Saturday, October 3, 2009

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears Matchup And Prediction

Well I just watched the Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears preview via Sprint / NFL Live. Essentially they think that Cutler will shred our secondary, Matt Forte will run all over us, and the Bears defense will dominate. However they think Larry Foote and Jason Hanson are good, also Stafford will be okay if he can limit interceptions.

Now of course I don't agree with most of their assessments. Both Pisa Tinoisamoa and Hunter Hillenmeyer are doubtful in a linebacking corps that is already missing Brian Urlacher. So Lance Briggs will get the start at weakside linebacker with Nick Roach, Tim Shaw, and Jamar Williams most likely getting time at the middle and strongside linebacker positions. On top of that Lance Briggs is also questionable for the game so hes hurting but is expected to start.However if Briggs doesn't play, saying the Bears are depleted at linebacker is an understatement.

Now with the linebackers already depleted, most of the defensive line is also on the Bears injury report. DT Anthony Adams probable knee injury, DE Alex Brown questionable ankle injury, DT Tommie Harris probable knee injury, and DT Israel Idonije questionable knee injury. I don't see the Bears being able to dominate much of anything with mostly hurting starters or backup players spread throughout their front seven.

Detroit was able to run on a healthy Vikings defense and a mostly healthy Redskins defense. Washington's DT Albert Haynesworth did go down with an injury during the game and so did Detroit's RB Kevin Smith. By all indications Kevin Smith says he will play against the Bears but if he can't Maurice Morris, Aaron Brown, and Jerome Felton should be capable of carrying the load against this banged up Bears defense.

Once the running game gets going, the passing game will follow. This game is going to rest squarely on the shoulders of Matthew Stafford and his ability to duplicate the performance he had against the Redskins last week. Stafford needs to make good decisions by spreading the ball around and not starring down Calvin Johnson like he did in the first two weeks of the season. If Stafford can do that and limits his interceptions, the Lions are looking at a two game winning streak because I'm not sold on the Bears offense beating us.

Matt Forte is on the Bears injury report as probable with a knee injury but really hasn't done much this season. The Lions defense, even with their injuries along the line have been able to keep Adrian Peterson and Clinton Portis from putting up crazy numbers. The Lions defense held Peterson under 100 yards (92 is still under 100) and allowed only 42 yards on the ground to Portis. I just don't see Matt Forte outperforming either Peterson or Portis especially after the way hes started the year.

Now could Jay Cutler shred our secondary? If Matt Forte gets the run game going, no dowubt. If Eric King was starting, no doubt, but I doubt they get the run going and I bet King never gets on the field. Last week Will James stepped onto the field and showed he could be a solid starter at corner and I've heard that he actually took the starting job from Phillip Buchanon. At safety Ko Simpson looked good last week but we'll see if its Simpson or Marquand Manuel who gets the start alongside defensive rookie of the month Louis Delmas. If the Bears run game never gets going and Jay Cutler starts trying to force things and win the game with his arm I can see this game getting ugly fast.

In the end though it will be a tale of two quarterbacks because they have always compared Matthew Stafford to Jay Cutler and I can see why. They are both gunslingers and when they get in a situation where they are asked to win the game with their arms they both force things. Whichever quarterback is calm in the pocket and takes what the defense gives them instead of forcing it is the team that will win.I think that its going to be Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions pulling of the "upset".