The Chicago Bears are on the road again this week, this time against an NFC North opponent. The Detroit Lions are sitting right being Chicago in the division standings, so a win for them would give them an early edge in the hunt for the Northern title. It’s time to break down this match-up of familiar foes.
(3-0) Chicago Bears at
(2-1) Detroit Lions
Chicago’s real test this week will come in the trenches, as rookie Kyle Long squares off with the unnecessarily violent Ndamukong Suh. Suh and fellow defensive tackle Nick Fairley are going to try and disrupt Jay Cutler’s timing by getting penetration in the interior of the Bear line. Long, center Roberto Garza, and left guard Matt Slauson are going to have their hands full today.
Even with that said, the Lions’ back seven is atrocious. Brandon Marshall, Martellus Bennett, and Alshon Jeffery should get whatever they want, whenever they want it. I’m also expecting six to eight catches from Matt Forte as well. Out in space, the Lions aren’t great tacklers. Louis Delmas is a ball-hawk at safety, but he can be beat over the top if you’re looking for the opportunity. I’d say that Marc Trestman needs to come out with the same gameplan he did against the Steelers on their opening drive. Quick, short passes to Chicago’s giant receivers will keep the pressure out of Cutler’s face and the Lions on their heels. (And Devin, run FORWARD THIS WEEK. Please.)
With Nate Burleson breaking his arm in a pizza-caused traffic collision, the Lions are without their leading receiver (in catches) this season. Calvin Johnson will need extra help from Ryan Broyles and tight end Brandon Pettigrew if Megatron is going to get open at any point. Charles Tillman will be starting in the Bear secondary, and he’s had great success in defending Johnson. Tillman isn’t 100%, so Mel Tucker has to find ways to slide an extra safety over the top of Johnson without giving away part of the field. Matthew Stafford has the arm to exploit those holes, but he can be pressured into poor footwork and sloppy mechanics, which will give way to fumbles and ill-timed interceptions.
Defending the Lions became more difficult when they added Reggie Bush to their backfield. He’s a perfect fit in this pass-happy offense and can make an impact at any point during the game. Chicago’s linebackers (or a DB if he’s split out wide) must contain Bush on the outside to prevent big catch and run’s down the field. Keep Bush in traffic and inside the tackle box and you have a better hope of keeping his yards to a minimum.
Detroit is a three point home favorite.
I’m taking the Bears for a straight up win. I’m not afraid of the Lions in nearly any respect.
How many heart attacks will Joe suffer?
With Johnson AND Bush on the field, there is a possibility of four to six heart attacks.
Message to the Bears
Handle your bidness. Be the better team, regardless of where you’re playing.
No more writing for Joe. It’s game time! Bear Down and Happy Jay Cutler Day!