My oh my, how the times have changed. The Chicago Bears, one season removed from a Super Bowl appearance, are sitting at 1-2. On the flip side, the Detroit Lions are surging and are stationed at 2-1. With all the happenings going on in Chicago (injuries, Brian Griese being named the starting Bears quarterback), they look to be regrouping, while the Lions are gradually improving with their passing game. The Bears look to overcome their problems when they face the Lions at Ford Field this weekend.
The Bears, as previously stated, are a team in “regroup” mode. First, they replace QB Rex Grossman with Brian Griese. Secondly – and just as important – their defensive players are dropping like flies. It almost reads like a MASH unit: safety Mike Brown and defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek are lost for the season; add linebacker Lance Briggs (groin), cornerback Nathan Vasher (groin) and DT Tommie Harris (knee), and you have a world of hurt (no pun intended). Griese will get his first start of the season and running back Cedric Benson is trying to regroup and improve on his average numbers (59-189-1 TD). But it is the defense that will be challenged the most this week due to the injuries at hand.
The Lions, on the other hand, are pretty much one-dimensional with their powerfull passing attack, led by QB Jon Kitna (78-for-114, 980 yards, 6 TD’s, 4 INT’s). Also contributing to the passing game are the trio of Roy Williams (20-335-3 TD’s), pleasant surprise Shaun McDonald (18-237-2 TD’s) and rookie WR Calvin Johnson (10-189-2 TD’s). The running game and team defense, to probably no one’s shock, are the weak links of the Lions. RB Kevin Jones will slowly be incorporated into the running attack in order to lighten the load of Tatum Bell.
Expect the Lions to pass early and often so they can exploit the Bears’ shortcomings on their defense. And don’t be surprised if WR/KR Devin Hester contributes more to the offense this week. Unfortunately, even with Griese behind center and probably having a fair degree of success against the Lions’ secondary, the Lions will win at home, thanks to the passing of Kitna to his plaethora of wideouts.