The Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears renew their hostilities this Sunday, with the winner perhaps feeling a bit better about where they stand midseason and the loser perhaps looking down the barrel of a downward spiral the rest of the way.
Detroit doesn’t want things to spin out of control on the season, and by getting a win over their rivals, they could ensure that is not the case whatsoever. The same could be said for Chicago.
What is there to know about the Bears? Here’s a closer look at what makes the team unique this year.
Bears Player To Watch – Mitch Trubisky, QB
Simply put, the entire city of Chicago seems to have lost faith in Trubisky, their young quarterback. He’s played a few decent games against Detroit thus far in his young career, so it’s up to Matt Patricia to be able to come up with an appropriate game plan to shut him down and limit his effectiveness. Trubisky panics in the pocket, so the Lions have to throw looks at him to confuse and get more pressure on the quarterback than they have in recent weeks. Trubisky carved Detroit up last season, so not allowing him time to get into the offense and find some wideouts should be a huge goal of Detroit. How Trubisky plays will dictate a lot of how the game goes for Chicago. Patricia praised him on Wednesday, so it’s clear he understands the importance of the quarterback to the matchup.
Bears Key Personnel Group – Defensive Line
This group might go as far as Khalil Mack takes it against the Lions. Mack almost single handedly wrecked the game for the Lions last season, and while he is missing some talent around him in the form of Akiem Hicks, the group is still fairly steady with names like Nick Williams, Eddie Goldman and Roy Robertson-Harris. Chicago won last year’s matchups by bullying Detroit in the trenches and being the more physical team up front. This season, the Lions have improved things, but they must give Stafford time to survey the field and use his elite wideout group. The ability of the Bears to make him uncomfortable again might determine who wins the game.
Bears Biggest Name Missing – Akiem Hicks, DL
There is no debating how the Bears have missed Hicks thus far in his absence, as he’s been a guy who can capably plug the middle of the line. Even without him, the Bears have played decently on defense, but Hicks is a guy who has routinely given Detroit fits, with 3 sacks, 16 tackles, 5 quarterback hits and 1 fumble recovery in his career against the team. Safe to say the Bears will miss that type of consistent production this week up front in a big game in the trenches.
Can They Defend?
Yes. Thus far this season, while the Bears have had their notable offensive problems, the team has seen some consistency on the defensive side of the ball. They have allowed 2,589 yards including 230 through the air, but they are consistent and can rush the passer. This Bears defense might not be as good as some of their other elite units including 2018, but they are still capable of making life rough on Detroit.
Headset Heads Up
Matt Nagy sure looked like a genius in carving up Matt Patricia’s defense last year to the tune of a 2-0 record and outscoring them 57-38. Prior to that sweep, though, Detroit had dominated the series, winning a cool nine of 10 games head to head against Chicago. Both coaching staffs need this win badly after tough starts to the year. It’s more than a bit ironic that Nagy is struggling the most on offense (his specialty) while Patricia’s defense is leaving much to be desired (his specialty). Something’s going to have to give here.
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