Defensively, the Lions have continued to improve their linebacker and secondary units, but the overall (13.0) grade positions them at a middling 15th overall. As detailed in the Week 4 preview, the heart and soul of the Lions remains their formidable defensive line. Ndamukong Suh (18.3) has feasted on offensive lines all year and neutralizing his elite pass rushing skills will remain the primary point of emphasis for the Bears. Fellow big bodies C.J. Mosely, Nick Fairly, Ziggy Ansah, Willie Young, and Devin Taylor bolster the pass rush, but the unit does struggle to mitigate opposing running backs with their (-8.5) run defense grade.Under the guidance of Marc Trestman, the Bears have proved their offense is both legitimate and here to stay. McCown appeared generally unflappable in Monday’s victory in Green Bay, which bodes well heading into the second tilt against Detroit. Receivers Brandon Marshall (16.1) and Alshon Jeffery (8.7) appear matchup proof and should have their way against a top six Detroit secondary (7.7 pass coverage grade). Matt Forte earned the second highest RB grade (2.5) in the Week 4 showdown, so expect the all-purpose back to shoulder the load again on Sunday. The big question mark remains the well-chronicled porousness of the Bears’ defense. The thick sod at Soldier Field might be the Bears’ best friend this week, since, theoretically, it could slow down a team accustomed to airing it out on the fast track turf indoors. Unfortunately, this is what it has come to for a hobbled, inexperienced unit. Jon Bostic played pretty well against the Packers, earning a (1.3) grade. Fellow rookie Khaseem Greene also faired adequately with a (0.2) grade, though he played less than half the defensive snaps (24 out of 55). The bend don’t break mentality will once again help the Bears keep the score close. Chris Conte and Major Wright remain huge liabilities, but they can provide a boost defensively by simply lining up in the correct positions and, hopefully, missing fewer tackles than they did in Week 4.
Tags: Inside The Numbers