Cleat Geeks

The Lion of Scrimmage: Breaking Down the Bears

After being picked apart by the Packers last week, the Lions desperately need to rebound against Chicago. This game is critical for many reasons. Aside from the obvious reasons of getting back to .500 and beating a divisional opponent, the Lions let a game slip away from them two weeks ago vs Tennessee. If the Lions are going to make a run at the postseason this year they absolutely have to beat inferior teams like the Titans and the Bears. So how do the Lions avoid a pitfall this week? Here’s how I see it.matthewstaffordlionbackground

Offensively the Lions just have to be themselves. Chicago’s secondary is pretty bad, so Matthew Stafford should be able to put up big numbers. One name to watch for on that Bears defense is Jonathan Bullard; their third round DE out of Florida. Bullard is a very underrated rookie who is strong vs the run and as a pass rusher. He could be matched up a lot against Taylor Decker, which will be interesting since I had Bullard ranked higher than Decker in the draft. However, even if Bullard does cause problems I would still expect for the Lions to move the ball well most of the game.

The real test will be if the Lions defense can stop the Bears offense. Now even when healthy this Chicago offense isn’t particularly intimidating. It’s even less intimidating when Jay Cutler is unlikely to play and Alshon Jeffery (far and away the best player on the offense) is questionable. Even so, the Detroit defense hasn’t shown me anything to suggest that they can stop even an average offense. Assuming Jeffery plays, the Bears will have two huge receivers lining up on the outside, including second year player Kevin White. I expect that Darius Slay can lock down one of these guys for most of the game. The other one will have a good chance of taking advantage of Nevin Lawson who is only 5’9. Not too mention that the Lions linebackers are absolutely terrible in coverage. Look for slot receivers as well as TE, Zach Miller, to have a good day catching the ball.chicagovsdetroit

The key match up that I’ll be watching is the interior of Chicago’s offensive line vs Detroit’s defensive tackles. While the Bears have some blocking issues, their interior actually has a lot of talent. They will have to get some push against Ngata and company to open up some hole in the running game. I think the Bears will struggle with Ngata who is still going strong, but they have a good chance to create some space against the other guys in the rotation. If the Bears establish a consistent running game then they have a shot to win this one. But if Walker, Robinson, and company can control the trenches then I think this is the Lions game to lose.

This is a game that fans should expect the Lions to win. They are the better team and they have more to play for than a Bears team who is already thinking about who they’ll take with their top ten pick in next year’s draft. In a perfect world Detroit would blow the doors off Chicago. However the Lions have injuries that they’re dealing with, specifically on the defensive side of the ball. I expect this game will look some what close, but still one that the Lions win fairly comfortably.


Prediction: Bears 23 – Lions 30

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