In Las Vegas, the Bears are listed as 10 point favorites at home against the Lions. Both are fresh off their best games of the season, but are the Bears really that much better than Detroit?
If we look at what the Bears have done this season, it's a whole bunch of interceptions with the purpose of allowing Jay Cutler to become the superstar the Bears thought they traded for. In the process of doing so, they have completely abandoned the run, one of the strengths of their team coming into the season.
Last season Matt Forte accounted for over 2,000 yards of offense and now they're treating him like a journeyman in favor of Cutler's style of play. Why? What has Cutler accomplished?
Has he ever led his team to the playoffs? NO!
Has he ever had a winning record in any season? NO!
Could he win one game in the final three to clinch a playoff birth in 2008? NO!
Has he thrown a lot of bad passes in critical junctures of games? Ahhh, yes, he has done that.
Has he lost to several less talented teams on his home field over his career? Definitely, yes!
It shouldn't come as a surprise from Lovie Smith though—who lived and died with the erratic game of Rex Grossman until the media finally ran Grossman out, not Lovie. For some reason, Lovie thinks that Chicago should have a passing game, something that hasn't been part of Chicago's frigid cold fall months since Sid Luckman in the 1940's.
Is it really the luck of the draw with getting quarterbacks, or could it be by some educated design that the run and defense have always been staples in Chicago.
Here's how I see the game going this week.
The Bears will come in a little over-confident and it'll bite them right away as the refreshed Lions play loose and free on offense, defense, and special teams.
A healthy Kevin Smith, with Maurice Morris, should keep the chains moving taking pressure off of Matt Stafford. And just when the Bears are geared to stop the run, Calvin Johnson gets free for a long deep touchdown.
Oh my, the Lions strike first...emphatically!
The Bears try to answer, and actually use Forte a little bit with some success, but have to settle for a field goal after near interceptions from Cutler on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd downs stalling a good drive and settling for a field goal.
Not quite the answer Lovie was looking for, but he'll take it—Lions 7-3.
On the ensuing kickoff, Aaron Brown goes almost untouched for a touchdown. The Bears are stunned and find themselves down 14-3 before they even know what happened. And now it's up to Cutler to try and make something happen, lookout!
Over his career at Denver and in early sequences with Chicago, Cutler doesn't respond well when behind. He tries to show off his arm, you know the arm he claimed in Denver that was stronger than Elway's. Even if it was, why say it in that city? He then tries to squeeze one in a tight spot with two Lions draped over him and what do you know, picked off, and to make it fun let's just say it goes for six.
The Bears try to respond through the air again, and connect on a 50 yard pass down the sideline to Johnny Knox, but then as time is winding down in the half, a series of three incompletions happens again for the anxious Cutler and the field goal unit comes out.
At halftime the Bears are booed off the field as the Lions have a nice 21-6 lead. They try and regroup, but too much pressure and weight is on the QB to make anything happen.
The Lions play ball control with Smith taking time off the clock until he breaks the Bears back by finally shaking a DB going the distance. Smith has been getting past the front seven on occasions, but has been stopped by the secondary. Last week against the Redskins he had several runs that he nearly broke in the first half. This time he goes the distance—Lions 28-6.
The Lions go into conservative mode and take more time off the clock. The Bears are able to get another field goal, but the pressure is mounting and the fans are lining out of the stadium with their final boo's for Cutler.
After the stadium is nearly empty, the Lions give up a late TD pass to Cutler yet miss the two-point conversion, but it's game-set-match anyway, Lions win 28-15 and are now tied with the Bears and soon to be Packers for second place.
Good Lucks Lions!