5 Chicago Bears prime to bounce back vs. Lions

Syndication: The Enquirer
Syndication: The Enquirer /
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Roquan Smith (Chicago Bears)
Roquan Smith vs Bengals (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

2. Roquan Smith

Ok, this one is not all that fair, considering Roquan Smith was excellent on Sunday. Still, as we did a film review trying to give him his praise, all of the issues from Sunday’s loss have overshadowed the idea that Roquan Smith is having an even better year in 2021 than 2020. It looks like he has taken another step and maybe one of the best linebackers in the NFL now.

This could show in a plus matchup against Detroit. One thing about Detroit is that they target their running backs and tight ends more than anyone. The Lions target these groups from 54% to just 46% going to wideouts.

Fortunately, Chicago has just the guy to shut those passes down. Smith will almost certainly spend most of his day chasing Deandre Swift. It is what he does. The two are former teammates and know each other well. Swift has been excellent this season, but he may have a lesser game with Smith chasing him. Beyond that, Smith will see T.J. Hockenson, who is essentially the Lions’ top wideout.

If the Bears win because Swift and Hockenson struggle, you know that Roquan Smith will be the player in the center of that. Hopefully, a win with a strong defensive effort gives Smith the credit he needs to get this season.