Despite just 153 yards and one touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings last week, the Detroit Lions' passing attack has a chance to turn things around this week against Chicago. The Bears have averaged 272 yards allowed per game, including 390 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions on Thanksgiving. One of the key reasons for the Lions' success during their last meeting with the Bears was the combination of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson.
Stafford completed 11 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns and had a quarterback rating of 137.0 when targeting Johnson on Turkey Day. The Lions were able to take advantage of the Bears' soft coverage and a rookie with little experience. Cornerback Kyle Fuller spent most of the day on Johnson and quickly found out what it's like to go up against arguably the best receiver of this generation.
One of the better plays of the day was a seemingly insignificant one: a fourth quarter quick slant to Johnson for 16 yards. It wasn't a deep bomb down the field and didn't result in a touchdown, but it did show Stafford's ability to manipulate the defense and create open zones to throw into. These are the types of plays the Lions will need to execute down the stretch.
Fourth quarter, 11:49: Stafford passes short right to Johnson for 16 yards
Right before Johnson hits his slant, Stafford does a tremendous job of subtly moving the defense. He pauses slightly and fakes the throw to the flat. This forces the linebacker to vacate his spot and clear the way for Johnson on the slant.
Here's the end zone look at the same spot during the play. As you can see, Stafford completely fools the defender into attacking the route in the flat.
The result is Johnson and a whole lot of green. You can watch the entire play develop below.