Week 10 Game Preview: Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears
Expect a windy day at the lakefront, winds could be gusting up 30 mph, while the temperatures stay in the mid-60′s.
The Bears have won three straight and have averaged 31 points during that stretch.
Jay Cutler has been way more efficient in the pocket, Matt Forte continues to be dominant and the offensive line has allowed only three sacks during the three game winning streak.
This Bears team is a much different team now than they were when they first fell to the Lions 24-13 in Week Five.
The running game for the Bears needs to get going early, the Lions pass rush is much more efficient than their run defense.
Without Jahvid Best running the ball for the Lions, they will use a combo of Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams.
The Bears defense gave up way too many big plays last time these two teams squared off. The defense has been improving over the past few weeks and victories have come because of it.
The Bears usually go as far as their defense takes them.
Jay Cutler could be in trouble going up against the fifth best pass defense in the NFL today in the Lions.
Also, with the winds playing a factor don’t expect too many long throws to made unless its to Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
Johnson has been unbelievable for the Lions this year.
But the Bears as a team have been pretty impressive themselves. The Bears have held opponents scoreless in the opening quarter in three of the last four games.
That trend is helping them win games and they certainly would love to stop Stafford in the Lions early in this one.
Wide receiver/kick returner Devin Hester will likely be a game-time decision with his sprained ankle. The ankle has kept him out of practice, but expect him to try to play because the Lions have some key injuries on their special teams unit.
The NFC North team that wins today will move into the first wild card spot and will sit in second place behind the Packers (8-0).
Can the Bears stop the vicious pass rush of the Lions that consistently got pressure on Jay Cutler last time these two teams played?
Will Matt Forte again turnover the ball like he did on Monday night?
Can the Bears pass rush contain Matthew Stafford and that solid offense of the Lions?
Can the Bears contain WR Calvin Johnson and not allow him to make a big play?
Players Who Must Step Up:
1) Johnny Knox- He is the only Bears receiver to have a catch in every game this season. He’s averaging 18 yards per catch, but has only reeled in 20 catches. He has yet to find the endzone after catching five touchdowns his first two seasons in Chicago. He will get his opportunities with Devin Hester likely getting limited action on offense. Look for Knox to be explosive today.
Prediction: Five catches, 71 yards, one touchdown.
2) Tim Jennings- He has been pretty consistent this season. He is currently fourth on the team in tackles behind linebacker Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher and cornerback Charles Tillman. D.J. Moore is the only cornerback with an interception this season, so Jennings could be motivated today. He has been close to an interception. He will likely be looking to shut down the second option for the Lions today.
Prediction: 6 tackles.
3) Amobi Okoye- He has been pretty impressive at times this season recording three sacks. He needs to bring the pass rush that this unit has been bringing the past few weeks. Look for Okoye to be a force today, while teammate Henry Melton likely will get double teamed most of the day.
Prediction: Four tackles, one sack.
Bears 27, Lions 17
Jake Perper is the owner and head writer for Bearsbacker.com. He is also the Chicago Bears writer for NFLTouchdown.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Bears.