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Keys to the game roundtable: Bears-Lions

The Bears are facing the NFC North leaders and our crew breaks down what it will take for Chicago to get a win.

SPORTS-FBN-LIONS-GOFF-TB Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

It’s December in Chicago and lo-and-behold, there’s weather in the forecast.

Yes, a windy, rainy, mess is set for Sunday, which could aid the home team.

The Chicago Bears are more built for the elements than the dome team Detroit Lions.

But it’s going to take more than weather for the Bears to get the win Sunday, as the team has blown big leads this year, including to the Lions.

Our crew breaks it down here.

Sam: The Bears had a good game plan the first time around but couldn’t finish due to conservative playcalling. Don’t let it happen again. The Lions have a suspect secondary and their pass rush has been lacking. Get DJ Moore going early and often and involve Justin Fields in the run game. That was a difference-maker in the first meeting. With windy weather in the forecast, the game is going to be won on the ground and with opportune passes. Keep the offensive foot on the gas though.

On defense, keep generating those takeaways and get after Jared Goff. The Bears notched seven QB hits and three sacks in the first game. Montez Sweat, Gervon Dexter, your table is ready. With both teams looking to establish the run with the wind, stopping it will be vital to set up obvious passing situations.

Jack R. Salo: This Lions team is 2-1 in recent games but can probably be described as “underwhelming” in those performances. They can really score in bunches, which makes it key that the Bears score touchdowns instead of field goals. Bears’ red zone offense vs Lions’ red zone defense will be huge. Who makes the big play in the end zone?

On defense, the Bears have been generating turnovers as well as any team in the league lately, and Jared Goff is averaging one giveaway per game. The Bears will have to turn that into a score. The winner of this game will likely have 30+ points, so the defense has to contribute to that total for the Bears to win.

Taylor: The Lions have had their fair share of struggles recently on both sides of the ball and we saw what the Bears can do against Goff and the Lions, now just gotta do that for four quarters. I would really enjoy seeing passes beyond the line of scrimmage. The Bears have not won coming off a BYE since 2013 so I would like them to come out fast, it would be nice to have a lead and play with a lead so we don’t put our offense in the position to have to push in final minutes. Force Goff to make mistakes like week 11 and take advantage of those mistakes by getting six not three.

ECD: The last time the Bears played the Lions, they forced four total takeaways and controlled the ball for nearly three whole quarters. And still found a way to lose. Overall, they’ve forced eight takeaways in their last two games, both being on the road no less. They just need to stay out of their own way and allow Justin Fields to be aggressive throughout the entirety of the game. No dumb screen game. No uber conservative approach after taking the ball away. If they go for the kill every time, they might win this game in a convincing fashion.

Lester: The Lions are the class of the division, and the Bears hung with them a few weeks ago before they forgot what got them the lead through 56 minutes. The Bears should be fresh coming off their bye, so they need to attack Detroit with the running game and let their big guys up front lean on the Lion defenders. Detroit has a good run D, but Chicago is built to run the ball in December. When they do pass, there better be plenty of roll-outs and play-action where Justin Fields has the option to run.

Josh: I know I keep saying it, but the Bears still struggle to follow through with the basics. They need to put their best players in a position to win. That means playing guys like Sweat and Dexter. That means asking Cole Kmet to do what he’s good at instead of repeating some of the goofy run-blocking assignments that Luke Getsy seems to revel in. The simple version is that the offense needs to be aggressive and try to push the ball down the field while the defense tries to play aggressively.

What do you is the key to a Bears victory Sunday?