The Chicago Bears will head to Detroit for the second matchup between the two teams on Saturday.
In the first matchup in Chicago, the Lions escaped with a 27-24 victory. Rookie Mitch Trubisky drove his team down the field with just over a minute left in the game and gave former Bears’ kicker Connor Barth an opportunity to send the game into overtime, but Barth’s 46-yard field goal went wide right.
But with the Bears coming off their best offensive game of the season last week against the Bengals, where the offense eclipsed over 400 total yards and scored 33 points, the Bears are going to come in confident against their division rival.
Mitch Trubisky had arguably his best day as a pro against the Bengals, throwing for 271 yards on 25 of 32 passing attempts, and had a passing and rushing touchdown. Trubisky will look to take advantage of a Lions’ defense that has given up an average of 32.6 points per game over the last three games.
The Bears’ rushing attack against the Bengals last week had 232 yards on 38 attempts. Jordan Howard was responsible for 147 yards and with the Lions giving up an average of 123.3 yards on the ground in the last three weeks, the second-year back should have another big day.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bears will have their hands full with quarterback Matthew Stafford, who threw for 381 yards in a 24-21 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. In the first matchup against the Bears, Stafford threw for 299 touchdowns and two touchdowns.
The Bears will also be without their top pass rusher in Leonard Floyd, who suffered a right knee injury in the first meeting against the Lions and as a result was put on IR. Since Floyd went down, the Bears have averaged two sacks in the last three games, which is just below the league average of 2.38.
Although, the Lions will be at home and battling for a playoff spot, I believe the Bears will go into Ford Field and win their first division game in over 400 days.
The Bears will run the ball effectively, winning the time of possession, which will keep Stafford off the field. Then on defense, the Bears will create turnovers. In the first meeting, both Kyle Fuller and Cre’von LeBlanc dropped interceptions, this time the Bears will capitalize on those opportunities.
Since John Fox took over as head coach in 2015, four of the five matchups between the Lions have been decided by three points and one game by four points. The Bears have only been the winner in one of those five games and the second will come on Saturday.
Bears 23 – Lions 20.