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Lions vs Bears Pre-game WK-10

The last time the Lions and Bears met, Detroit handed Chicago a 24-13 loss. The Detroit Lions offense pulled its usual stunt of starting slow and finishing strong. This time the Bears will be playing on a short week as they just finished beating the Eagles on Monday Night Football. The Lions on the other hand will be more rested and healthier than before as they are coming off of their bye-week. There is only one problem. This time they play in Chicago!

Let us make this simple and blunt. If both teams play to their potential, the Lions will come away with a lopsided victory! There are no "if's, Ands, or Buts" about it; the Detroit Lions are the better team and more talented team by far! There is one problem with that. This is the NFL and the best team does not always win.

In almost every facet of the game, the Lions are better. The Lions have scored more TDs, are a better passing team, have a better quarterback, a better receiving group, better Tight Ends, and a better offensive line! On defense the Lions are better than the Bears when it comes to rushing the quarterback, covering the pass, and stopping the run. Yes, you read that right. The Lions have a better run defense than the Bears. Look at the stats and the Bears look better, but look closer and a different picture reveals itself. The Lions give up 27.6 yards per game more than the Bears, but many of those yards have come from 2 or 3 big plays. No running back has yet to beat up on the Lions defense on a consistent basis. They are stopped and shut down and get their yards from one or two big plays. The Bears defense gives up more consistent yardage on the ground and that will hurt a team far more.

The only place the Bears are better than the Lions is in the running game on offense. In some cases, that is enough to give a team the advantage. Not in this case!

Let us look at this game from a logical and strategical point of view. The Lions offense thrives on the passing game. Chicago ranks 26th in pass defense. The Lions should be able to move the ball through the air early and score quick. On the other hand, the Lions defense is ranked #5 against the pass. They also shut down the running game for a large portion of each game until a long one is broken.

I see the game going something like this. Scott Linehan actually shows the ability to learn and continues to mix up the offense like he did against the Broncos. If so, the Lions will move the ball early and score points. With their defense still fresh early on, the Lions defense will not allow the Bears to move the ball very well. Once the Lions have a decent lead, the Bears will be forced to forget the run and lean heavily on the passing game. Which happens to be the Lions strength!

I see only two reasons the Lions should lose this game. 1) The defense screws up early and allows Forte a long run or two and it is the Lions playing catch-up. 2) Linehan forgets to mix things up and calls the shotgun formation for 70+% of their plays!

The Bears are not a bad team, but they are not really good either. The Lions on the other hand are a very good team that has played below its abilities much of the season.

Lions 27
Bears 20

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