Opponent Profile: Lions Matchup With Bears Once Again
By Chris Morgan
It's getting down to the nitty gritty for the Detroit Lions as they face down their final two games of their season. They won their home finale against the Minnesota Vikings, putting their record at 10-4 on the season. Making the playoffs is a real possibility, but they face a very tough matchup in a season finale, a road game against the Green Bay Packers. As such, winning this week's game is fairly important. Their opponent? The Chicago Bears, with a game on the road.
The Lions' last matchup with the Bears is still fresh in the minds of many, as it was only a few weeks ago. After suffering a couple of losses, the Lions beat the Bears soundly on Thanksgiving by a score of 34-17. It was the Lions' first real breakout game on offense after several weeks of struggling. Both Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson had big games and eased some concerns. It was the first of three straight wins for the Lions.
Meanwhile, things have sort of been going in the opposite direction for the Bears. After their Monday Night Football game against the New Orleans Saints, the Bears are 5-9. They aren't going to make the playoffs. A winning record is out of the picture. The only real news of note surrounding them currently is the fact that some negative comments about quarterback Jay Cutler were disseminated into the news world by offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer, who then apologized. It's a bit of a mess, and jobs will probably be lost this offseason. The Bears are just hoping to avoid finishing below the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North.
When these two teams last played, the Bears basically abandoned the running game and relied on short passes. It worked early, but the Lions held them in check, and now the Chicago Bears no longer have receiver Brandon Marshall, who is out with an injury. Detroit's defense has been great all season, while Chicago's offense has questions. Getting after Jay Cutler has been a successful plan for the Lions in the past, and they will likely try that again, and they will be ready for the short passes.
Detroit's offense took a step back against the Vikings last week, but they didn't play badly. They played it safe, and defense and special teams did the job. The Lions will hope to do better this week. Reggie Bush has done nothing since returning from injury, but Joique Bell has been good, and Matthew Stafford has been playing better recently. He didn't have a big week against Minnesota, but he didn't have a turnover, and he wasn't sacked once.
Since this is a road game, it will be harder for the Lions. They are outdoors in December, and the field and the weather can be a problem in Chicago. It could be a leveler for the Bears, and they need a leveler. The Lions are the better team. They have a lot to play for, while the Bears are spiraling. Detroit should win, but maybe Chicago will do enough to play the role of spoiler.
For more Lions news and updates, visit Lions Central.
Chris Morgan has been a diehard Detroit Lions fan through the good (Barry Sanders) and the bad (Matt Millen) and that love has led him to take jobs writing about sports, including as a fantasy sports "expert." His work can be found on Examiner.com. .
for more features.