The Chicago Bears head to Detroit to take on the 4-11 Detroit Lions in a game that could determine the Bears’ playoff appearance. The game will be at 1:00 pm eastern time and will be shown on FOX.
Why you should watch: The Bears could give themselves a chance to make the playoffs with a win or could eliminate themselves with a loss in the Motor City. Detroit’s Calvin Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s record for most receiving yards in a single season last week, and could potentially break the 2,000 yard mark this week. Matthew Stafford, meanwhile, will most likely break Drew Bledsoe’s record of 691 pass attempts in a season, needing just 7 more attempts to break that record. While it is not a very illustrious record, it is still an impressive feat to throw the ball that much in a single season.
What to watch for: In addition to Johnson and Stafford’s milestone attempts, Jay Cutler will need to show up to give the Bears a chance at a wild card spot. Cutler has not played a great game in a long time, and the defense can not be relied upon to keep the Lions to 7 points like they did the last time these two teams met. Chicago’s defense has been outstanding, but the offense will have to give them some support this week. Detroit’s secondary is fresh off getting torched by Matt Ryan and the Falcons, and are “ripe for the pickin'” again in this one.
Key Matchups: Charles Tillman got the best of Calvin “Megatron” Johnson last time these two teams met, but Johnson was one dropped pass away from turning that conversation around. Johnson had a seam up the middle but the ball slipped through his hands, and the Lions stalled for the rest of the night. In Detroit, he has been unstoppable, and should be targeted early and often again. Tillman is one of the best cornerbacks in the league and has shown that again this year, and this matchup could be hugely important in the outcome of this game.
The Pick: I’m going with Chicago again in this one, winning 28-17 to give them a chance at a wild card spot. With a Chicago win, the Bears would need Green Bay to win at 4:25, but first things first, and I think Chicago takes care of business in Detroit.