In just a few days the Bears will play football. Someone will keep score. It’ll count. We’ll take it.
Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?
I always like the Chicago Bears.
And I don’t see any way the Lions are able to get the Bears blocked up front. The early days of this season should favor ability over scheme and that’s a lot of ability rushing the passer. Legendary NYC radio host Mike Francesa always used the phrase “wreck the game” when it came to the elite pass rushers and the Bears have three guys – Mack, Quinn, Hicks – who can potentially wreck this one. Expectations are for all three to play, and play well.
Actual Football Thoughts Re: Detroit
- Mitch Trubisky’s success against the Lions is not a myth. But it is absurd.
- In five career games, he has completed 70.1% of his passes for 1,359 yards, 11 TDs and only 4 INTS. That’s a passer rating of 106.3.
- In his three starts against them under Matt Nagy, those numbers move to 74.7%, 9/1 TD to INT and a rating of 132.4. And most importantly, three victories.
- Let’s take just touchdowns and interceptions for a second. Remove the Lions numbers from Mitch’s totals and he’s at 37 TDs and 25 INTs. That’s…horrendous. It’s quite remarkable how these Lions performances have skewed his poor career statistics slightly more positive.
- Remember the Thanksgiving game a year ago? (I honestly didn’t before doing a bit of research for this.) Matt Patricia had Matt Prater squib a kickoff, trying to avoid a game-breaking return from Cordarrelle Patterson. The ball takes a weird bounce, hits a Bear, recovered by the Lions. (People actually tried to argue Prater hit a Bear on purpose because people are generally dumb.) In a game certain to be low-scoring and close, expect similar tactics from Patricia Sunday. The Lions know the pressure facing Trubisky and there’s no way they’ll allow the Bears to score cheap points, or create short fields, from explosive plays on specials.
- The Lions need to run the ball against all three teams in this division and their selection of D’Andre Swift in the second round was a move in that direction. But Swift isn’t healthy and might not even be active this week. Expect the Lions to come with a committee of Kerryon Johnson and Adrian Peterson as they attempt to test the Bears’ rush defense without their best rush defender, Eddie Goldman.
- The talk of Lions camp? Kenny Golladay. Not only is the rising star wideout expected to sign a lucrative extension very shortly but he’s been absolutely dominating their over-matched secondary in practice sessions. If there’s one player on this Lions team the Bears can’t let beat them, it’s Golladay. Chuck Pagano should expect the Lions to find ways to get him matched up with Jaylon Johnson or Buster Skrine early and often. And while it’s not their usual tactic, they should shade Eddie Jackson to Golladay all day long. If Marvin Jones or Danny Amendola win their one-on-ones, so be it.
The Malnati’s Opening Day Giveaway
Our partners at Lou Malnati’s are generously giving away another prize package – exclusive to DBB readers and followers – to celebrate the first football Sunday. The package includes two Malnati’s deep dish pizzas and the Chicago football cookie trio from Deerfields Bakery. (See the cookies right here.)
What do you need to do to win this package worth north of $100? Just guess Mitch Trubisky’s passer rating for Sunday. Rules:
- You can only guess once.
- The guess must be a stand alone comment on this thread. Don’t bury your guess inside a 34-comment conversation about South African Troskyist Ted Grant. I’m not digging for entries.
- No tiebreakers. If someone has already posted 79.6, don’t post another 79.6. The first one is going to be the winner.
- Your only responsibility is to share photos of the Malnati’s experience with me via Twitter or email so they can promote it on their social channels.
Worth the Gamble
Most folks only know about a handful of NFL bets. Point spreads, teasers, over/unders…etc. But the litany of bets available for Super Bowl Sunday are now available most every other Sunday, thanks to apps like DraftKings Sportsbook. Here are four I like with solid odds.
Bet #1: Neither Team Gets to 25 Points. (+120)
Bet #2: Total Points/Even. (+106)
Bet #3: First Scoring Play, Lions Field Goal (+320)
Bet #4: First Scoring Play, Bears Field Goal (+390)
Best Detroit & Around Detroit Movies
Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
Roger & Me (1989)
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Hitsville: The Making of Motown (2019)
Don’t think the sloppiness will be restricted to the offense and it’s likely Matthew Stafford will hit a few big plays over the top due to some miscommunication in the Bears secondary. But this game will be defined by Mitch Trubisky and he’ll do just enough with his legs to keep the chains moving. He won’t do enough to quell the Foles talk but he’ll get the Bears to 1-0.
Chicago Bears 20, Detroit Lions 17