The Detroit Lions are putting up big time offensive numbers right now. You can criticize their opponents – and there’s much to criticize there – but that’s irrelevant for Sunday. Kill the Colts, Titans and Packers all you want but all three teams have better quarterbacks than Brian Hoyer and healthier defenses than the Chicago Bears. The Lions are going to score points at Soldier Field. Breaking that match-up down makes little sense. Here’s the match-up that might swing the game.
Jordan Howard & the Bears Offensive Line
Detroit’s Rush Defense
- Jordan Howard has opportunity to change the narrative of the 2016 Bears season. Think that’s a bit of an overstatement? It may be. But consider the headlines in Chicago Monday morning should the Bears beat Detroit on the shoulders of a 22 carry, 125 yard, 2 touchdown performance by a rookie running back. Hope for the future is dependent upon the emergence of young stars. Howard can emerge Sunday.
- It was obvious the strength of this offense was going to be their guard and center play by the middle of the season. Unfortunately the Bears can no longer wait that long. They’ve cut their fullback and a tight end brought in to strengthen the rushing attack. The right tackle is a nightmare, surprisingly in the run game as well as the passing attack. The Bears need Sitton-Whitehair-Long to be the toughest guys in the room. They’re capable of doing it.
- Dowell Loggains can make this all easier. He probably won’t but he certainly can. He can soften the edges of the Lions defense by running an end around or two or maybe even a pitch. Don’t allow the Lion ends to crash the middle of the Bears offense. He can get the Bears into manageable downs and distance by throwing some quick passes to his big receivers on the outside. Great rushing attacks with great offensive lines can pound the ball with ease on first-and-ten. The Bears don’t have a great rushing attack or a great offensive line. From second-and-five, everything is easier to execute.
- Detroit is allowing 114.7 rushing yards a game. This isn’t good, especially when you understand that two of there three opponents (Colts, Pack) are pass-first attacks. Without DeAndre Levy and Ziggy Ansah the Bears should have success moving the ball. Will they? Who knows?
- If Jordan Howard and rush attack doesn’t work, the Bears lose. Simple as that. Welcome to Brian Hoyer.