The Detroit Lions will look to start their season off with a win
Before every game each week, I will write a preview article about the Detroit Lions upcoming matchup. The article will take a look at the history between the two teams, what occurred during their last matchup, what to watch for, the key thing to the game/what the Lions will need to do to win and to end off, a prediction.
The Lions upcoming game is a Week 1 matchup against the Chicago Bears at home although there will be no fans in the seats due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears history
The Lions and Bears have been rivals ever since as the two teams both play in the NFC North. This matchup has consisted of 180 games where the Bears hold the edge with a 101-74-5 record. The Bears currently hold a four-game win streak against the Lions which dates back to the 2018 season.
The last time the two rivals played each other was the Lions annual Thanksgiving game at Ford Field during Week 13 on November 28, 2019.
The Bears took the game 24-20 and handed the Lions their fifth straight loss. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had a solid game as he was 29/38 while throwing for 338 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Running back David Montgomery rushed for 75 yards while three Bears receivers got 50+ yards. Wide receiver Anthony Miller got 140 reception yards on nine catches while wide receiver Allen Robinson got 86 receiving yards on eight receptions with a touchdown.
Quarterback David Blough was 22/38 throwing for 280 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Running back Bo Scarbrough rushed for 83 yards on 21 attempts while wide receiver Kenny Golladay caught four passes for 158 yards and a touchdown.
At halftime, the Lions were leading 17-10 but ended up giving a touchdown in both the third and fourth quarters to blow the game.
What to watch for
There are a few things to watch for in the Lions season opener. How will the defense play after being one of the worst in the league in 2019? The Lions brought in some fresh faces on the defensive end in hopes that it will perform better than last season. For the Lions defense, one thing to look for is the secondary.
The Lions traded away their star cornerback Darius Slay while they drafted Jeff Okudah and signed Desmond Trufant. Will Okudah and Trufant be able to mesh together without any preseason games being played?
Another thing to watch for is the offensive line taking on the Bears fearsome front seven. The Bears arguably have the best front seven in the league that consists of defensive end Akiem Hicks along with linebackers Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn among others.
Will the offensive line be able to contain them and protect quarterback Matthew Stafford. Speaking of Stafford, despite him being 100% healthy, is he up to game speed?
Also, how will the Lions react to Trubisky and the Bears shaky offense? Trubisky has struggled to perform consistently as he tends to throw the ball away and miss his targets. Due to this, the Bears may rely on running back Tarik Cohen to run the ball a lot. Can the Lions weak pass rush stop him if he’s given the ball a lot?
Lastly, who’s going to cover the Bears number one wideout in Robinson? Will it be an experienced corner in Trufant or an inexperienced but a high upside player in Okudah?
Keys to the game/What the Lions need to do to win
For the Lions to win, they have to protect Stafford from getting sacked. The offensive line needs to be strong and allow no one to get by them.
The defense, especially the pass rush, needs to get to the guy with the ball quickly while the secondary needs to get any balls in the air against a shaky quarterback in Trubisky.
Last season, the Lions didn’t win a single game when Stafford was out with a back injury. With tons of time to rest, Stafford is now back and the Lions will start off the season with a win.
While the offensive line may have a bit of a struggle to contain the Bears defensive line, Stafford will be able to get rid of the ball most of the time before they get to him and having guys like Golladay, wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. and tight end T.J. Hockenson helps.
The defense will show glimpses of what they can be as they will show big improvements from what we saw from them last year. The Lions will also get an interception against Trubisky.