Somehow, for the second straight season, the Detroit Lions are still in the thick of the playoff race come near the end of December. The Lions, though, have a lot of work cut out for them in the NFC Wild Card race and will likely have to win out.
That’s where the well-out-of-playoffs Bears come in. Mitchell Trubisky and company have virtually nothing to play for in terms of the playoffs, positioning, what have you. But, they are looking for more developmental progress to set the table for 2018. They are looking to build on an impressive performance in Cincinnati last week. That means playing spoiler for the rival Lions and ending their season before they even have the opportunity to think about higher aspirations.
Of course, the Bears haven’t won in Detroit since 2012, so it won’t be easy by any means. Ford Field has been a house of horrors for this organization in the last few years. Though, Trubisky and company seem to relish in that moment as a challenge. Keep your eyes peeled.
Here are WCG’s staff picks for Bears-Lions on (Saturday) Thursday Night Football.
While I don't think the Bears' offensive performance against the Bengals was a blip, I do believe how the defense played can't be sustained against Detroit on the road. There's a difference between Andy Dalton and Matthew Stafford: one of the NFL's true franchise quarterbacks. A limited pass rush in particular concerns me against Stafford, who had his way against Chicago earlier this season. If the Bears are going to win, it'll have to come on the arm of Trubisky, which is certainly possible. The Lions have the edge in experience for now.
Lions 30 Bears 23
Lester Wiltfong Jr.
The Bears may be playing loose now with nothing to lose, and the thought of spoiling Detroit’s playoff chances could be enough to push them over the top.
Last week the Bengals were bad, but if the training wheels are off the Bears’ offense now, they’ll pull off the upset against the Lions.
Bears 23 Lions 21
I still won't suddenly buy into the Bears flipping a switch based on one game. I will need to see three straight games of good offensive game planning, good Trubisky play and good (ish) coaching before I buy anything that this team is selling. With that in mind, the Bears don't play well in Detroit and John Fox's teams have struggled inside the division. However, the Lions are far from a perfect team and seem to play while letting their opponent hang around. That doesn't quite bite them in the butt this week.
Lions 24, Bears 20
If the Bears play Fox ball, they lose 27-10. However, I think they get a clue.
Bears 31 Lions 27
The Bears’ coaching staff has seemingly accepted their fate. This is good news for a Bears offense that has been nothing short of awful for the bulk of the season. I fully expect to see the game plan continue to show off more passing in a balanced attack. With a more open playbook, and coaches trying to get good tape out there for the future, I expect the offense to continue to look good. The Lions are a much better team than the Bengals but they also aren't juggernauts. The Bears were able to move the ball against the Lions earlier this year and came up short. I don't think that will be the case this time around.
Bears 27 Lions 23
I'm in the same boat as Sam here. Until the Bears prove that they can consistently play at the level that they did against the Bengals, I refuse to buy into the hype. The Lions are a playoff contending team with a talented offense that could have its way against a beaten-up Bears defense. Detroit's defense isn't all that great, so Chicago may be able to keep the game close. However, I see the Lions walking away with the win.
Lions 27 Bears 21
With the Bears offense finally clicking, we have a recipe for a shootout simmering. The Bears defense is wounded, and the Lions defense has never needed a reason to give up points. It's the perfect opportunity for the Bears to show they can stay balanced and aggressive on offense for two weeks in a row. I'm betting it works out.
Bears 34 Lions 33
The Bears offense goes nuts against a bad Detroit defense, but a serious lack of pass rushers hurts the good guys against Detroit, who will have a 10-1 pass and run ratio and probably spend the entire game in no huddle.
Still, good guys win, bad guys lose, roll the credits.
Bears 42 Lions 38
WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Andrew Link; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook.