The 3-0 Chicago Bears travel to Detroit this week to take on the 2-1 Lions in what will be the 167th meeting between these two venerable franchises. The Bears own the all-time record in this matchup of divisional rivals with a mark of 96-65-5. Two very capable offenses accompanied by 2 opportunistic defenses, should make this a game a must watch from start to finish. With the background out of the way, let’s get to my phase by phase keys for Chicago to maintain both their perfect record and the division lead:
Offense: The Bears’ offensive hopes begin and end up front this week. The revamped offensive line has been solid so far this season allowing only three sacks in as many weeks, but have their hands full this weekend with an extremely talented and deep Detroit defensive front. If the big guys up front can keep Jay Cutler clean, he should have no trouble shredding what has been an anemic Lions’ secondary. Opening lanes for Matt Forte on the ground also figures to be an important part of keeping Detroit’s defense guessing and controlling the clock to keep a high-octane Lions’ offense on the sidelines, which brings me to the second phase…
Defense: Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. The Bears have done an excellent job in this department thus far in the season, but I think they will be even more crucial than usual this week as they take on a truly explosive offense. I expect Calvin Johnson to go well over a hundred yards, as the Bears just do not have a true answer for him. Yes, Charles Tillman has done admirably covering Johnson in the past, but Megatron has still gotten his numbers. If Chicago can tighten up in the red zone and hold the Lions to field goals, as well as force some well-timed turnovers, I think it will go a long way toward keeping the Bears undefeated.
Special Teams: What can I possibly say about Chicago’s special teams that hasn’t been said at least a thousand times. If they keep it running like clockwork, they will have yet another dominant afternoon. A visit to the end zone from Devin Hester would certainly help the cause, and in my gut I think he’s due, but I don’t think it’s entirely necessary for the Bears to pull out a victory in this one.
At this point you might be asking yourself, “But what does all this mean?” Well I’ll tell you: Bears win. I see no reason for the o-line to take a step back this week, and I think the defense will get their turnovers. I can’t remember the last time I was this confident in the Bears winning a game against a team that wasn’t downright awful. It is truly an exciting time to be a Bears fan, and I hope you are all enjoying it as much as I am. What do you guys think?