It’s hard to call a Week 5 game a must win, but this is about as close as you can get for the 2-2 Bears as they head to Ford Field on Monday night to face their 4-0 division rivals, the Detriot Lions. A loss would mean falling 3 games behind a division and wild card contender. Given that the only other undefeated team going into the weekend’s action is another NFC North team – the Packers – it’s crucial to try to keep pace and not fall too far behind.
To help us get prepped for this HUGE matchup, we’ve enlisted the help of Side Lion Report editor Zac Snyder to get his answers to our 5 questions this week. (PS – to those who submitted questions, we didn’t get them in time to submit them to Zac. We’ll try again next time for our upcoming game against the Vikings next week.) And now, on with the Q&A.
1. A lot of people made the Lions their preseason “sleeper” team and here they are at 4-0. Are you surprised at the start the Lions have gotten off to? At this point in the season, would anything short of the playoff appearance be a disappointment?
It is surprising considering three of those wins have come on the road, not an easy feat. We are getting to the point that playoffs have to be in fans’ mind so I guess it would be a disappointment if the Lions fell off.
2. The Lions have pulled off a couple of impressive come-from-behind wins in the last couple of weeks. I’m sure the Bears would like to focus on how they dug themselves into such deep first half holes in the first place. How did the Lions let themselves fall so far behind and how will they try to avoid that on Monday night against the Bears?
The Lions aren’t to the point where they can totally get away with playing poorly. They got back to playing their game in the second half and fortunately the hole wasn’t too big. The Bears need to control the ball on offense and keep the Lions offense from finding their rhythm.
3. Calvin Johnson has come a long way since the whole “process of the catch” fiasco in Week 1 of last season. I still think it was a catch, by the way. Do you think that play made him a better wide receiver? Is he the best receiver in the game right now? Is there any way that the Bears can stop him, short of using firearms?
Calvin definitely keeps a grip on footballs a little longer in the end zone these days but I am not sure that last year’s fiasco changed him. As for being the best receiver in the league, I wouldn’t trade him for any other receiver. The only sure way for the Bears to stop him is to leave other options open, that is a good trade for the Lions.
4. On the defensive side of the ball, Ndamukong Suh is a force and rumor is that Nick Fairley looks to be making his debut this week, so that Lions front four will be “loaded for Bear” if you will. Does Jay Cutler make it out of the game in one piece? Will Forte be able to get the running game going against the Lions?
Forte might be able to find some running room. The Lions have been very good against the run in short yardage situations but have allowed 4.8 yards per carry overall. That being said, the Bears won’t be able to win on Forte alone and it is very likely that Jay Cutler will be sore on Tuesday morning. The Lions defense has shown a knack for creating turnovers, another bad sign for Cutler.
5. What’s your prediction for the game? Please include a final score.
The Lions will come out fast with a raucous home crowd supporting them. The Bears will need to quiet the crowd or the rout could be on. I have too much respect for the Bears to believe that will happen but I expect the Lions to win. Lions 30, Bears 20
Be sure to head over to Side Lion Report to see my responses to Zac’s questions.