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Keys to the Game Roundtable: Bears vs. Lions

The Bears hit the road to face the division-leading Lions and our contributors unlock the keys to victory.

Detroit Lions v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears, coming off 10 days of rest following their Thursday Night Football victory, are going to the Motor City for the first showdown of the season against the Detroit Lions.

The Bears are going to need all the help they can get. The line on this game has come back down some, but the Bears are still over-touchdown underdogs.

But Justin Fields is back and has the best offensive line of the season in front of him.

What do the Bears need to do to come away with a big win? Our crew breaks it down.

Sam: I haven’t felt quite this bleak heading into a game since the Bears traveled to Kansas City. Getting Justin Fields back helps, but only so much. The Bears have to play a perfect game and then some to get this upset.

Defense: Montez Sweat needs to get home a couple of times, his pressures have been there, but it’s so important to get Jared Goff uncomfortable.

Offense: Get DJ Moore going early and often. Let’s see Fields and Moore pick up where they left off and get Cole Kmet going, too. The Lions can be scored on and passed on, but the OL has to protect Fields to give him time and keep Aidan Hutchinson at bay.

Josh Sunderbruch: On offense, the Bears need to put together everything they’ve been good at in pieces. They need Fields to Moore, early and often. They need Kmet and Mooney involved to keep defenses honest and as a change-of-pace weapons. The thing is, it shouldn’t be hard. The pieces are there, just Getsy needs to actually use them. The O-line actually doesn’t look bad outside of center...

On defense, well, that’s where they need to bring pressure and hope the DBs play lights out, funneling everything through the run game. This is actually winnable 1 time out of 5.

Lester: The Lions have a stingy run defense, but that can’t stop the Bears from pounding the rock. The running game is a Chicago strength, so it’s time for Luke Getsy to start acting like it. Do what the Bears do best and force the defense to react to them. Allow the offensive linemen to get downhill and maul people. Detroit will try to run the ball with their talented duo, so the Bears need to slow that and force Goff to beat them, which he’ll do unless Chicago can harass him with pressure. A huge game from Sweat is needed.

Jack R Salo: The Lions have played nine games so far this season, and the team which scored the first touchdown is 8-1 in those games. The Bears offense needs to enroll at Cobra Kai this week and learn to:




On defense, the key matchup is going to be through the air: Amon-Ra St Brown and Sam LaPorta vs the Bears’ defensive backs. Those two have caught 8 of Goff’s 14 TD passes so far this year. The Bears run defense has been stout, especially of late, so it will come down to shutting the star receivers down. Jaylon Johnson, go earn another comma on that paycheck.

Ken: Defense: Pressure, and continue defensive switching. I’ve been watching All-22 and since Flus has taken over, there’s been a drastic change in the defense. The Bears now rarely drop into Cover 2, they are much more man-oriented than they were. Additionally, they are blitzing much more, and those blitzes are coming from many different angles. You can’t see this unless you watch the All-22, the TV coverage is too tight.

Offense: It depends on whether it’s Bagent or Fields. With both, you run the rock. Chicago can move the ball on Detroit on the ground, even though the Lions are pretty good at run D. Passes need to get out quickly, and if it’s Fields he needs to run a lot of play-action & option. If it’s Bagent, it’s quick slant passes. We have seen enough wide receiver screens coach Getsy, you don’t need to show us any more of those this season.

Taylor: Looking like Justin Fields and Khalil Herbert will be back, the offensive line is getting healthier, DB’s are the healthiest they’ve been all week, Montez Sweat has immediately shown he can create pressure, Gervon Dexter and Justin Jones have gotten better each week, TJ Edwards just keeps making tackles and Cole Kmet has found his stride. Everything that you would want to happen is finally starting to fall in place, now it is all up to what Fields can do in his return after missing 4 weeks and getting all of the offensive pieces involved. The Lions’ defense has been better than last year but still allowed the most passing touchdowns, middle of the pack passing yards, their rushing defense is middle of the pack in almost every category except they do allow the 5th fewest rushing yards an attempt (Chicago is 1st. ) Lions offense has a lot to focus on and this will be a big test, in addition to Goff being able to limit mistakes and spread the ball they always have a run game that is very dangerous so Bears need to continue what they’ve been doing and stop the run.

What do you think is the key for Chicago to get the win on Sunday?