The Chicago Bears special teams will have a big task on their hands with the Detroit Lions
The Lions are right in the playoff hunt, and when looking up and down their roster, that may surprise some on paper. However, their defense is much improved, and in special teams, an underrated aspect of the game, the Lions are one of the best units in the league.
The special team’s success is being carried by the punt return crew and Jamal Agnew. The Lions are far and away the best punt return unit in the NFL so far. They average almost 11 yards better than any other team in terms of field position due to returning punts. That is huge.
On the other side, the Bears punt defense unit has been sketchy, to say the least. The Bears rank 29th in yards allowed via punting. The Lions start with 16 more yards of field position than an average team, and the Bears allow nine more yards than an average team. This in itself is enough to change this game.
The good news for the Bears is that it does look like Sherrick McManis is back in this game. There is no doubt that he is the team’s best special teamer, and in a game where the Bears will need all hands on deck, he could be a huge difference maker.
Special teams is never a side of football that many discuss. However, field position sets the more enjoyable units up with an advantage or disadvantage. Watch to see if field position becomes the difference maker in this game, as it is the biggest mismatch between the two teams on paper.