Bears @ Lions, 12/5/2010
This game has TRAP GAME written all over it. A Lions team we have beat 5 straight times…A Bears team that has won 4 in a row, coming off the biggest win of the season so far…Looming in the future, a 4-game stretch (vs. Pats/@ Vikings/vs. Jets/@Packers) that it would be hard to not look forward to. I will say that while the Lions have played better, and we very nearly lost to them in Week 1, I think our team is a vastly improved team for a few reasons:
1) Our defense really solidified with Jennings replacing Bowman at CB, Manning and Harris have really settled in together nicely at safety (notice Major Wright, with a little more range than Harris, coming in on passing situations), and our DT play has improved to complement Peppers and Izzy on the outside. There have even been some TOMMIE HARRIS sightings the last few weeks. And, as usual, Briggs and Urlacher are arguably the best LB duo in the league, and Pisa has made it probably the best trio in the NFL. They are definitely the fastest.
2) Devin Hester has re-found his groove returning punts, and is now even back there on some kickoffs.
3) The offense has finally found its way. I think before the Eagles game, people were saying how the offense has learned how to ‘not lose the game’ and let defense and special teams be the difference. Well, as I predicted might happen before the Eagles game, the coaching staff, realizing that players are settling into their roles, particularly on the offensive line, let the offense go out and WIN THE GAME. Remember, before the Chris Harris INT, the Eagles had scored 13 points, and their offense was getting into a rhythm. Jay Cutler showed why he was traded for; why he was a top-15 pick in the draft—clearly outplaying Vick, showing tremendous scrambling and improv ability, and making GOOD DECISIONS—all the while, still making those 3-4 throws a game that only maybe 2 or 3 QBs in the NFL can make.
All this being said, the key to this game will be starting fast. The Lions will come into this game with some confidence, having played us close in the last game. Now I for one believe that the game in Week 1 should have NEVER been that close, if not for our turnovers and penalties. If we do the same thing in this game, and we allow the Lions to stay close, we could be in for trouble.
My prediction is that Cutler throws for 3 TDs, and our defense plays well (again), and we win 31-13.