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Week 4 Game preview: Bears-Lions

Just when it looks like things couldn’t get any worse, here come the Lions, to make it better or...not

NFL: SEP 26 Ravens at Lions Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Lions can cure all ills, right?

How many times have Bears fans been able to say “hey, at least we aren’t the Lions?”

Well, tread carefully, fellow Chicago fans, because while Detroit comes to town with an 0-3 record, I think they’re a little better than many expected. This is a frisky team that plays hard until the end of the game.

They came storming back in week one against the 49ers, they gave the Packers a game, albeit just for a half and then they took the Ravens all the way down to a record-setting game winning kick that literally bounced the right way.

If the Bears are in worse shape than fans thought before the season and the Lions are in better shape, then what are we left with?

All I’m saying is, don’t think that all the Bears ills are going to go away because it’s the Lions.

Detroit Lions

SB Nation site: Pride of Detroit

Record: 0-3, last in NFC North

Last week: 19-17 loss to the Ravens

Game day, time, TV: Sunday, noon CT, FOX

Bears all-time record against: 102-75-5

Historical meetings: Week 4, 2009. The Bears came in 2-1, while Detroit was 1-2 but had number one overall pick rookie Matthew Stafford getting game action.

Each team scored a touchdown on their opening drive; A Kevin Smith 1-yard run to open the scoring and a Jay Cutler helicopter 5-yard plunge as Chicago’s answer.

The Lions answered back with their rookie QB finding Will Heller in the endzone. The teams traded punts before Cutler hit Kellen Davis for a short score and Tommie Harris intercepted Stafford on the Lions’ ensuing drive, setting up a short field for the Bears to get a Greg Olsen 1-yard touchdown after Detroit was offsides on a Robbie Gould field goal and gave the Bears new life inside the five yardline.

The Lions made it 21-all late in the first half with another Smith rushing touchdown, but after halftime it was all Bears.

Johnny Knox returned the opening kickoff of the third quarter 102 yards for a score. The Bears added a couple field goals, including one following a Stafford fumble. Stafford, hurt on the play, didn’t finish the game.

The Lions kicked a field goal but then the Bears added two more touchdowns on rushes by Matt Forte and Garrett Wolfe. The Bears won 48-24.

Last meeting: A 34-30 loss in week 13 that extended the Bears’ losing streak to six games.

The Bears took a 30-20 lead with 11:23 to go in the fourth. Bilal Nichols intercepted Stafford on the following drive.

But then the Bears offense, Bears’d and the Lions scored with 2:18 left and Mitch Trubisky fumbled on the next Chicago drive and two plays later Adrian Peterson scored the game-winning touchdown.

Trubisky, in true Trubisky-Nagy form, managed to the get the Bears to the Lions’ 20 yardline but on fourth and one, David Montgomery was stuffed for no gain with 16 seconds left.

Injury report: The Lions had four players on their Wednesday injury report,

Did not participate: OLB Trey Flowers (knee/shoulder)

Limited participation: DE Michael Brockers (shoulder), OLB Romeo Okwara (shoulder), RB D’Andre Swift (groin)

Offense: The Lions come into this game ranked 17th in yards and 19th in points.

Their passing offense ranks 14th in yards and their rushing offense 15th in yards.

Jared Goff (69.9 pct cmp./801 yds/5 TD/2 INT) is playing his usual brand of football, that is he’s steady, effective, but still leaves a lot of fans wanting more, which is why he’s in Detroit to begin with.

Goff’s biggest weapons are RB D’Andre Swift (19 rec./166 yds./1 TD), TE T.J. Hockenson (18/173/2) and WR Kalif Raymond (11/136/0).

Other wide receivers of note are Quintez Cephus (8/83/2) and Amon-Ra St. Brown (6/43/0).

Swift (33 att./123 yds./1 TD) is also leading the way on the ground but really just ahead of Jamaal Williams (28/121/2) so this is really a two-headed monster, with Swift getting a much bigger role in the passing game.

Defense: The Lions defense has allowed the second-most points in the league and are 22nd in yards allowed.

Their passing defense ranks 23rd while their rushing defense is 15th.

The pass defense has allowed seven touchdowns, which ranks 27th and has only one interception, which ranks 20th. Their Net yards gained per attempt by their opponents is a league worst 8.8.

The defense features Alex Anzalone (1 sk/19 tkls/1 TFL/1 QB hits), S Will Harris (20 tkls), OLB Charles Harris (2 sk/2 TFL/3 QB hits), OLB Trey Flowers (0.5 sk/1 FF/9 tkls), S Bobby Price (3 PD/5 tkls) and Amani Oruwarive (1 INT/2 PD/5 tkls).

Key match ups: The Bears obviously have to block better, run better and pass better. Everything overall, but match up-wise, I would say that the wide receivers are going to have an advantage against a Lions secondary that’s struggled, giving up the second most 20+ yard pass plays in the league and the third-most 40+ yard pass plays.

On defense, the Bears have to get after Goff. Let’s see the play of Robert Quinn and Khalil Mack continue. Slowing down Swift and Williams will be big too. Goff isn’t a quarterback that can mount big comebacks, so getting a lead early is important.

Key stats: Opposing quarterbacks have a 123.2 rating (best in the league) against the Lions this season, throwing for 809 yards, 66.7 percent completion, seven touchdowns and one interception

The Lions have given up 14 20+ yard pass plays and 3 40+ yard plays

Detroit is also giving the most yards per pass attempt, 10.3

Bears quarterbacks have a 65.6 rating (last), passing for 400 yards (31st), one touchdown (tied last), two interceptions and a 59.5 completion percentage (29th)

The Bears have 1 pass play of 20 or more yards and none over 40 yards

Chicago’s yards per pass attempt is 4.8, dead last in the league

Will the Lions cure some of the Bears’ offensive passing woes? Is this a get-right game?