Detroit Lions: How to beat the Chicago Bears in Week 11
With a division game on the line, the Detroit Lions’ margin for error is very slim. Every win counts from here on out.
With the NFC shaking out the way it is, any shot the Detroit Lions have at reaching the playoffs likely comes down to a division title. The NFC North is far from over and a team like the Chicago Bears can play spoilers and potentially make that path to the postseason disappear. Winning out only helps their chances, and the Lions could do it.
Contain the running game
Losing Haloti Ngata certainly hurt the Lions’ ability to stop the run. Since the injury, they’ve yielded 62.15 more yards per game. The run defense has been feast or famine all season.
Against the Cleveland Browns, Detroit surrendered 201 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Jordan Howard and the Chicago Bears’ offensive line are a step up from Isaiah Crowell and his offensive line.
Chicago’s wide receivers aren’t huge threats, but if the running game gets going, rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky can slice through the defense. Much like another rookie, Browns quarterback Deshone Kizer, and his band of cast-off pass catchers did.
Play with consistency
Tackling overall for the Lions wasn’t acceptable and often times looked soft and slow. Flip-side, the Lions’ ground attack looked serviceable in their Week 10 much up against a very good rush defense of Cleveland. Playoff contenders are more consistent than how the Lions have played recently.
Playing a game start to finish is a trait of a true champion. A well-rounded game, regardless who the opponent, could help supply the Lions with the momentum needed to propel them into the playoffs. Doing it against your division rival is the right time to do it.
Can’t make/give up costly plays
Turnovers, loss of yards and penalties are not a winning recipe for the Lions offense. Neither is yielding lots of yards, a ton of points or failing to make stops on defense. Against the Bears, it’ll be tougher than most would assume to capture a W in the Windy City.
There are lots of young playmakers on the defensive side, capable of making splash plays at the line of scrimmage and in the back-end. Chicago head coach John Fox can always put together a good gameplan for an offense that has its bright spots but is better coached than anything else.
Next: Detroit Lions - Mid-season awards, top plays, key games
Records don’t always tell the full story, and the Lions and Bears included are better than their records would indicate. It will be another NFC North grudge match. The team that plays the cleaner game will be the team that enjoys the spoils of victory.