The last time the Bears had a division rematch this season, the Bears had three wins. At least that total improved! ... Right? Right?
Okay, so the season's over, in all facets, with two division rematches to go, and only one of them with playoff implications, as this week they get their rematch with the Lions, who ripped them apart as you devoured your turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving.
The Lions, since that week, have gone on to reach double-digit wins and are fighting with the Packers for the division crown and are also solidly entrenched in the wild-card hunt. Remember when the Bears were in any kind of playoff hunt? It feels so long ago. Anyway, let's look at this game.
|Total Points||281 (23rd)||238 (1st)|
|Total Yardage||4,772 (17th)||4,204 (2nd)|
|Passing Yardage||3,599 (9th)||3,311 (14th)|
|Rushing Yardage||1,173 (30th)||893 (1st)|
So what's changed?: Not much over the last three weeks, if you're a Lions fan. The Bears are still a bad team with an offense that hasn't done much, although the switch to Jimmy Clausen must make the top defense in the league salivate. Golden Tate is continuing to have an outstanding season, as he's up to over 1,200 receiving yards and 91 receptions, stepping up big as Calvin Johnson continues to be hobbled with an ankle injury.
Defensively, Nick Fairley is out as he continues to recover from his knee injury, but that's okay, because the Lions have been still doing work even without him. Ndamukong Suh has continued to play well with Ziggy Ansah, and the rest of the Lions defense continues to play at a high level. And even though they've won both games since beating the Bears, they still only scored 16 points in their win over the Vikings, their seventh performance below 20 points this season, so they've needed that defense to play strong for them and their offense to score a little more (3-4 when scoring less than 20, 8-3 when allowing less than 20).
If you're a Bears fan, a lot's changed, but a lot's stayed the same. Jay Cutler just last week was pronounced the Bears starting quarterback as long as he's healthy, and just last night was announced to be benched in favor of Jimmy Clausen, whom the team didn't even trust enough to play in consideration of benching Cutler against Tampa Bay. They still haven't scored 30 points in a game this season, which is a problem for last year's high-scoring offense. But the team has problems all over the place that, while bad entering the last matchup against the Lions, have gotten even worse.
Consider: Aside from holding the Vikings and Buccaneers to 13 points, since allowing the Dolphins to score 27 points in Week 7, the Bears haven't allowed less than 30 points in five of those last seven games, and 40 points in four games. They've allowed 350 total offensive yards in 11 of their 14 games this season. That includes 300 passing yards seven times (plot twist: The Bucs got to 301, the Cowboys got to 203 - although 194 rushing yards had something to say in that).
A couple other stat things to consider: The Bears have allowed an opposing quarterback rating of 106.1 with an adjusted net yards per attempt (which penalizes a little harsher for sacks and interceptions) of 7.7, higher than their net yards per attempt of 7.4.
But anyway, this is an article about what's changed since the last Detroit game. Geez, a lot's happened, between Kromer-gate, those odd press conferences, two more blowout losses where the team isn't competitive, being knocked from the playoff hunt, news of a possible Tucker firing, news of a possible Trestman firing, and now the benching of Jay Cutler - nothing's happened at all, nope, nada, not a thing.
We'll have to watch how the Bears' gameplan changes with Clausen at quarterback, if it changes at all; and if the quarterback change affects the offense, what's the counter effect on the team's terrible defense?
What's on your mind as we get to Sunday's game?