Bears vs Lions: Top 5 Matchups to Watch

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Sep 8, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush (21) runs the ball during the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

3. Reggie Bush vs Bears Linebackers

Reggie Bush has made an immediate impact with the Lions.  In just two games, he’s got 3o rushing attempts and 7 catches for 260 yards from scrimmage.  He’s been that added dimension that Matthew Stafford and the Lions have needed to make teams pay for doubling up Calvin Johnson.

Bush is a dual threat and might finally be living up to some of the monster hype that he brought with him out of USC.  Bush will provide a challenge for the Bears new linebacker corps and possibly even defensive backs Isaiah Frey and Major Wright.  This is a game when an in-his-prime Brian Urlacher will be missed.  Maybe the athletic rookie linebacker Jon Bostic gets some time on the field?

2. Kyle Long vs Ndamukong Suh

This would normally get top billing, but the Megatron matchup takes precedent.  In April, when Phil Emery selected Kyle Long, he made it known that Long was selected precisely for Sunday’s matchup.  Long has passed his early tests, but Suh is a different kind of animal.

The press in Chicago and Detroit have been trying to stir the pot, and Suh happily took the bait when told about the reason Long was brought to Chicago:

"“We’ll see how well he is prepared to block me when we play on Sunday,” Suh said. “That’s their opinion, that’s their choice, that’s their draft. That’s not anything of my concern. I just look forward to and digest whoever I have in front me.”"

Suh is a beast and will pose the biggest challenge to date for Long.  He’s relentless, so Long will have to play until the whistle and as Suh usually does, beyond.

Suh has had a number of incidents on the field and is widely thought of as one of the dirtiest players in the league.  It will be really interesting to see how Long, who’s got a nasty streak of his own, will respond to Suh’s antics.

1. Charles Tillman vs Calvin Johnson

Tillman might be hobbled, but he’s done about a good a job on Calvin Johnson as any cornerback in the league.  In 11 career games against the Bears, 10 of which Tillman has played, Johnson has 803 yards on 53 catch with 4 TD’s.  Compare that to 11 games against the Packers, where Johnson has 65 catches for over 1000 yards and 11 TD’s.

Sep 8, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) celebrates after catching a pass in the end zone for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. The play was ruled no touchdown after being reviewed. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Tillman is clearly banged up this season and has missed time in all three of the Bears’ games.  In Week 1 he was battling the flu and dehydration; in Week 2 it was his knee and last week against the Steelers it was his groin.  I guess this is what happens when you get old

Johnson looks to be at or near the top of his game so far in 2013.  He’s averaging nearly 90 yards and a touchdown per game.  He must have been licking his lips watch the Steelers’ Antonio Brown go off for 196 yards and nine catches with a pair of TD’s.

The Bears have struggled to get pressure with their front-4, so Mel Tucker has been dialing up a variety of blitzes.  That’s been leaving the secondary exposed, so it will be up to Tillman to try to hold the big fella down.  If Tillman can’t go, it will be Zac Bowman and the diminutive Tim Jennings charged with slowing down Megatron.  I guess Optimus Prime has other plans on Sunday.

Which matchups are you looking forward to on Sunday?