focus graded, although the 6-foot-5, 320-pounder has been more solid in his second season.
Bears WR Allen Robinson vs. Browns CB Greg Newsome
It's no indictment of the former Northwestern standout, a first-round draft pick of the Browns, but he's overmatched in only his third game going against Robinson. Newsome has the talent necessary to become one of the league's better cornerbacks. He's only been targeted six times in two games, so either he's doing something right or they haven't gotten around to trying to take advantage of his inexperience. The other Browns cornerback, Denzel Ward, has the worst passer rating against of his career at 99.5 but has been far better than this in the past. Newsome, the former Glenbard North star in the Chicago suburbs, is also going against Robinson at a bad time. He is off to a slow start with only eight catches and last week dropped a touchdown bomb from Justin Fields that would have ended the game. Newsome is 6-foot with a tremendous 40-inch vertical leap but Robinson is 2 inches taller with a 39 1/2-inch vertical and hasn't been used on the back-shoulder or jump ball yet. This would be something for the Bears to explore against a rookie.
Bears WR Marquise Goodwin vs. Browns CB Troy Hill
The Cleveland slot cornerback formerly played for the Rams and has given up one TD in the first two games. He hasn't been tested entirely as opponents have found plenty to like throughout the porous Browns secondary. It was understandable when Kansas City let up Cleveland but Houston did it with two different quarterbacks, journeyman Tyrod Taylor and rookie Davis Mills. Goodwin has five catches and the Bears haven't gotten him the ball downfield yet. They need to take advantage of his great speed. He did draw a pass interference call last week but whether it's testing Hill or challenging Browns safeties deep, Justin Fields could be expected to aim for his fastest receiver this week.
Bears CB Kindle Vildor vs. Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckam hasn't played yet as he recovered from last November's torn ACL but had practiced last week on a limited basis and is expected back for this game. The question is whether he'll still have the same explosive 4.38-second 40 speed he once had, and athletic ability coming off the ACL tear. Vildor has struggled in coverage even worse than last year, when he was a rookie. He has given up seven completions in nine targets, including two touchdowns. The passer rating against him is 157.6, nearly perfect for opposing quarterbacks. Vildor is a fairly sound tackler, and last week seemed to improve his ability to stay close with receivers.
Bears DE Bilal Nichols vs. Browns LG Joel Bitonio
Nichols stepped up his play last week over Week 1 with four tackles and a sack as he gets healthier after a toe injury in preseason. He will be coming off the field more in this one and will be replaced in passing situations by Mario Edwards Jr., a strong pass rusher as a three-technique tackle. Neither one will have an edge on Browns left guard Joel Bitonio, who is rated the best pass-blocking guard in the league at the moment by Pro Football Focus with a 90.1 grade. He the third-best overall grade at 82.6. The Browns' offense is perfectly balanced with the running of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb as a counter to Mayfield's passing. Their running works largely because of their effective run blociing from Bitonio, a 6-4, 320-pounder who hasn't missed a game since 2016.
Bears LT Jason Peters vs. Browns DE Myles Garrett
One of the top pass rushers in the league, Garrett had a sack in Week 1 but was held without one last week. When you consider the Browns now have Jadeveon Clowney on the other edge, they're more likely than ever to flip their defensive ends at times and this is what they'll do in order to gain matchup edges. Either way, you've got a pair of defensive edges in their prime, excellent pass rushers and they're attacking the weakest spots on the Bears offensive line, the tackles. Peters has held up well for a 39-year-old, but in two games he has suffered a dislocated finger and a quad injury. The other problem the Bears have here is who they're protecting. Normally with quarterback Justin Fields taking snaps they would want to attack the edges, go with bootleg action and play the offense much like they did with Mitchell Trubisky last year. However, this could be playing right into the Browns' hands because on both sides they have fast, strong rushers who have seen plenty of bootlegs and zone-read runs. Also, Fields is a passer who tries to escape the pocket to make a play by going outside rather than stepping up. This avenue won't be open much of the time.