By Chris Conger
The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions face off tonight in a divisional game that will not doubt have playoff implications. The Lions are seriously lacking in quality depth at running back and Calvin Johnson has yet to find the end zone but once this season. It should be noted that the chemistry of the Chicago Bears seems shaky at times as well. The Lion on the other hand are coming off a huge win and they will be fired up for tonight’s game, and they will need to be.
The Bears come into this game leading the league in rushing yards allowed an impressive 65.8 YPG. They also rank 1st in PPG allowed at 14.2 and 4th in total YPG at 291.2. There is a soft spot though, small as it is, and it is exactly where the lions have a real chance to showcase their talent. Chicago only ranks 13th in passing yards allowed with 225.4 YPG. Chicago has also struggled to show they can protect Jay Cutler, which is why they rank 22nd in the league in passing at 226.2 YPG.
This means the Lions pass hungry QB killing front four are licking their chops to get a Cutler. The lions will have a chance to exploit the Bears weapons in the passing game by putting pressure on Cutler and forcing mistakes. The Lion’s come into the game with 12 sacks on the season, and a -1 turnover ratio.
Monday night, I believe will change that in favor of the Lion’s. As far as offense for Detroit, the stout run defense of the Bears will not be the focus tonight. They will look to beat up on that Bears secondary with Johnson and Pettigrew. The Lion’s come into tonight ranked 2nd in the NFL in passing with 319.8 YPG. The Bears do not have two defensive backs that can cover Johnson, but they are forced to try anyway. This could even open up a little room to run the ball, a little at least.
This divisional showdown should prove to be a good game. While most believe it will be a shootout, I predict a Lion’s coming out party with Calvin Johnson leading the way.
Detroit 34 Chicago 13