Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears: Why Lions Are Tailor-Made to Beat Bears
Clearly, the Detroit Lions already proved they can beat the Chicago Bears in Week 5 with their Monday Night Football victory. Not only did they just beat them, though, they manhandled them, and that's why they are going to win again in Week 10.
With the Lions team set up the way it is, each section of their team gives them a little advantage over the Bears. It makes the Lions pretty much tailor-made to beat them, and here's why.
Lions Pass Rush vs. Bears Pass Blocking
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Although Chicago's offensive line finally had a good game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 9, they are no match for the Lions D-line.
In their Week 5 matchup, the Lions got to Jay Cutler for three sacks and six hits. You could tell Jay was flustered the whole game and never really felt comfortable.
With at least two sacks in every game but one (they got only one against the Dallas Cowboys), the Lions are sure to wreak havoc on Cutler again.
Even with last week's shutout of sacks, the Bears still rank 11th worst, as they have given up 21 sacks through eight games (2.65 per game) and the Lions are ranked fourth best with 24 sacks (3 per game). It's almost a given that the Lions will get to Cutler, it's just how many times is the question.
Calvin Johnson vs. Bears Secondary
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Calvin Johnson, 6'5" 236 lbs > Charles Tillman 6'2" 198 lbs.
That is unfair though, because if you match Calvin up against any DB, it's going to look like this. Tillman is a bigger corner and he is pretty physical but still is no match for Johnson's size and speed.
In their Week 5 match-up, Calvin Johnson had his highest yardage total of the year, going for five catches and 130 yards, including a 73-yard touchdown.
You can't blame Tillman for the long touchdown as it was a breakdown in their safety coverage (former safeties Chris Harris and Brandon Merriweather), but Johnson always has that big-play ability.
Just before the Lions bye week, they snagged up Chris Harris who was let go by the Bears, and this should help their passing offense even more. Harris has sure to give the Lions some keys to read for the Bears secondary and Johnson and company are sure to take advantage.
It may be a little unfair for Harris to give the Lions the Bears' secrets, but it's also unfair to line up Calvin Johnson on every play, so opposing teams are just going to have to deal with it.
Brandon Pettigrew vs. Bears Linebackers
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Brandon Pettigrew has become Matthew Stafford's second-favorite target behind Calvin Johnson, catching 41 balls already through eight games.
Stafford is sure to take advantage this week as the Bears give up the combination of the most catches yards and touchdowns out of any team in the league to tight ends.
In their Week 5 match-up, Pettigrew went for four catches, 39 yards and his first touchdown of the year. As the Bears give up almost seven catches, 70 yards and almost a TD every game, Pettigrew is likely to find paydirt again this week.
Last week alone, the Bears defense let Brent Celek have one of his best games of the year as he was targeted very often (nine times), catching seven balls for 60 yards.
Celek kept finding open seams in the Bears zone coverage, as Pettigrew is sure to do again this week.
Lions Secondary vs. Jay Cutler
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The Lions secondary has been elite this year. They are 4th in passer rating against (72.3), 3rd in yards allowed (1549), 5th in yards per game (193.6), 5th in TDs allowed (9), 5th in interceptions (11), and have allowed the least amount of 20+ plays with only 15.
It is pretty amazing, considering going into this season, this was supposed to be a weakness, but the Lions will look to dominate again this week.
The Bears are towards the bottom half of the league in passing at 19th in yards (1787), 19th in yards per game (220.9), 19th in TDs (11) and 16th in 20+ yard plays (25),
Clearly, this plays right into Detroit's hands and they will look to hold Cutler in check again this week. In their Week 5 match-up, he had just under 250 yards and a TD.
If the Lions hold him to those numbers again, which are clearly on the high side for their defense, the Lions will be sure to win.
Lions Rush Defense vs. Matt Forte
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This year, the Lions run defense has been at a bend-don't-break strategy as they have given up a lot of yards (910), but only two touchdowns all year. They are also great against pass-catching backs, giving up only 29 yards a game on 5.6 catches with no touchdowns allowed.
Matt Forte had a pretty good game in their Week 5 match-up, going for 116 yards on a 5.3 yard average, but wasn't able to find paydirt. The Lions also held him in check, only catching four balls for 35 yards.
The Lions' upgraded linebacking corps has definitely proven to be key this season and they will look to hold Forte down again this week. Their speed matches Forte's perfectly, and he won't be able to get open on the edge like he has all season.
Overall, with all these factors, it is hard to not see the Lions going into Soldier Field this week and staying undefeated to move to 5-0 on the road.