One to Watch this Weekend: Week 15

Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears

The buzz in the windy city has been all about rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky thus far this year, and for good reason.  Trubisky has stepped in and made a difference in the passing game, but he can thank Jordan Howard for creating space and churning up yards for a lot of that success.

The second year running back out of Indiana (yes, I said Indiana) is quietly fourth in the league in rushing yards (1032 yards), and is averaging a stout 4.4 yards per carry.  He’s coming off of a 147 yard, 2TD performance in a 33-7 drubbing of the Bengals, his second multi-touchdown game of the season.  He must have a thing for playing against AFC North teams, as he’s also chewed up the Steelers and Ravens for 140 and 167 yards respectively.

This Saturday, Howard will face a Lions defensive unit that allows 116.3 yards per game to opposing rushers.  They’ve also allowed 17 rushing touchdowns, that’s second most in the league this season.  The last time that the Bears faced Detroit, Howard tallied 125 yards in a game the Bears only lost by a field goal.  Howard is also a little bit overdue to break a big run off.  He’s had three runs of over fifty yards this season, but the last was in week eleven, against…Detroit.  He also averaged 8.3 yards per carry in that contest.  The Bears don’t figure into the wildcard race at 4-9, so I’m looking for them to play spoiler against a divisional rival Detroit team that has a slim chance to make the playoffs.  If the Bears get a lead, look for Howard to carry the ball early and often to keep Matthew Stafford on the sidelines and the Bears defense rested.

It’s a recipe for an upset that won’t surprise too many people if it happens.

Image source: twitter.com/ChicagoBears

Tom Capo

 

Tom Capo writes about sports, parenting, food, wine and travel; but seldom all at once. He’s currently working on his first novel and collection of shorter fiction. He lives in the Bay Area with all of his girls; wife Allison, daughter Liliana and dog Artemis.

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