The powers that be must be a Detroit fan or just extremely sympathetic to their plight because for the second straight year we go in with a defense that is banged up in all the wrong spots.
The Bears come to Ford Field to face the desperate Detroit Lions. Desperate for their first win in the post-Matt Millen era, deperate to get their first win in the division and desperate to get their first win period.
Us Vs. Them - Defense
Detroit as a team isn't doing much right, but the one thing they are doing is finding receivers Calvin Johnson and Roy Willaims. CJ and Williams standing at 6' 5" and 6' 3" respectively come at Chicago's secondary at the worst possible time. Starting, best and biggest CB Charles Tillman's status is still up in the air. He is listed as Questionable on the injury report. Number 2 CB, Nathan Vasher is already out for the game after having minor surgery. This potentially leaves a pair of youngsters to take on the potent pass catching duo. Corey Graham and Trumaine McBride stand at 6' 0" and 5' 9" and have 4 years of experience between them. Graham has been coming on strong and after a strong camp has been stealing some time from Vasher in specific situations. Graham has the ability to be a good player. Our problem is McBride who is vastly undersized to take on either receiver.
To combat this area of weakness the Bears need to find their pass rush and find it fast. They need to mimic the game they played in Indy. If the Bears defense can bring enough pressure to force Kitna to get rid of the ball early and not give time for his receivers time to get down field, it will be the key to a Bears victory. I would expect to see more of safety Mike Brown and LBs Urlacher and Briggs coming in. If Peanut can't go, this also hurts our pass rush as he is an exceptional at the corner blitz.
Us VS. Them - Offense
The suddenly surging Bears offense will get their easiest test to date. The Lions are are near bottom of every major statistical category and when I say near bottom I mean they are bottom in every one but one. The are 32nd in the league in points allowed, rush yards allowed and overall yards allowed. It gets better in passing yards allowed, but not by much as they are 22nd.
So far this year Matt Forte has lined up against the 31st, 12th, 19th and 1st ranked defenses in the league and is ranked 6th in the league. Against the Colts (31st) he tallied around 150 yards. Forte should have a field day both from a rush stand point and passing. It would also be nice to see the Bears work Kevin Jones in more to see what he might have for his old team in a little revenge running.
The Bears receivers are a bit banged up as well and the status of receivers Brandon Lloyd (doubtful) and Marty Booker (probable) is still up in the air. This is the one game that may not be a horrible thing. With Forte and tight ends Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen, the Bears should be able to keep the Lions defense on the ropes and keep their offense off the field.
Other News and Notes:
Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher now have their own websites.
Be sure to get your FF lineups set. Bye weeks are CLE, NYG, OAK and STL.
This is a pretty cool article on Matt Forte and how grounded and dedicated he is.