Serious playoff implications lie on this game—not to mention that Detroit & Chicago are division rivals who simply don't like each other—so Detroit needs some serious performances out of guys who looked a little sluggish last week. Let's take a look at the quartet of Lions who must play well in both halves.
Stafford had a shaky start in Jerry World this past Sunday.
Yes, the guy who has a bonafide man crush on Stafford is saying he must perform better against the Bears than he did last week at Dallas. Here's the thing, though: I know he will, because he's perfect and dreamy.
But seriously, Stafford must play better against Chicago Monday night, and in all likelihood he will. Sunday at Cowboys Stadium was a homecoming for the Lions' No. 9. In many ways, he was probably more nervous about playing in front of so many friends and family, than he is about playing in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football.
Stafford, with grand moxie, was intigul in helping Detroit dig themselves out of a 27-3 hole Sunday, completing 21 of 43 passes for 240 yards, while notching two touchdowns and one interception fro a comeback 34-30 win. Those are far from terrible numbers, it's just that Stafford is capable of so much more. As he goes the Lions go, and Detroit will need him to be on his game against the Bears.
Best can make explosive, game-deciding plays.
I know that several of you think the Lions' running games woes are more the offensive line's fault than they are Jahvid Best's.
47 yards on 11 carries isn't exceptional, but that's not my biggest gripe about Best versus the Cowboys. It was his lack of playmaking, period, that disheartened me.
Best's big play of the day was a 19-yard scamper on the Lions first offensive play of the game. After that? He was relatively silent. Unless you count three dropped passes. The kind of drops that allowed the slightly obese man, with alligator arms to the right of me to mumble "even I could catch that." Somehow, I doubt it.
If Best is to restore (some) Lions fans faith in him, he needs to be explosive on Monday night.
Houston has three interceptions in four games.
Was Chris Houston's 56-yard interception return an enormous momentum shift at Dallas? Undoubtedly. Had Houston looked like Tom Hanks lost on an island in "Cast Away" destined for doom prior to that? Also, yes.
Houston did a great job jumping the route that led to the pick six. However, he had a very, very porous performance the first half of the game. Houston needs a full four quarter performance in order for Detroit to defeat Chicago.
Jay Cutler is not a top tier quarterback in my opinion, but he is immensely talented. Look for Chicago to suck Detroit in on play actions to Matt Forte, and take some shots on the Lions secondary. Hopefully, Houston is up to the challenge.
Williams, generally doesn't receive the national recognition he deserves.
Williams, for the most part, is one of my favorite, underrated Lions. His aggressiveness, and high-end motor serve as a perfect compliment to Ndamukong Suh.
However, three offsides calls, at untimely points of the game last Sunday, were not complimentary. It's worth noting that I had a perfect look from the south end zone at one of the offsides calls, and Williams was drawn off (the officials just didn't see/call it).
Still, it was a rather disappointing performance for Williams who finished with one tackle, zero quarterback hurries or hits, and three penalties.
The Lions defensive line as a whole could be called out for only getting to Romo once (great timing, though. Willie Young), but they've been good enough that I'll give the unit a pass. Also, I respect and simultaneously, am petrified of Suh and will never badmouth him.