Matchup Preview: Lions vs. Bears

After a five-game losing streak, the Detroit Lions finally got in the win column in Week 9 with a victory over the Green Bay Packers. The Lions’ defense suffocated the Packers’ offense, only allowing nine points. Defense has been the biggest topic of concern for this team, and they displayed some development. With the win, the Lions sit at 2-6 and are still last place in the NFC North. In Week 10, the Lions will face the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Chicago Bears lost in a close shoot out to the Miami Dolphins in Week 9. The Bears were able to stop the bleeding in the fourth quarter, giving up zero points, but still fell short and lost 35-32. Despite the loss, the Bears offense was rolling, and quarterback Justin Fields had one of the best games in his professional career thus far. Now, the Bears have a 3-6 record and are in third place in the NFC North. Let’s take a look at the keys to the matchup.
Can the Lions’ defense maintain momentum?
Since the bye week, the Lions’ defense has played notably better. The health of the defense has improved. Following the firing of defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant, the Lions had their best showing of the season. Before Week 9, the Lions had the worst ranked defense. With young players at every position, some struggle should have been expected. Against a young Bears’ offense, the Lions will have another opportunity to show development. The Lions’ forced Aaron Rodgers to throw three interceptions, two of which were picked off by rookie Kerby Joseph. If the Lions can continue to force turnovers, the Bears will have difficulty staying in the game.
Will Justin Fields continue to run the ball?
Justin Fields was electric when running the ball against the Dolphins. The second-year quarterback racked up 178 rushing yards and a touchdown. Fields was able to pull off the longest quarterback run in Bears’ history, a run where he evaded pressure, pump faked, ran, broke an arm tackle and sped past the rest of the Dolphins defense. Now, Fields has over 600 rushing yards on the year which is the second most among quarterbacks. The Bears should continue to scheme around Fields’ running abilities, especially considering how poor the offensive line has been in pass protection.
Which team has better young talent?
The development of young talent has been key for both teams this season, and will continue to shape their future. For the Lions, linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, safety Kirby Joseph and defensive end Aiden Hutchinson have been major additions to the defense. For the Bears, the offense is littered with young players. Quarterback Justin Field, wide receiver Darnell Mooney and running back Khalil Herbert all have potential to bloom together in Chicago. So far this season, when the young talent plays well on both teams, they can compete and win. The improvement of these players is vital for their future. Whichever team’s young players can impact the game the most will be the winner of this division matchup.
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