The Chicago Bears take on the Detroit Lions. They look to finally win consecutive games and give head coach Matt Eberflus his first division win.
The Chicago Bears start an important stretch starting this week. They travel to take on the NFC North leaders, the Detroit Lions. It will be their first division game since their Week 1 debacle against the Green Bay Packers. Then, they face the Minnesota Vikings next week. After their bye week, they once again take on the Lions.
Three straight division games against the top two teams will give the Bears an idea of how the rest of the season goes. They don’t have to win all three games. However, if they are competitive in those games and perform well, it gives hope that the rebuild is on the right path.
It would be nice if they could at least win one, though, because head coach Matt Eberflus has not won a division game yet. You cannot take the North and not give it up until you at least win your first game.
First things first, though. The Bears have their first game against the Lions. They take the road to try also to win consecutive games. In addition to no division wins, the team has yet to do that in the Eberflus era.
Let’s see what happens in this week’s game first. Here are some bold predictions for the game.
The interior of the defensive line shows its performance is no fluke
While some portions of the Chicago Bears defense have struggled, the interior of the line, which tries to shut down the run, has made a remarkable improvement. Last season, Chicago’s rush defense ranked 31st in yards, last in touchdowns, and 27th in average yards per carry.
Things are in reverse this season. The Bears’ rush defense ranks second in yards, fourth in touchdowns, and leads the league in average yards per carry. The Bears have held opponents to under 100 rushing yards in eight of their ten games.
That unit will be tested against the Lions. Detroit has a very tough running game. They rank third in rushing yards and fourth in average yards per carry. They do rank 16th in touchdowns, though.
The Lions have a good duo at running back. They have David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. Together, they have 977 rushing yards and average about five yards per carry. Stopping them will be a difficult task.
We remember Montgomery from his days with the Chicago Bears. He is having a great year in Detroit. He leads the league in yards per game at 83.5. He wants to have a big game against his former team. Meanwhile, his former team wants to shut him down. We will see who comes out on top.
Prediction: The Bears tame the Lions rushing game. They allow 93 total rushing yards.
Moore has a big game
One of the weaknesses of this Lions team is their pass defense. They don’t have much of a pass rush, ranking 22nd in sacks. As a result, they allow 231.5 passing yards per game.
The Bears could take advantage of this. A big division game like this is what D.J. Moore is made for. The Bears brought him to transform the wide receivers unit.
Moore is already having a good season. He ranks ninth in the league with 793 receiving yards. Having a big game against the Lions will raise his profile even more.
The Bears have to exploit Detroit’s weakness. Moore has the ability to run deep routes and blow past defenders. Also, he can take a short pass and turn it into a big play. He needs to do that this week.
Prediction: Moore has 10 catches for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Fields returns to conquer Detroit
Earlier in the week the Chicago Bears announced that Justin Fields would return. He missed the last four games with a dislocated thumb on his throwing hand.
During the time Fields was out, the feeling that the Bears would part ways with him grew exponentially. Rookie Tyson Bagent took over for Fields and a lot of the fanbase fell in love with him, despite his limitations.
While the fanbase became split on the “Should Fields go or should he stay” talk, Fields spent the time looking at the offense from the outside. He said he would find out why certain plays were called at certain moments. Additionally, he saw some of the things Bagent was successful in and will implement them into his own game.
As mentioned earlier, opponents can beat the Lions downfield. That was one of Bagent’s problems. He had trouble going downfield. He could only dink and dunk. That is great when the running game and defense give you a lead. However, it doesn’t work when trying to come from behind or getting into a shootout.
If Fields can keep control he can make any play. He has to show that he took some pointers during his month off and is ready to show that he is the guy to lead the Chicago Bears offense into relevancy. The Bears will have two very high picks. They would be so much more valuable if they did not need a quarterback. Fields can start making the team feel that way with a big game this week.
Prediction: Fields completes 67 percent of his passes for 286 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also rushes for 63 yards and a touchdown.