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October 4, 2011 - Ron Deuter
They way the season has unfolded thus far, I think it’s entirely possible the Detroit Lions will rout the Bears when they meet for Monday football in Detroit.
Lions, appearing on the Monday night stage for the first time since a game at the Pontiac Silverdome in 2001, are 4-0 after two stunning comeback wins.
Is a team which went 0-16 just a few years ago looking to redeem themselves with a 16-0 mark? Way too early to tell, but it has to be in the back of some minds. After the Bears, Lions still have Atlanta, Green Bay twice and New Orleans as well as the Bears once more.
If I remember correctly, the Bears have knocked out Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford with injuries in each of his first two seasons. Julius Peppers was the one responsible for injuring Stafford's right shoulder with a hit last season at Chicago.
But considering the performance of the Bears offensive line against most pass rushes this season has been about as solid as jello, I think Jay Cutler is the one who might want to be concerned, especially if the Lions get Nick Fairley on the field for the first time this season.
When the Bears can’t pass rush successfully, it tends to expose the secondary to big plays. Bears are still hurting back there, and have given up big pass plays in about every game.
Now they face Calvin Johnson, who is the best they’ve seen this season. How is it that the Bears have held him to just one 100-yard game in seven meetings? I guess yardage doesn’t matter when all you have to do is leap up for a short game-winning TD catch.
Everything points to a Lions win, potentially in a big way. But in the NFC North, you just never know. Both Bears-Lions games were decided by five or less points last season. Bears won both — despite giving up a game-winning TD catch in the first meeting.
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