The Chicago Bears week 14 matchup against the Detroit Lions will feature a strength on a strength. The Bears come into the game with one of the best run defenses in the NFL after a strong turnaround from last season. Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions enter the game with one of the best rushing attacks out there, led by former Bears running back David Montgomery.
The Chicago Bears run defense must shut down the Detroit Lions rushing attack
Montgomery did not go over 100 yards in the Chicago Bears first meeting with him, but he did have one of the best games that a running back has had against this unit. The Bears currently rank third in fewest expected points allowed per rush attempt, and they are 2nd in success rate allowed via the run game.
The Lions are their biggest counterpart, though. They rank 3rd in expected points added on the ground, and they rank ninth in success rate.
Both of these units actually rank higher in their respective metrics when you isolate recent weeks as well. So, the Lions are running the ball as well as ever, and the Bears are stopping the run as well as ever.
One reason the Chicago Bears may have the advantage will come down to health. The Bears got Tremaine Edmunds back in week 11, and that cemented their front seven, which has now played two full games together with the addition of Montez Sweat and a healthy Edmunds.
Meanwhile, the Lions offensive line will be losing continuity. Frank Ragnow, the starting center will miss this week. This will cause the Lions to shift right guard Graham Glasgow over and start Colby Sorsdall, who started at left guard the last time these two teams met.
So, just since week 11 the Lions will have three new starters at all interior spots. They arguably got worse at center from Ragnow to Glasgow, and worse at right guard to go from Glasgow to Sorsdall. That is a crushing blow.
The Chicago Bears have to beat up the banged up Detroit front. This was a fair fight when the two teams were at full strength; now the Bears have to have the advantage.