If Calvin Johnson sees the end zone this week, I hope his view looks something like this. On his back, with the ball no where near him.
I know last weeks Nationally televised game against the Eagles was billed as the one that would determine exactly what kind of them the Bears are, contenders or pretenders, but this weeks game against the Lions has me more worried than their match up against Philly. There are just a lot of surrounding circumstances that make me wary.
Last week I was confident the Bears style of play on both offense and defense would give the Eagles fits. But this week, even though I think Chicago has the better team, even though Vegas odds say Chicago has the better team, and even though every NFL expert will finally be picking the Bears this week, there's still a little voice deep down telling me this is a classic trap game. Take the jump to see my concerns, then feel free to tell me I'm off my rocker...
The 'us against the world' mantra that Lovie Smith has his team buying into will be hard to sell against a two win Detroit Lions team. The only angle that would have any merit is pointing to the people claiming the Bears never should have beat them in week one. The catch that wasn't a catch thanks to an oddly worded (and some would say bad) rule, was all that stood in the way of a Bears loss. These Bears do play at their best with their backs against a wall, and for whatever reason they thrive on doubt. They just love quieting critics and proving people wrong. But this week there will be none of that, the visiting Bears are favored between 3 and 3.5 by most odds makers. How will they respond as favorites?
Having an emotional let down is natural after playing in such a meaningful game as the Bears did last Sunday. It was an exciting and chippy game, and the trash talk has continued on through the week. This Sunday the win is a foregone conclusion in most minds. But then next week, in week 14, the Bears have the New England Patriots coming to town for another Nationally televised game. A game that some may even call a potential Super Bowl preview. A game sure to surpass the viewership record that the Eagles vs. Bears contest set last Sunday. Could some players, in their subconscious, be overlooking the trip to Detroit?
The Lions last played on Thanksgiving, meaning they have extra time to prepare for the Bears. The Lions do play a bit better at home than on the road, both wins this year were in Detroit. And of there three home loses, the Eagles and Jets both nipped them by just three points, and even the Turkey Day game was much closer that the final score showed (it was 24-24 at the start of the 4th). In fact that N.E. game was the only game they played with a lopsided score. The Lions point differential is only -24, with -21 of that courtesy of Tom Brady and the Patriots.
I'm sure there is enough talent on the Lions to keep the Bears from overlooking them, and as a defense it's hard to not be already salivating at the thought of possibly playing another 3rd string QB, then of course they need to win to maintain their lead on the Packers, but I don't know... there's just something about this game...