NFC North: Revenge in the Detroit Lions Den

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NFC North: Revenge in the Detroit Lions Den
Leon Halip/Getty Images

No, it doesn't bother us. What's in the past is in the past. Yesterday's news. Water under the bridge.

Was it a catch, wasn't it a catch—that doesn't matter to anyone on the Detroit Lions' 2011 roster or their fans.

Bull butter.

Don't be mistaken. The nasty aftertaste of last year's season-opening loss to the Bears still lingers in the Lions' razor-sharp teeth.

Detroit's first Monday Night Football game in what seems like an eternity (in reality it was in 2001 when the Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" embarrassed an upstart Detroit team and brought them back down to Earth) comes against a hated rival that "beat" them in Week 1 of 2010. Seems like yesterday.

I remember being the epitome of calm following that game, how about all of you?

Later in the season Chicago won 24-20 at Ford Field—after another controversial call—when Ndamukung Suh's roughing the passer penalty kept a late Bears drive alive, enabling them to score a touchdown and hang on to the victory. 

After the game head Coach Jim Schwartz gave his now infamous (well at least to Detroit fans) speech (http://www.freep.com/article/20101208/SPORTS01/101208037/Why-world-Jim-Schwartz-talking-like-stating) "great things are ahead for this team, great things." The Lions haven't lost a game since.

The Lions will go into Monday Night's matchup with the best quarterback on the field in Matthew Stafford, the best wide receiver on the field in Calvin Johnson, and the best tight end combination on the field (Pettigrew and Scheffler). Hell, even Detroit's offensive line has the advantage for once!

But in the ground game, admittedly, Matt Forte is more of a talent than Jahvid Best.

Defensively, the Lions' defensive line is licking its chops about getting to Cutler. The linebacker core might give a slight edge to Chicago but in my biased opinion the two teams are rather even.

Neither secondary is full of household names, although Charles Tillman is probably the best CB on the field, so I'll give the nod to Chicago there. The Lions have Calvin Johnson though, so that cancels out the Chicago secondary entirely.

If Detroit can cage Chicago's Matt Forte, this game could turn into a blowout...quickly.

Expect a monstrously loud Ford Field. Expect an especially amped up Detroit roster. Expect great things Monday night from Detroit's roster—Coach Schwartz does.

But no, this isn't about revenge.

Call it an NFC North thing. Call it a rivalry game that dates back 77 years, when the Bears won 19-16 on November, 29th, 1934. In Week 1 last year, the final score was 19-14, a Chicago "win." This Monday night, 19 points will not be enough. 

Revenge, in the Lions den.

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