3 key matchups for Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears Week 10
By Zach Payne
As the Detroit Lions try to make it two wins in a row, here are three key matchups for Week 10 against the Chicago Bears.
Following a tumultuous couple of weeks, as the Detroit Lions season began to spin out of control, they got a much-needed win in Week 9. Winning is always sweet, it was made sweeter by the fact it was against the Packers. Furthermore, the Lions’ secondary picked off Aaron Rodgers three times.
Having renewed some of the good vibes in Detroit, the Lions now travel to Chicago to take on the Bears. While in the midst of a rebuild themselves, Chicago has had plenty to cheer about this season. The offense seems to gets better every week, and there are young defensive pieces they hope to build around.
While neither of these teams is set to contend for the playoffs this year, they both plan to be ascend soon. This matchup on Sunday features some young pieces who could be major pieces in this rivalry for years down the line.
Here are three key matchups for Lions-Bears in Week 10.
Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears: 3 key matchups
Matchup 1: Lions DEs vs. Bears QB Justin Fields
In Week 9, Justin Fields set the NFL regular season single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 178. There are mobile quarterbacks in the NFL, then there are the ones like Fields. Some guys just have a different level of running ability.
Unfortunately, we’ve already seen how mobile quarterbacks can expose the Lions’ defense. Jalen Hurts ran for 90 yards in Week 1, Geno Smith ran for 49 yards on just seven attempts in Week 4, and even Aaron Rodgers last week gave the Lions fits on the ground.
Chicago currently averages the most rushing yards per game (195.4) in the league. Stopping Fields’ contributions is far from the only challenge the defensive front will face on Sunday. However, limiting how much Fields can use his legs will have a profound impact on how this game shakes out.
Matchup 2: Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. Bears CB Jaylon Johnson
In Week 9 St. Brown didn’t necessarily have a bad game, but he certainly didn’t have his best either. Due to the lack of weapons on the outside, Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander occasionally wandered into the slot to cover St. Brown. Against the Bears, it’s possible their top corner Jaylon Johnson will get that opportunity as well.
One of the big problems over the past few weeks has been that St. Brown is a key player for defenses to zero in on. He’s a great player, so defenses have begun giving him more attention. As a result, Jared Goff has either had to force passes to him or try to spread the ball to less talented options.
Neither option is a very good one, so it’s imperative St. Brown elevates his play back to a level he’s been at previously. A truly dominant effort is within St. Brown’s capabilities, he just needs to find that gear again.
Matchup 3: Lions TE James Mitchell vs. Bears S Jaquan Brisker
Last week Mitchell caught his first career touchdown, which ended up being the deciding score. However, the Lions’ tight ends weren’t used much in the passing game. With T.J. Hockenson not being on the roster anymore, it seems as if Mitchell will see more pass-catching opportunities going forward as his role expands. It’s clearly an element the Lions lacked in Week 9, and something that needs to improve going forward.
Chicago uses multiple defenders to deal with opposing tight ends, but rookie safety Jaquan Brisker has been the best at it. He’s been playing at a very high level this season.
Mitchell could very well be in for another quiet day. However, if he’s able to make just a couple of impact plays as a receiver it would give an enormous boost to the Detroit offense.