Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears: SLR Staff Predictions

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Dec 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) knocks down Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during 2nd Half of a game at Ford Field. Bears won 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

What will happen when the Detroit Lions host the Chicago Bears on Sunday? One more day to wait before we know for sure, but here is what the SideLion Report staff sees ahead.

Matt Pelc – The Detroit Lions have had quite the roller coaster ride the past two weeks. With expectations riding high, they wilted in the desert and lost a game they led most of the way in Arizona. This led many, including yours truly, to expect the Same Old Lions to roll into the nation’s capital and roll over for another loss against the home standing Redskins. The Lions beat the odds and claimed a victory, however it cost them the services of Jason Jones for the season. Later in the week they lost their leading receiver, Nate Burleson, in a gallant but failed attempt to save a pizza slice in distress.

So how do the Lions’ match up with the undefeated Bears heading into their Week 4 matchup at home? Losing Burleson is concerning because it reduces legitimate outlets for Matthew Stafford when Calvin Johnson is double and triple covered. This likely means more plays for Ryan Broyles, who kicked off the dust in his first game last Sunday, and the tight ends—good if it means more touches for Joseph Fauria, bad it means more touches for the liability known as Brandon Pettigrew. Reggie Bush will be back, which will hopefully pick up some of the slack of losing a starting wide receiver.

Chicago has given up their share of points this season, and they also suffered a loss in last week’s win in Pittsburgh—defensive end Henry Melton is out for the season. Though the Lions’ offense has disappeared for long periods of time in all three games thus far, they should be able to score, especially in a friendly Ford Field. The noise should cause problems for the Bears’ offense preparing for the snap, however the defenders need to be ready to matchup against Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall. The Lions have brought out the best and worst in Jay Cutler, so keeping him off balance will go a long way toward a victory.
Prediction: Lions 31, Bears 27

Braden Shackelford – If you’re a Bears fan, you’re probably picking the Bears to win. If you’re a Lions fan you’re probably picking the Lions to win. The truth is, you could make a case for both teams to win. If the Lions are going to win they need to make the Bears offense one dimensional, meaning containing Matt Forte. If they can do that, I like the Lions pass rush over the Bears offensive line. The second thing the Lions need to do is take care of the ball. If they can keep the Bears savvy defense from those strip fumbles and interceptions that they are so good at causing then the Lions will win this game. That’s asking a lot when you consider that the Lions will be relying more on Ryan Broyles, Joseph Fauria, and Tony Scheffler over the middle who haven’t been receiving a ton of playing time. In the end I’ll pick the Lions, because it’s a home game and because Reggie Bush is back in action and containing both Johnson and Bush is a tough feat to accomplish at Ford Field, even with the Bears’ stout defense.
Prediction: Lions win 27-24

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