The visit to the Detroit Lions is looking to be a much bigger game on the Chicago Bears schedule than you probably thought in the preseason. Everyone thought the Green Bay Packers would take the division, and then it was a toss-up between the Bears and Vikings to see who would take second in the NFC North.
Slightly more people within the NFL Punditocracy thought the Vikings had the edge.
Not so. The Detroit Lions are tied with the Bears and Green Bay Packers atop the division. All are 5-3, and with the Aaron Rodgers collarbone injury, the division is anyone’s ballgame. The Vikings are 1-7. So they’re out of it. We shouldn’t have slept on Detroit. After all “it’s a land of golden chariots.”
TV: Fox Sports Noon CDT Sunday
SPREAD: all over the place. No one really knows. It’s crazy; some have the Detroit Lions as a favorite. Some have the Bears. There’s like a 14 point spread on this.
Detroit Lions analysis:
The Detroit Lions are a pass first team, and very good through the air, but they need a ground attack too. And you saw what Eddie Lacy and the Packers did to the Bears run defense. But that ground game won’t come from Mikel Leshoure. Will he ever be a feature back for the team that drafted him in the second round just two years ago? The man who holds numerous Illini rushing records was healthy but inactive last week. In 2013 he has just two carries for nine yards. Both in the win over the Cleveland Browns. The curse of #5 strikes again.
Reggie Bush runs this backfield. Joique Bell is second string. Theo Riddick, a sixth-round pick four months ago out of Notre Dame is fourth string. So the Lions have two running backs who never play from college teams with a strong fan presence in Chicago.
Chicago Bears Analysis:
Jay Cutler is going to play! No, Jay Cutler is not going to play! You see this is why the spread is jumping all over the place. No one really knows what’s going on. With Marc Trestman though, it’s fine. Josh McCown can get it done. Trestmania brings an offense that’s so varied in sets and formations and looks that McCown will be able to score against Detroit.
We turn it over to The Sports Bank’s Jeff Hicks for a moment:
With the win at Lambeau Field, Trestman showed that he can plan an offensive game with different skill sets at the quarterback position. McCown has been able to observe the game on the sidelines, on film, and with Trestman, and has excelled under the new system. Trestman put the journeyman in a situation where he was not expected to win the game solely with his arm, and with better skill players that have helped pad Cutler’s statistics prior to his injury.
Chicago management did well to add offensive talent for Cutler and company to work with the past few off-seasons and via the draft. Brandon Marshall and Martellus Bennett have been important for Cutler in every face of the passing game. Bennett had more catches in the first month of the 2013 season as the entire Bears tight end position in 2012. Marshall’s personal and professional relationship with Cutler has been well documented, and McCown is smart enough to know that your stud players need to get the ball.
It’s the defense you need to worry about.
However, very pleasant surprise from former first pick Shea McClellin. The DE registered his first sack and played a good ballgame Monday night versus the Packers. I’ve been extremely critical of him in the past. So I need to give him his credit now. And Major Wright tackled somebody! Oh my God what’s happening!
Brutally Honest Prediction: Detroit Lions 31, Chicago Bears 27
Talent wise, I think the teams are rather similar, but I don’t like the matchup for the Bears,. I think they kind of got lucky Monday night. This time they won;t be so lucky.
I do love the Bears chances in the division though. It’s wide open now. Green Bay is vulnerable, and you gotta like the Bears chances as much as anyone else’s.
I couldn’t talk Detroit Lions and skip this topic. Twitter was buzzing all over this Detroit Lions happening.
— Detroit Lions (@DetroitLionsNFL) November 6, 2013
And then this one:
— Barry Sanders (@BarrySanders) November 6, 2013
Did Barry Sanders refer to himself in the third person? And then make the most egregious egocentric comment ever? He’s hacked, right? He can’t be that arrogant?
Brutally Honest record: 68-25
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also a regular analyst on news talk radio stations across the world; with weekly segments on NBC and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and RSSPowered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks