Bears vs. Lions: Why Calvin Johnson Will Torch Chicago's Secondary

Dean HoldenAnalyst IOctober 6, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 02:   Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions carries the ball against  Danny McCray #40 and  Terence Newman #41 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. The Detroit Lions beat the Dallas Cowboys 34-30. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions are ready for some football. Even if Hank Williams Jr. isn't.

The Chicago Bears are, too, but they're about to walk into an angry hornet's nest.

Monday Night Football at Ford Field is this weekend, and it will be the first ever prime-time Lions game at the venue. If the Lions were winless, the place would still be packed to capacity with rowdy fans.

But the Lions are not winless. In fact, they're the exact opposite. They're playing at a level where they might be flex scheduled into another prime-time game or two this year.

And there isn't any team Lions fans want to see beaten on national television than the Chicago Bears. Okay, maybe the Packers, but the Bears are the team Lions fans want to see get smaller in the rear-view mirror, while the Packers are on the horizon.

More importantly, Lions fans are still waiting for some comeuppance on the infamous "Process of the Catch" game to open last season.

And I'm willing to bet nobody remembers that moment better than Calvin Johnson, who won that game with one of his signature end zone jump balls, only to lose it as he got up and have it ruled incomplete.

Think that's motivation for the man to get prepped for this game?

On the other side of things, Matthew Stafford is very much aware that the Bears' defense has injured him in each of the last two seasons. Getting through this game in one piece will just be another step in rinsing off that "injury prone" tag.

Stafford should also look to bounce back from a shaky game in Dallas, and a raucous home crowd ought to be just the thing.

But it's not all just about personal motivation. The Bears are still a decent football team, and they're motivated to come to Detroit and prove they're still the second best team in football.

But can they stop the Lions' high-octane passing attack? Let's consult the numbers.

The Detroit Lions currently have the seventh-ranked passing attack (by yardage per game) in the NFL. Matthew Stafford's QB rating is 100.3 for the season, and Calvin Johnson has set an NFL record by catching two touchdowns in each of his first four games.

The Bears have a vaunted defense by reputation, but they're actually 29th in passing yards allowed. Part of that might have to do with their schedule consisting of Atlanta, New Orleans, Green Bay and Carolina (for those keeping score, those are the 11th, second, fifth and third-ranked passing offenses in the NFL).

All of those teams have great offenses. None of them have Calvin Johnson. And it isn't as though the Bears' defense has done much to actually slow down those offenses.

Johnson has been a subject of sports talk all week. Analysts on every major network have been trying to come up with a game plan for stopping him, especially in the red zone.

What has anyone come up with? The Bears would like to know.

Because the way things look now, they might have trouble limiting Johnson to his two-touchdown pace.