Are the Bears going to catch the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North division title? No. Not chasing three games with eight to go and not with the Packers having already won at Soldier Field. But the Chicago Bears can solidify the pole position among NFC wildcard contenders with a home victory against the Detroit Lions. I think they do it.
WHY DO I LIKE THE CHICAGO BEARS THIS WEEK?
- I always like the Chicago Bears.
- There has been a revisionist historical approach to what happened at Ford Field a few Monday nights back. The Bears played one of the sloppiest, dopiest, lights-too-bright-in-their-eyes games you could ever see and they LED AT HALFTIME! Just by not having Frank Omiyale and Chris Harris on the field for the rematch, the Bears have improved by leaps and bounds.
- Since Jahvid Best’s brilliant performance against the Bears on Monday night, the Lions have sported a leading rusher with 37, 50 and 58 yards. Their run game is in the tank and they seem to think Kevin Smith may be the answer. Without the injured Best and a solid run game, they’ll be forced to throw it almost every down against the Bears defense and I don’t see them winning that way.
- The Bears won’t make the same mistake twice. Calvin Johnson will not beat them deep. He will get his 100 and a touchdown because he gets it every week but he will not beat them deep.
- I actually don’t believe there is a defense in the league that can stop the Bears rush attack. And I think that means there is not a team in the league that can dominate them. Teams have had success running right at the heart of the Lions defensive line. (The Lions rush defense is bottom five.) The Bears will too.
- I think Jay Cutler is ready for one of those big money statistical games and I think the Lions secondary is ripe for the picking. At home, in front of a riotous Soldier Field crowd, Cutler shines.
- Nobody likes the Lions. I have never seen a team so seamlessly transition from national media darling to villain in just a few weeks. The last three teams they’ve played left the field complaining about their extra curricular bullshit. (The Bears let similar information out there, off the record.) The Bears will be angry…
- …and confident. The Bears defense plays their best when they are expected to fail but they play their second best when they don’t believe anyone can move the ball on them. I have a feeling you’re going to see 90, 54, 55 and the boys flying around with a ton of intensity Sunday.
- There’s a dramatic arc to these Bears, as this playwright sees it. Think about any great sports movie, or kung fu movie, or whatever. The Bears lose on Monday night in Detroit. They are humiliated. They wake up Tuesday morning and are dead set on revenge. They trounce a horrible Vikings team at home. Confidence builds. They journey to London and beat a decent Bucs team. Confidence builds. They go to Philadelphia, square off with one of the most talented teams in the league, and win. Confidence builds. Now the grand villain. The one who embarrassed them on the national stage. The one who set them on this path comes to Soldier Field. I don’t think they let it get close.
Chicago Bears 27, Detroit Lions 10