Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions: Week 14 keys to the game

Dec 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Matt Barkley (12) warms-up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Matt Barkley (12) warms-up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dec 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks (96) knocks the ball away from San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks (96) knocks the ball away from San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

3) Dominate the turnover battle

The Bears have a paltry 8 takeaways this season. While the defense is beginning to forge an identity through its front 7 and pass rush, the takeaways need to start coming. The Bears received a quarter of their takeaways in their last matchup against Detroit. One came on a miscommunication between Stafford and Tate which lead to a Jacoby Glenn interception before half. and the other was a great break by Deiondre Hall. Both takeaways halted scoring drives by the Lions and snatched momentum back for the Bears.

In all likelihood, Detroit will be able to move the ball against Chicago. While suppressing a quarterback to 5 yards passing was incredible, it just doesn’t happen often, especially against good teams. The Bears have featured a bend-but-don’t-break defense all year; a defense that’s predicated on making big plays at critical moments. Against teams like the Titans and 49ers, making stops on third down was enough. However, the Lions have a much more potent offense, and forcing turnovers will likely be the only way to keep them off the scoreboard.

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If Chicago wants to force the upset, they will have to finish +2 in the turnover battle. While this key is predicated on the defense forcing turnovers, the offense still needs to take care of the ball.