Detroit Lions (5-3) at Chicago Bears (5-3)
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
12 Noon CST, Fox TV with Kenny Albert, Moose Johnston and Tony Siragusa on the call
The Detroit Lions head to Soldier Field for a Week 10 rematch against the Chicago Bears with first place in the NFC North on the line. The Lions won the Week 4 contest 40-32 and currently hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bears.
This game will mark the return of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who only missed one game with a torn groin when most experts predicted him to be out a few games.
Although Cutler is returning, Lance Briggs is not. He’ll miss a few more weeks with a fractured shoulder. Late word this week is that Shea McClellin, the reigning NFC defensive player of the week who had three sacks including one that will change the shape of the NFC playoffs.
When the Bears have the Ball…
The Bears offense will look to move the ball through the air and challenges weaknesses in the Lions’ defense. That will require better protection for Jay Cutler. The Lions are really stout up front, with Ndamukong Suh a player to watch. He took Kyle Long to the woodshed in Week 4, so that matchup is one I’m most looking forward to seeing.
Jay Cutler will need to overcome rust and a poor Week 4 performance to lead the Bears offense. He has the best weapons he’s ever had, with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery on pace to both have 1200 yards receiving. That would be a first in team history.
When the Lions have the Ball…
The Lions will work on exploiting the worst Bears defense that they’ve ever seen. If the Bears defense isn’t taking the ball away, they’re pretty useless. For the Bears’ sake, let’s hope they can force a few turnovers or it could be a long day.
Calvin Johnson has been held relatively at quiet in recent games, but his primary defender Charles Tillman has been gimpy all season battling knee issues. While the Lions wide receiver position is a bit depleted, they’ve got some other weapons to spread the ball around. The most dominant of those? Running back Reggie Bush.
Bush had 139 yard on the ground against the Bears in Week 4, making Bears defenders look silly trying to stop him. Expect Bush to try to get off again.
Our entire staff made their picks the other day. Be sure to check those out. Here’s my take:
The Bears surprised everyone on the planet except our own Robert and Da Coach with a surprising win over the Packers last week. The buzz from that win is starting to wear off and it’s time to face the harsh reality that they face a Lions team that manhandled them in Week 4. Don’t let the 40-32 score fool you, the game wasn’t that close. It was a wake up call for Kyle Long and revamped Bears offensive line. They struggled to protect and in turn, Cutler committed 4 turnovers. This will be a good game to see how much the Bears can adjust and adapt under Trestman, as it’s the first time to see how they face an opponent for the second time. Cutler will have a better game than in Week 4 and the offense should be able to meet or exceed that performance. The defense has to get better. Right?