Can the Lions stop finally Mitchell Trubisky?
On the surface it might seem like a silly question.
But if you look back to 2019 it begins to appear a little differently.
Last season Mitchell Trubisky only had six games with a quarterback rating higher 80—two of them came against the Lions. In fact, he posted his highest quarterback rating of the season (131.0) against the Lions in Week 9.
In his two games against the Lions he averaged a quarterback rating of 124.5. Against every other team? 77.7. And in those two games against the Lions last season, he threw six touchdowns and had over 500 passing yards.
For the Lions to win on Sunday, they’ll need to figure out how to rattle Trubisky. They’d be wise to take a page out of the Packers’ playbook from last season’s opener where he went 26 for 45 for 228 yards, one interception, and a quarterback rating of 62.1.
The Bears biggest question mark at this point is at quarterback. Despite showing up well against the Lions, Trubisky has struggled to be consistent throughout his NFL career. The Bears brought in Nick Foles to “compete” for the quarterback job, but ultimately decided to give Trubisky one last shot.
Unless Trubisky takes a big leap, the defense is going to need to carry this team in 2020.
Bears’ biggest threat
He may not have performed to his standards in 2019, but Khalil Mack is still a force to be reckoned with.
“I wasn’t good enough,” Mack said. “Wasn’t good enough at all. Understanding that, there are different intangibles that came with it. I don’t make any excuses. I just rise to the occasion and I am getting ready for this one. It’s gonna be a fun one, man, I can’t wait.”
Even though the sacks weren’t there in 2019—ranking 27th amongst linebackers and defensive lineman with 8.5—he still ranked eighth in total pressures and first in hurries.
Bears’ weak link
The Bears struggled on offense last season. Ranking 25th in passing yards per game, 27th in rushing yards per game, 29th in total yards per game, and most importantly 29th points per game.
They did add a few new coaches—most notably Bill Lazor and John DeFilippo—to try and improve the offense, but the players stayed relatively the same.
The Bears return the same quarterback, basically the same offensive line, the same running backs, and added Ted Ginn Jr. and a second-round tight end to the wide receiving corps.
They were a bottom-of-the-NFL offense last season, and I’m not sure they did much at all to get better.
The Bears had the luxury of playing the Lions twice last season without Matthew Stafford. And even so, they only won by a combined 11 points over both games.
If the Lions can limit the Bears offense (something they couldn’t do last season), a healthy Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense should have more than enough firepower to defeat the Bears.
Lions 17, Bears 13