The Chicago Bears roll into the Motor City this week on a three game winning streak. I can basically sum up the Chicago Bears’ 2013 season to this point with one word…entertaining. Some things have gone right and some things have gone wrong but it has been a wild ride. More things have indeed gone right for the 3-0 Bears as they sit atop the NFC. Last week’s desperate opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers hung in for a while but the Bears finally took the reins and ended with a lopsided victory. The victory came with a huge price as Chicago will be without Henry Melton for the remainder of the season (torn ACL). He will be missed this week. Look for Nate Collins to fill in for most of Melton’s snaps.
This week’s opponent will present an interesting set of challenges on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Let’s go inside this week’s key matchups:
Maybe we should call Tillman “Peanut Prime” for his ability to shut down “Megatron.” No cornerback in the NFL has as much success against Johnson as Tillman does. It shouldn’t be surprising to Bear fans as Tillman is on of the most underated players to ever play in the NFL and will eventually be enshrined in Canton but fans outside of Chicago might find this shocking. Here is the key to this week’s matchup though, Tillman isn’t 100%. Tillman was held out of the end of last week’s game with a groin injury and is currently listed as day to day. That could cause a world of trouble for the Bears. If Tillman weren’t able to go Tim Jennings would most likely get the matchup and that would favor Detroit. Johnson is an absolute monster to cover as evident by his 1,964 yards and 122 receptions last year. Look for this matchup to decide the game. If Tillman can’t turn his hips and excellerate it could be a long day for the Chicago secondary and the way that the pass rush has been the last few weeks Matthew Stafford could have extra time
to throw which means extended time in which the Bears would have to cover Johnson.
Suh is the NFL villain that everyone loves to hate. The man in the black hat and he certainly relishes in the role. He is as dirty as the come but is also one heck of a defensive tackle. Regardless of where he lines up the interior offensive line is going to have their hands full. This is a great testing ground to see how far Kyle Long has come in his NFL development. It is safe to say that in Long’s football career he has never faced a player like Suh. What is even more of a challenge is that if the Bears find a way to stop Suh, veteran Nick Fairley is just as talented at the other tackle position. The Bears will need to get creative with sliding protections and keeping Matt Forte home longer to ease the pass rush. This is will be the ideal time for Long to show -off his improved technique and natural athleticism. If Jay Cutler has time he will take advantage of an average Detroit secondary. But, that is a huge “if” against two of the best interior lineman the league has.
Williams played his best game as a Bear in the trouncing of Pittsburgh last Sunday night. He finally looked like he was up to speed with defense after missing most of training camp with an injury. This could be exactly what the doctor ordered for a Bears team needed a consistent pass rush. When defensive coordinator turned Williams and the rest of the linebacking core loose on different blitz packages Williams and fellow linebacker Lance Briggs stole the spotlight. This week look for Williams to be active in stuffing Reggie Bush and the Detroit ground game. Reggie Bush returns this week after missing week 3 with injury and brings an added weapon to Stafford and the offense. Williams has been efficient against the run in his career and will need to be against Bush who is a dual threat to run and catch out of the backfield. Bush still has some tread left on the tire and needs to be attended to.
In the NFL it all comes down to winning your individual matchups. These 3 are game changing matchups that the Bears must win to return home with a 4-0 record.
It should be another great and entertaining game in what is turning into a rivalry again in the NFC North We are only a few days away.
Keep it locked in to BGO for all the latest and best preview leading up to week 4 and then come back after the game for instant reaction and analysis.