If the Bears are going to make their 2018 season count, they have to win their division games. Chicago hasn’t finished at or above .500 in the NFC North since 2012, a contributing factor into recent doldrums at Halas Hall. With five of their next games coming against North opponents, Matt Nagy’s Bears have a great opportunity to begin reverting that history.
First up on the docket is a team that’s beaten the Bears in nine out of their last 10 meetings: the Detroit Lions. Chicago is going to see a lot of Honolulu Blue over the next few weeks. They’d do well to send that color packing first this Sunday.
Here’s how the Windy City Gridiron staff sees Bears-Lions playing out.
Robert Zeglinski: Bears 31 Lions 20
The Lions are reeling with no consistent rhythm in any phase. No division game is easy, but a Khalil Mack - with good posture - lifts the Bears at home.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: Bears 27 Lions 17
Chicago has won two straight and they are third in the NFL with a +82 point differential. They’re getting Mack back this week, and that’s a big deal.
Aaron Leming: Bears 27 Lions 21
This isn’t going to be an easy game. The Bears still have to prove they can win divisional games. With recent scheduling and three games in 11 days, a win on Sunday is crucial for any postseason hopes the Bears have.
Jacob Infante: Bears 34 Lions 23
Detroit has been on a cold streak in recent weeks, and they seem to be lacking direction. The Bears should be in a good position to pick up the win, especially with Mack and Allen Robinson returning.
Josh Sunderbruch: Bears 27 Lions 17
The Bears’ offense starts strong but fades. Meanwhile, the defense plays solid football throughout.
Sam Householder: Bears 31 Lions 17
The Bears are 1-9 in their last 10 vs. Detroit (since Lovie Smith was fired). But home field advantage is back at Soldier Field, and I think the place is rocking with the Bears ready to make a statement in the NFC North.
Andrew Link: Bears 34 Lions 17
With Mack back in the fold, the Bears defense is dominant. The Lions defense is atrocious and this offense will be itching to score some points. Bears win going away.
Patti Curl: Bears 40 Lions 24
I’m having a hard time feeling optimistic about this game, and I think it’s because the Bears haven’t won a divisional game in over two years. So, I’m only giving them a 16-point margin.
ECD: Bears 38 Lions 13
The Bears have won their last two games by a combined score of 65-19. The Lions’ inability to put pressure on quarterbacks is only trumped by a return of Mack, who will wreck Matthew Stafford’s life.
WhiskeyRanger: Bears 34 Lions 14
The Bears’ defense is solid ... without Mack. With Mack, they’re on another level. Expect a long day for the Golden Tate-less Lions, and a solid day for the Bears offense. A big divisional win.
Ken Mitchell: Bears 31 Lions 17
Stafford will probably find a way to get the Lions to double digits, but Detroit does a horrible job of stopping the run. Look for this to be a breakout game for the Bears’ rushing offense
WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Andrew Link; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Whiskey Ranger; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook.