LIONS vs. BEARS: Week 10 Preview - November 11, 2018

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LIONS vs. BEARS: Week 10 Preview – November 11, 2018

Chicago Bears

The Bears came out strong against the Lions, when these two teams last met at Soldier Field: Chicago jumped out to leads of 10-0 and 17-7 before Detroit mounted a comeback behind a 299-yard passing day from Matthew Stafford.

We would probably remember that game differently had Connor Barth not missed what would have been a game-tying field goal as time expired, because Mitch Trubisky mounted an impressive drive of his own (highlighted by this stupendous run), but life can be cruel. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Fortunately, things are different nearly a calendar year later. Both teams fired their head coaches in the offseason and both added apparently game-changing pieces in the offseason. However, Chicago’s sweeping changes have realized a better return on investment than the ones made in Detroit. The tables have turned. The Bears are the team with a winning record atop the division and the Lions are struggling to find their footing in the NFC North. If those two trends continue, the Bears will maintain their lead in the NFC North.

Never Tell Me The Odds:”

The Bears opened up as 6.5-point favorites at the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas and remain there as we enter the weekend. The over/under being at 44 points intrigues me because the over has come in for four of the Bears’ last five games, but the under has come in back-to-back Lions games. Proceed cautiously with that number.

Series History:

The Bears are 97-74-5 all-time against the Lions, but have lost three straight and nine of their last 10 in the series. Ouch. That has to change if Chicago is going to make a real push toward the postseason.

Game Time, Broadcast Info, Officiating Crew:

Location: Soldier Field

Broadcast Info: Sunday, November 11 at noon on FOX (Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin – yep, the same broadcast crew as last week), WBBM-AM 780, WCFS-FM 105.9

Referee: Alex Kemp

Expected Starters and Lineups:

Bears Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Mitch Trubisky
  • RB Jordan Howard
  • RB Tarik Cohen
  • WR Allen Robinson
  • WR Taylor Gabriel
  • TE Trey Burton
  • LT Charles Leno Jr.
  • LG James Daniels
  • C Cody Whitehair
  • RG Eric Kush
  • RT Bobby Massie

Bears Defense Expected Starters:

  • DT Akiem Hicks
  • NT Eddie Goldman
  • DE Jonathan Bullard
  • OLB Khalil Mack
  • ILB Danny Trevathan
  • ILB Roquan Smith
  • OLB Leonard Floyd
  • CB Kyle Fuller
  • CB Prince Amukamara
  • FS Eddie Jackson
  • SS Adrian Amos

Bears Specialists: 

  • Cody Parkey (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Benny Cunningham, Taquan Mizzell Sr. (kick returners), Tarik Cohen (punt returner)

Lions Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Matthew Stafford
  • RB LeGarrette Bount
  • RB Theo Riddick
  • WR Marvin Jones Jr.
  • WR Kenny Golladay
  • TE Charles Clay
  • LT Taylor Decker
  • LG Frank Ragnow
  • C Graham Glasgow
  • RG Kenny Wiggins
  • RT Rick Wagner

Lions Defense Expected Starters:

  • DE Romeo Okwara
  • DT Ricky Jean Francois
  • DT Damon Harrison
  • DE Ezekiel Ansah
  • OLB Devon Kennard
  • MLB Jarrad Davis
  • OLB Christian Jones
  • CB Teez Tabor
  • CB Nevin Lawson
  • FS Glover Quin
  • SS Quandre Diggs

Lions Specialists:

  • Matt Prater (kicker), Sam Martin (punter, holder), Don Mulbach (long snapper), TJ Jones (kick return, punt return)

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Chicago Bears – Offense

Allen Robinson declared himself to be 100 percent, and looking at the Lions’ secondary, I could see why he would say such a thing. Stud cornerback Darius Slay didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday because of a knee injury. If he can’t play, that leaves Nevin Lawson and Teez Tabor (yes, that’s a real name) as the Lions’ top corners. Tabor is the lowest-graded cornerback in football by Pro Football Focus’ standards, with a woeful 29.7 grade – not quite what you’d want from a second-round pick in his second season with the team. If Robinson is healthy, he could carve up a Lions defense that has allowed quarterbacks to throw at least two touchdowns in four of their last five games.

Chicago Bears – Defense

Khalil Mack should be back and and we’re here for it. According to Pro Football Focus, the Bears defense forced 20 percent more interceptions and 30 percent more fumbles than league average in the first six weeks of the season when Mack was healthy. Winning the turnover battle has been key to the Bears’ success this season. Chicago is 3-1 when it forces more turnovers than it has giveaways, with the one loss coming in the season-opener against Green Bay.

Detroit Lions – Offense

Kenny Golladay is a Chicago native who played his college ball for the Northern Illinois Huskies and happened to be one of my favorite receiver prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Lions used a third-round pick on Golladay, who now stands as Matthew Stafford’s top target. Golladay has 33 catches, 523 receiving yards, and three touchdowns in eight games, surpassing his 2017 output. With Golden Tate in Philly, Golladay will continue to get an increasing amount of targets from Stafford – who has a sparkling 131.2 passer rating when throwing to Golladay this year.

Detroit Lions – Defense

A’Shawn Robinson is part of a two-headed monster along the defensive line that has been better against the run lately. Because of his run-stuffing excellence, Robinson is Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded Lions player. Robinson’s 11.4 run-stop percentage is the eighth best among players the site labels as interior defenders. The tag team of Robinson and the recently acquired Damon Harrison (who has PFF’s third-highest run-defense grade behind only Aaron Donald and Akiem Hicks) could force the Bears to find other places to run on Sunday.

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.