CBS62logoNEW2013_blue_final_header_White wwj950-sm2011b 971-ticket-35smb 35h_CBSSportsRad_Detroit

TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Detroit Lions At Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears
Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions. (credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions. (credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner Matthew Stafford has been an impressive quarterback because of his arm strength, size and solid numbers for quite a while. However, his end-game performance against the Dallas Cowboys in Week Eight did wonders for his confidence and he should be at his best against a Chicago defense that is a couple of notches below its former level.
One interesting development prior to Chicago’s upset victory over Green Bay on Monday was the report that Jay Cutler would return from his groin injury and play in this game vs. the Lions. However, Josh McCown had a superb performance against the Packers, so the Bears may want to rethink the idea of rushing Cutler back into the lineup.
Offense
The focus is always on Calvin Johnson and he will undoubtedly play a key role in this game for the Lions. However, head coach Jim Schwartz doesn’t want the full burden on his powerful receiver and the Lions need another good game from Reggie Bush, who burned the Bears with 139 rushing yards and a touchdown in Week Four. Tight end Joseph Fauria (five TDs) is a red-zone threat.
Winner The Bears have to make sure Matt Forte gets his touches as a runner and a receiver. He is the Bears’ most complete player and thrives on early success. Brandon Marshall is often inspired by the competition and he will want to match Johnson. Tight end Martellus Bennett has the hands and quickness to cause trouble for the Lions secondary.
Defense
Winner The Lions have struggled on defense this year even though the talent level is quite high. They rank 25th in yards allowed, but it would not be shocking to see some improvement in the second half of the season. Despite his reputation as a dirty player, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is an impact player this season. Middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch has a team-high 65 tackles.
The Bears are still dangerous when they can force turnovers and turn them into big plays, but the basics of defense are slipping away from them. They get pushed around in the running game and the secondary struggles if Charles Tillman (knee) is not 100 percent and he is not. With linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder), the Bears will have a hard time containing the Lions’ most talented players.
Special Teams
The Lions are ordinary on special teams and that’s not going to help them in a matchup with the Bears because Devin Hester is a solid returner once again. David Akers is not consistent at this point in his career. Sam Martin has a 42.5 yard net punting average.
Winner The Bears are one of the better coverage teams in the league and Hester is back in form. He has already returned one punt for a score and has busted a long kickoff return. Placekicker Robbie Gould almost never misses a FG attempt and the coaching staff has full confidence in him.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions. (credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images) (credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Bears come home after a Monday night game in Green Bay and they cannot afford to let a home game against a divisional opponent slip through their grasp. This is the kind of game the Lions would have found a way to lose in the past, so it’s a big test for Stafford & Co.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images) (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Philadelphia Eagles At Indianapolis Colts

    Nick Foles could not believe his eyes when he looked at the scoreboard in Week One and found his Eagles trailing the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars 17-0 at home in the first half.

  2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Chicago Bears At San Francisco 49ers

    The Bears had a disastrous home loss to the Buffalo Bills in the season opener, and they now play six of their next eight games on the road.

  3. NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08: Johnny Manziel of the Texas A&M Aggies takes the stage after he was picked #22 overall by the Cleveland Browns during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on May 8, 2014 in New York City. LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: A Storm Trooper poses for the camera at the London Film And Comic Con at Olympia Exhibition Centre on October 6, 2013 in London, England. The event, which runs for two days, sees thousands of sci-fi, comic and gaming fans come together. The event offers the opportunity to meet TV and Film stars, see genuine props, browse merchandise stands and dress up as their favorite cult characters.
    Does Johnny Manziel Or Star Wars Episode VII Deserve More Hype?

    The NFL debut of Johnny Manziel is as anticipated as Star Wars Episode 7. Which deserves more hype?

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,911 other followers