The Detroit Lions can stay in the playoff hunt for another week with a win this Saturday, but division opponents can never be taken lightly.
NFL football on a Saturday night isn’t common. What you can expect anytime you get the Detroit Lions squared off against the Chicago Bears is a battle royale.
Expect a close game and maybe a scuffle or two.
Play clean offensively
The Bears might be 4-9, but if the Lions play anywhere close to what they did last week, expect another loss. Chicago head coach John Fox is too good of a coach to let good opportunities slip away plus his team is better than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Winning the turnover battle won’t mean as much because the Lions don’t have the luxury of playing a worse team. Protection will be an issue, so that ball needs to come out quick and not be in any Bears’ hands. You can forget about a running game until Detroit coaches have better play calling and gets Zach Zenner more involved.
Defense needs to step up
Carrying the Lions’ offense has really wore the Lions’ defense out. Getting the ball back won’t be enough. Bears’ running back Jordan Howard is tough to stop, so making just a few in crucial situations could mean the difference between winning and losing.
Harassing the quarterback won’t be enough, as rookie Mitch Trubisky can scramble to save his life. The Lions were lucky in their last matchup, it won’t work in their favor again if the game unravels the same way.
Kicking game needs to be perfect
Matt Prater is a surefire Pro Bowler this year. He needs to be perfect once again, as these NFC North rivals will play down to the wire. Sam Martin showing up and returning to All-Pro form would do wonders for the defense that could use better field position.
Kickers and punters for the Lions over the years have been pretty good. Detroit needs both to show they’re worth the money on Saturday night.