ACL’s Week 10 Matchup Preview: Lions@Bears
After 8 weeks of football, I feel that we are finally starting to see just who these Bears think they are. And I for one am LOVING it. Hell yeah, that was a great win for the Bears last Monday night, the score was closer than it should have been since Matty “Ball Security wasn’t my” Forte had an off night with his two fumbles, which lead directly to 14 points for the Eagles.
However, there were some fantastic things that happened against the Eagles. Cutler didn’t take a single sack, and the Eagles were not credited with a single knock down either. That’s phenomenal work by our much maligned offensive line. In fact, in the last 3 games, they’ve given up a miniscule 3 sacks. That’s fantastic. The best thing about the O-line performing so much better is it gives Cutler confidence in them, and this will help him be much more relaxed in the pocket. It can only get better, the longer they stay in this configuration, I believe.
Earl Bennett was clutch in his return from injury; he was all over the place, making crucial catches and was Mr. Dependable Hands. I see very good things in his future.
Even though he had the two fumbles, Forte ran with a purpose, speed, and vision and looked great. The only thing I would have said to him were I the running backs coach would be “Take it easy, you don’t have to get it all on one single play”. It seemed like he was pressing a bit, but that’s ok, that’s not a negative thing. He will take better care of the ball going forward.
The defense, man do I love how the defense played! They played like men. They played like Chicago Bears. Urlacher, Briggs, Peppers, Izzy, Okoye, Melton, all the boys did their part. The secondary made some very good tackles on a slippery Shady McCoy and didn’t allow any deep passes. Vick must have woken up sore as hell Tuesday morning, that’s for sure. Great effort by the entire defense.
OK, enough praise for last week’s game, let’s move on to this week. We got the Lions coming into town, the same Lions that put it on us 24-13 in week 5. The good news? This isn’t the same Bears team, and frankly, it’s not the same Lions team either.
First and foremost, Cutler absolutely had to run for his life in week 5, and even though he played quite well, you knew there was no way he was going to be able to pull out the win. He couldn’t set his feet, hell, he could barely take a snap. Well, that’s changed. The O-line held the 6th ranked (at the time of the Eagles game) defense to no sacks at all. Are the Lions better at rushing the passer? According to the stats I’ve found, yup, they are. (4th in sacks) I don’t care. Martz has JC getting the ball out of his hands quickly, and has him rolling out now, which is Cutler’s more natural tendency. Combine that with the improved protection the O-line is giving him, and I don’t see the Lions doing much harm to the passing game. On top of that, the Lions suck at stopping the run, with their vaunted 28th in the league-rated defense against it.
Frankly, that’s the whole ball game right there. The Lions can’t rush because Best is out, Mo Morris doesn’t really scare anybody. They can pass to Johnson, but that’s easy, Peanut in coverage with a safety over the top. Disguising coverages like they did against the Eagles will confuse Stafford. Boom, it’s that easy. Essentially, stop the Lions pass rush, run the ball A LOT to set up the pass and win this game. It really is that simple, in my opinion.
I’m telling you, folks, I see this as a win, and I don’t think it’s going to be all that close. Oh, Megatron will get his, but that’s ok, he’s the only weapon they have that’s worth a damn. As long as the Bears get Stafford away from passing on first down (he’s like 70% on first down and below 50% on third down) then it’s all good.
I am confident the Windy City Warriors win this game, and I believe the score will indicate a dominating performance.
We need this game, the team knows it’s important, and they will not let us down.
Final score, your Chicago Bears 34, Detroit Lions 13