Game Preview: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Game Preview: Bears at Lions

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

FOX Chicago Sports' Tom Waddle previews Sunday's matchup between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.

Offense

Last week produced more of the same for Mike Tice's offense. Fourteen points per game just isn't enough for a team looking for a playoff berth. Fourteen certainly isn't enough to get past a bad but explosive Detroit Lions team. Jay Cutler has to be better than he was in Arizona and someone other than Brandon Marshall has to get open. With Matt Forte banged up and Michael Bush out, Armando Allen and Khalil Bell have to put on the big boy pants and deliver.

Despite underachieving, the Lions offense is dangerous. They average better than 400 yards and 23 points per game. Calvin Johnson has solidified his status as the leagues best receiver breaking Jerry Rice's record for most receiving yards in a season. Recently they have developed at least a hint of a running game with Michael Leshoure.

Matthew Stafford and the Lions get the edge on offense.

Defense

While they have suffered a few hiccups, this Bears defense continues to be above average. They got back on the takeaway train last week in Arizona forcing three turnovers and scoring two touchdowns of their own. The pass rush is essential Sunday as the Lions are happy to drop back and throw it 50 times. Peanut Tillman needs to continue his Pro Bowl play in order to keep "Megatron" in check.

The Lions defense has taken a tumble and is now allowing 27 points per game. Some of their explosiveness up front is gone with Nick Fairley now on IR. They can still bring the heat and will look to exploit the Bears porous O-line.

Once again the Bear defense will be asked to carry the heavy load. They get the edge in D.

Special Teams

He's 40, but Jason Hanson is a man that can be counted on, hitting 31 of his 35 FG attempts. While they cover kicks well, overall Dave Toub's guys have been surprisingly average.

Special teams is a push.

Intangibles

After the 7-1 start, it's hard to believe the Bears must win Sunday and get some help to earn a wild card berth. It's been a very trying second half, but they still have a very good chance of extending their season and saving the job of their beloved coach. If there was ever a game that 53 guys should have no trouble getting up for, this is it.

The same cannot be said for the underachieving Lions. Nothing can salvage their miserable year, but knocking the Bears out of post season play would be a nice consolation prize. It's likely most have their U-Hauls packed, but they are still dangerous. Anytime Stafford and Johnson step on the field, they are capable of lighting up a scoreboard.

The Bears must deliver an inspired, mistake-free effort, and then hope for a little help. I have a good feeling about this one. The Bears will win and get into the tournament.

Prediction

Bears 23, Lions 20

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