With a humongous game looming on Thanksgiving, the Detroit Lions need to keep focused on the task at hand: Beating the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
This is a huge game for the Detroit Lions. Arguably the biggest one the Lions have played under head coach Jim Caldwell. The division title—or at least any shot at it—might just lay on the outcome. On national television.
With a loss, the Lions would fall three games behind the Minnesota Vikings, who would then most likely hold the tie-breaker over the Lions, as well. The Lions are healthy, and at a great time, what with this huge game upcoming.
There’s only one problem.
The big game I’m referring to is next week, on Thanksgiving, against those division-leading Vikings. This game—the one Sunday, against the Chicago Bears—has all the makings of a trap game.
It would be easy to overlook the Bears—the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Carolina Panthers are both guilty of it, and each have a bad loss in those games to show for it. The Bears have been the punching bags of the NFC North the past few years, and the Lions have been throwing hay-makers at them for the past three or four seasons.
This is not the year to take a break and overlook Mitch Trubisky and Co., however. The rookie quarterback has been playing decent football, the Bears have a decent defense, and their running game has been no joke all year.
With those factors weighing in, plus the game being on the road, and the shadow of a huge division game coming up on a short week, the Lions might well just be distracted enough to drop a game to the Bears. It’s not a gimme, like it has been the past couple of years. But it’s still a game that the Lions should win.
We will find out more about Jim Caldwell this weekend than perhaps we have in his entire tenure in Detroit. If his team comes out flat and unable to stop (or even slow down) the Bears running game, then maybe it’s time for the Stoic One to move on.
Trailing the Vikings by two games–even with the head-to-head match up in hand as of today—not having your team ready to pounce against the Bears would be a terrible failure for a veteran coach.
A loss against the Bears—ignoring all the divisional ramifications—would be inexcusable. The Lions are the better team, and they’ve improved after a tough three-week stretch. They are even healthy, bringing the preseason starting offensive line to Chicago for their first full game together.
Aside from the game being at Soldier Field, all things point to a Lions win. And as a Lions fan, you know what that means… A loss Sunday—with division ramifications, with a solid team, ready to make their move in the North—would be the most Same Old Lions thing EVER.
Here’s hoping that the Lions don’t fall into the trap.