With the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears set for an important NFC North matchup on Sunday, I got together with Mike Praser of Bear Goggles On for a quick Q&A to get a Bears perspective on the upcoming game.
1. What is the big difference you notice in the Marc Trestman-led Bears compared to when Lovie Smith was running the show?
The biggest difference is the offense. So far this year it has been night and day with the way the offense has been playing compared to the last 3 seasons. Jay Cutler has been able to get rid of the ball fast and when he can’t, the offensive line has been able to protect him. Watching Jay Cutler being able to step up in the pocket has been huge. Marc Trestman was fortunate to inherit a team that was 10-6 last year. The defense has not missed much of a beat with take aways, but there are differences bet ween last years defense and this years defense.
2. Charles Tillman hasn’t practiced this week.What are the chances he plays and how much does the game change if he is out of the lineup?
When a player misses practice as much as Peanut Tillman has this week, you can normally expect him to be out for Sunday. Charles Tillman has been the key to containing Megatron these last couple seasons, and if he doesn’t play, you can expect Calvin Johnson to have his way with the Bears secondary.
3. The Bears defense continues to turn turnovers into touchdowns, how do they do it year after year?
Honestly, I think it is just amazing how the Bears can continue to have the success with takeaways as they do. It is preached in practice and they take pride in it. The key has to be the players. I always thought that when the Bears pass rush was clicking that it produced turnovers, but this year so far, the defensive line has not been generating the kind of pressure that the Bears have produced in the past. Yet, they still generate the turnovers. It is simply amazing, especially when everybody knows it’s what they do. Wouldn’t you think teams would try to limit the chances of turnovers by running the ball more? It is most impressive.
4. What are you most confident in and what worries you most in the matchup with the Lions?
I’m most confident in the Bears offensive line. So far in 3 games, Jay Cutler had only been sacked 3 times. That is huge. The protection is holding up and Cutler is getting rid of the ball fast. With Marshall, the two Bennetts and Matt Forte, there are a lot of weapons for Detroit to contend with.
What worries me most is Reggie Bush. The Bears can stop the run, but with their attention on Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush can wreak havoc on the Bears in the passing game. Dumping off to Reggie Bush can call to disaster on the Bears defense.
5. How do you see this game playing out and what is your final score prediction?
I know a lot of people are calling this an upset for the Bears. I am a little more optimistic. They performed well against the Steelers in a tough home crowd. I’ve been to games in Detroit and it can get loud in Ford Field. To be honest, it was so loud that it almost sounded like they were piping in crowd noise in to the stadium. I see the Bears new and improved offensive line protecting Jay Cutler and the defense being able to capitalize on takeaways. It has been the trend so far this year.
Bears 31, Lions 17