Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions: Game Day Preview

The stakes of this game are clear – Detroit has to beat their division rival to have any hope of making the playoffs. Chicago, on the other hand, has some choices to make. Out of competitiveness and pride, will the Bears be playing to win – or are they happy with a loss in the search for the #1 draft pick?

The Chicago Bears find themselves at an interesting crossroads. Sitting with the second-worst record in the league, they are hosting a strong offense and improving defense, but they may want to cut these improvements short. As everybody knows by the now, they aren’t going anywhere this season, and even fans are beginning to hope they lose out in hopes of gaining access to the #1 pick. This very well may be the plan – the Chicago Bears could be tanking. Last week, the Bears had a solid first half against the Buffalo Bills, with the defense and offense playing strong. Transitioning over to halftime and the latter stages of the game, Chicago’s sense of passion seemed to falter. The offense mostly consisted of runs that went nowhere followed by short, incomplete passes. The clock dwindled down as the offense went nowhere and the Buffalo Bills continued to put on a show. At the end of the game, it appeared the Bears lacked their normal enthusiasm, and eventually put in bench players to round out the ending. Where does that bring the team with the upcoming game versus the Detroit Lions? It remains to be seen. On the one hand, the Lions are a division rival, and no matter what, divisional games tend to always be competitive and high strung. The last meetup went down to the wire, with the Lions winning 31-30. Alongside this, the Bears could take the role of the villain, as a Detroit Lions loss essentially eliminates the team from any hopes of playoff contention. However, the team with the worst record in the league, the Houston Texans, have been playing well recently, and could possibly give up their ability to secure the #1 pick with just one more win this season (providing the Bears lose out). How much is this pick worth to the Chicago Bears? On the surface, it actually isn’t really that special. Chicago only needs to be in the top five or so picks to get a strong wide receiver, which will most likely be their first choice. However, the Chicago Bears will enter the offseason with a healthy selection of picks, and the most cap space of any team to be spent. Acquiring the #1 pick would give them even more draft capital, as they could trade it away to a number of quarterback-hungry teams for a healthy draft package. At the end of the day, a Chicago Bears loss may be incredibly beneficial in the long run. Will they consider sacrificing their pride to not give it their all on Sunday, and actually play for a loss?

On the other side of the ball, the Lions will certainly put all the effort they have in this game, as they have to win to stay alive for the playoff race. After an incredibly embarrassing loss to the Carolina Panthers last week in which the Panthers netted 320 rushing yards, the Lions have to win out the remainder of their season and then get some help, banking on either the Washington Commanders, New York Giants, or Seattle Seahawks to lose some of their final games. It is an uncertain road for Detroit, but certainly not an improbable one. There are still numerous ways they can find themselves in the coveted Wild Card spot. Assuming the Bears play with passion, the biggest threat for the Lions will be Chicago’s run game. They host three elite rushers in the form of stout running back David Montgomery, the quarterback himself Justin Fields, and the recently returned-from-IR Khalil Herbert. If the game against Carolina is any indication, yards on the ground should be easy to come by against the Lions. Secondly, while the Bears defensive line doesn’t have anything to note, the Bears secondary has gotten healthy, and is quite dangerous. The Lions have to be careful when airing out the ball, especially after Bears rookie defensive back Kyler Gordon showed out versus the Bills last week.

Based on the two teams, this has all the potential to be yet another high scoring affairing. Again, the game really revolves around if the Bears want to win or not. Many fans actually don’t want them to, and perhaps that is the feeling of the organization itself. Nonetheless, you can expect the Bears best players, such as Justin Fields, to compete no matter what. No matter what, high flying offense should be expected for at least part of the game.

Predicticion: 35 – 30 Detroit Lions
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