Bears' Six-Pack Keys to Victory Against the Lions


The final game of the regular season has some big implications - what do the Bears need to do to beat the Lions in Week 17?

1) Calvin Johnson is Brandon Marshall.

That's some Inception-level thinking mind-blowing right there. But, what I mean by that is not that Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall are necessarily equivalent players statistically; rather, they have the same role in their offenses as the main guy the offense flows through and everything else pretty much builds off of.

2) Calvin Johnson is the real CJ2K.

And let's not forget Calvin Johnson is really damn good at football. And he only needs another 108 yards on the year to become the first receiver ever to hit 2,000 receiving yards. For some context, there've been six running backs that have eclipsed 2,000 rushing yards - Eric Dickerson (2,105), Jamal Lewis, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis, Chris Johnson and O.J. Simpson (and Adrian Peterson with 102 yards on Sunday against Green Bay can join them). 2,000 rushing yards is a rarity, certainly, but consider that only 15 individual receiving seasons have broken 1,600 receiving yards and Calvin Johnson is on that list twice.

3) Pro Bowl Snub Ndamukong Suh

Dominic Raiola may be a little out over his skis on some things, but Ndamukong Suh is a legit good NFL defensive tackle. Pro-Bowler over Henry Melton? Statistically, it's a possibility, depending on if character concerns make their way into your Pro Bowl ballot. And if you need a reason to make an already angry NFL player angrier in a game, well, that's a way to do it. The interior of the Bears' offensive line will be sorely tested.

4) Running the Ball Leshoure

I apologize in advance for the Spiegel quote. But, well, the Lions have been able to run the ball a little better since Mikel Leshoure recovered from his injury, enough that in the red zone he and Joique Bell are legitimate worries to punch in touchdowns.

5) Apple Turnovers

I don't know about you guys, but I personally love a good apple or cherry turnover. Probably the best of the breakfast pastries, in my opinion, especially heated. Well, a hot cinnamon roll is good too. But back to turnovers. They're good. And the Bears should take them. All of them. And score points on them. But don't give any turnovers away, because a good cherry turnover shouldn't be shared with people you're trying to beat in a football game.

6) Anthony Walters

Walters gets his first NFL start against a team that will probably break 750 passing attempts on the season if they get 70 plays. The Lions love to pass, pass, pass, and if they have to run between the 20s, they'll probably pass anyway, and with two good receiving tight ends, Calvin Johnson, and Ryan Broyles starting to step up, they'll give Walters plenty of opportunities. Walters can't let himself get beat or get baited into "young player" mistakes, especially if he wants to see a third season in a Bears uniform on a team with a potential logjam of young safeties next year.

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