The Bears (3-7) earned a hard-fought victory in an ugly game against a bad Carolina Panthers team last Thursday night at Soldier Field. There is more good news because starting quarterback Justin Fields is finally recovered enough from his thumb injury to start Sunday’s game. The bad news however is that game is on the road against the first-place Lions.
Detroit (7-2) has been on top of the NFC North since the first week of the season. Jared Goff quarterbacks an explosive offense that averages 406.2 yards a game, second most in the NFL. The passing attack is very explosive behind number one wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown who has 821 yards and four touchdowns so far this season.
The ground game is pretty effective for the Lions as well behind former Bear David Montgomery and 2023 first-round pick Jahmyr Gibbs from Alabama combining for nearly 1000 yards. Head coach Dan Campbell has one of the best offensive lines in football to drive his high powered unit.
The defense is not quite as good in the Motor City, allowing 310.7 yards a game and 22.6 points a contest. The secondary is a bit vulnerable if you can block a fearsome pass rush led by Aidan Hutchinson. It’s definitely not easy to run on Detroit which allows just 79.1 yards a game on the ground.
This is going to be a massive challenge for the Bears who have struggled with the Lions in recent years when they weren’t as talented as they are right now. Stranger things have happened but Chicago will need to play an absolutely perfect game to win. Let’s see if they can shock everyone Sunday.
Where to Watch/Listen
- Sunday, November 19 at 12:00pm CT on FOX, WBBM Radio (English), and WRTO Radio (Spanish).
Keys to Victory
Here are my keys to Sunday’s game. If these things happen, the Bears should have a shot to win.
- Justin Fields creating with his legs. The Bears quarterback will undoubtedly be rusty but they need him to buy time with his legs to make plays. If he can avoid the pass rush he will be able to find open receivers.
- Stiffen up in the red zone. Despite piling up yards, the Lions do have trouble finishing drives with touchdowns at times. Chicago will likely need to do that if they want to hang in the game.
- Make something happen on special teams. If a team is trying to pull off a major upset they usually need to get points from an unexpected source. A big return or a blocked kick would be the kind of thing that could help Matt Eberflus’ squad take home a win.
Don’t Tell Me the Odds
Detroit is favored by 7.5 points at home against the Bears on Sunday. Vegas expects a relatively high scoring game, setting the over/under at 47.5.
It’s Football Weather
Ford Field is a dome so the weather outside is not a factor Sunday afternoon.
Even with Justin Fields back in the lineup it seems unlikely the Bears will be able to hang in this game. I expect the Lions to win rather comfortably 31-17.
Official Bears Preview