Bears-Lions: Chicago Must Keep the Lions Tame
After yet another fourth quarter comeback last week against the banged up Seattle Seahawks, the Bears look to much easier prey in the coming week.
The Detroit Lions are a team that over the past year or so has experienced what many NFL franchises only find in the darkest nightmares—a winless season.
Not only was 2008 a winless season in Detroit, but ranging from 2007 to their win last week against the Washington Redskins, they were 0-19.
It stands to reason then that the Bears should be licking their chops when thinking about this week's upcoming game at Soldier Field. After all, one win won't translate into any more than that...will it?
No, of course it won't.
I am sure there are more people around than just myself that think this could be a trap game.
The Lions just had their first taste of victory in almost two years, which will surely lead to a more inspired football team—perhaps even more inspired than we observed on Sunday against the Redskins since the Bears are their division rivals.
However, as much as fans might worry about the prospect of falling to the lowly Lions, there is no way that the Bears team that won the past two weeks will lose to such a team.
Now, that is not to say that a different, less enthused Bears team might show up and get beat, but it is to say that a team that can beat Pittsburgh and Seattle in comeback fashion—a team that plays for 60 minutes all out—will surely not fail.
Looking at the defense first, we see the two playmakers on the Lions' offense in Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith.
Smith is coming off a game wherein he rushed for over 100 yards, but failed to finish the contest due to a knee injury.
This should bode well for the Bears because it will allow them to dominate the line of scrimmage early and often, stuffing the run, and forcing a rookie quarterback in Matt Stafford to make rushed decisions.
Expect Ogunleye and Brown to have a sack or two before the game is over.
Johnson is a monster, plain and simple, and while he is not putting up quite the same numbers as he put up last year, he is a still a huge playmaker that will burn you on any given play.
Expect Lovie to stick Tillman on him all day and likely double team him at times with either Payne or Afalava.
This will leave it up to Zach Bowman to cover the other receiver who is making a name for himself—Bryant Johnson. He has eight receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown, so by no means do the Bears have to concern themselves with CJ alone.
I realize that the stats don't look that impressive when the season is almost a quarter over, but I am trying to find something that might give the Lions a chance...
The Lions come into this game with the No. 27 defense in the NFL. They have five sacks and two interceptions on the season and have received good play from ex-Steeler Larry Foote.
Fortunately for the Bears, the Lions rank 30th in pass defense. This stat alone should have Jay Cutler excited.
While their run defense is 16th in the league, this should not cause Lovie to diverge from his "run first" mentality. I will say, though, that the Bears had little success running last week against a Seahawks' defense that is ranked 25th in the league.
Overall, it should be another good day for Cutler as he slings the ball around, making fans forget about the misery of Grossman and Orton. I expect another three-TD day for him at least. I also expect the defense to have a good showing despite the potential loss of Hillenmeyer.
Final Verdict: Bears 33, Lions 10.
Last note: Look for a postgame article from me afterward breaking down what went on and how you, as Bears fans, should feel about the game.
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