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Lions vs Bears Pregame Week-13

The Detroit Lions will host the Chicago Bears this Sunday in a rematch of the most controversial game of the season in the NFL.

Everyone remembers the first game of the season. When Calvin Jonson made a terrific catch in the end-zone to win the game, only to have the refs call it incomplete. Since that debacle, the two teams have gone in two different directions. It was as if that particular call by the refs have sent the two teams reeling into the positions they are in now.

The Lions, by the letter of the law, should have won that game, but instead took a loss on a bad interpretation of the rule. Before that game, the common belief was that the Bears were looking like a sorry team and the Lions were up and coming. Since that call, the Bears have gone on to continue winning and are now 8-3 and in first in the NFC North division. The Lions however, have continued to have horrific calls and no-calls by the refs as they lose games they have a chance to win. Now the Lions are once again in the cellar with a 2-9 record.

That interpretation of the "Process" rule did something to the NFC North. As if the teams were planets that were knocked out of orbit because of some asteroid storm that passed through. The Bears, who were supposed to be terrible are leading the division. The Lions who were expected to show a lot of improvement, once again have only two wins. Brett Favre in Minnesota has been terrible. The Packers seem like the one team that has been effected the least.

Sometimes however, things have a way of coming full circle and this weekend that circle can be completed. A win by the Lions would, in a strange way, be placing white out on that first week and correcting an error that should have never been made. It could give the Lions some of the confidence back that they have lost in what has been a messed up season. It could be the trigger to send the Lions into a strong surge to end their year so they can actually come into next year with some confidence. But in all honesty, the odds are stacked against the Lions chances for a win.

If both teams had all of their starters healthy, it would be a different story. I would easily choose the Lions to beat the Bears, regardless of the records. But the Lions have taken hits in the worst way. They are once again without the help of their franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford. Their speed demon of a running back, Jahvid Best, is fighting two cases of turf toe. Outside Linebacker, Zack Follett is gone for the season and now defensive leader, Kyle Vander Bosch is injured and will not play. Those are some very big hurdles to jump when you are still on your heels from being spanked in the fourth quarter by Tom Brady on Thanksgiving and on national TV.

Did I mention that Shaun Hill is out as well and the Lions will face the Bears with their third string quarterback, Drew Stanton? Though in all honesty, I do not see that as such a bad thing. Its not that I am so high on Stanton, but I am no longer a believer in Shaun Hill. In several starts, Shaun Hill has simply shown no desire to throw the ball more than seven yards down field. Some believe he does not have the arm to do so, but that is not true. The proof is in the fourth quarters when he does it while playing from behind almost every game. Hill's best playing time, consistently has come in the last ten minutes of the game. If he would show that aggressiveness throughout the entire four quarters, the Lions might have a much better record. But after watching him play more in fear of making a mistake rather than aggressively game after game, I just do not see the Lions having a chance to win with him under center.

So in comes Drew Stanton. Is he a great quarterback? Not right now, that is for sure. But he still gives the Lions a slightly better chance of winning than I think Hill does. Stanton will be more willing to throw down field and trust Calvin Johnson to come down with the ball. On plays when the line cannot stop the rush, he is more likely to pick up a first down with his legs. Yes he will make some mistakes. Especially this weekend which will only be his second start in 4 years. But in all honesty, Matthew Stafford did not look good in his first two starts either.

Likely, the Lions will not win this one and the NFC North division will not have its planets back in orbit. But I do not think it will be a blow out by the Bears either. I do not think Stanton will be horrible this time around and I think the Lions running game will continue to look as it did against the Patriots. But I do not think Gunther will be aggressive enough to help his defensive line out with the blitz and the linemen will once again become exhausted by the fourth quarter, giving up a late score and erasing the Lions chance of a victory again.

Detroit - 20
Chicago - 23

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