Outside of the Packers, the rest of the NFC North is a dumpster fire. The Bears, Lions, and Vikings are all within a game of each other — all hovering below .500. And, shockingly, they all still have a shot at the playoffs (even if it’s a very slim chance).
The Lions won’t be able to re-tool everything in a few days, or a few weeks, but I do expect to see the effort level and focus improved from where it was a few weeks ago.
They could go to a more up-tempo look on offense, but they still need playmakers to execute. The unfortunate reality for the Lions is that they just aren’t that talented. That’s part of the reason that general manager Bob Quinn was let go. He helped construct one of the slowest, least athletic defenses in the NFL and an offense with little explosiveness across the field.
It also doesn’t help that injuries are starting to pile up for the Lions. They’ll most likely be without Kenny Golladay once again and could potentially miss D’Andre Swift too as he’s coming back from being in the concussion protocol.
So, will the energy on the field be better for the Lions on Sunday? Absolutely.
Will the production result from that? Maybe.
This is the most excited I’ve been for a Lions game this season. Not because I expect them to dominate, but because I want to see how they respond under interim head coach Darrell Bevell.
The Bears are on a five-game losing streak, and the wheels are starting to fall off. Mitchell Trubisky is back in at quarterback. And the once-vaunted Bears defense looks like it’s tired of constantly carrying of the offense on its back.
The Bears seem to be in a very similar spot as the Lions were before they let go of Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia. They are a team in flux, struggling to pull it all together. And now it feels like a locker room that is readying itself to give up on its head coach.
Bears’ biggest threat
Even though the defense didn’t look great against the Packers last week—Aaron Rodgers had four touchdowns and a 132.2 quarterback rating—they could still give the Lions offense trouble.
These are the same Lions that gave up four sacks and eight quarterback hits to a Texans team that was near the bottom of the NFL on defense. I give the edge to the Bears at home.
Bears’ weak link
With his history against the Lions, I probably could have put him as the biggest threat, but I just couldn’t do it.
He coming off a terrible game against the Packers where he threw a few interceptions and failed to move the team on offense. But even though he’s the weak link, he could still have a good game against the Lions. Their defense will be without Trey Flowers, Danny Shelton, Desmond Trufant, and likely Jeff Okudah, too.
In their first matchup in Week 1, Trubisky ended the game with three touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 104.2. The Lions have nothing to lose, so I would hope they try and give Trubisky some different looks up front to confuse him and get him out of rhythm early.
If the Lions stick with their man defense approach, it’ll be another long day as we count down toward the end of the season.
Something feels off with the Bears regime right now. Nothing seems like it’s working and they’re struggling to get out of the five-game hole they’ve been digging. I expect the Lions to show different energy on Sunday, and it will be enough to knock out the Bears.
If the Lions can somehow deliver the Bears’ sixth loss in a row, it could set them up for a complete rebuild.
Lions 20 Bears 17