It has been 63 days since the Chicago Bears have faced a divisional opponent, and I feel as if we have learned a lot about what this team is and can be moving forward. Now, it’s up to the Bears to take what they learned in the first half of the season and apply it to what should be an exciting second half.
So who are the Bears?
Offensively, they’re a team that is starting to get a feel for how to run the ball effectively to close out games. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen provide a 1-2 punch that is tough to scheme against, especially when both are on the field at the same time. Howard is running at a clip that would have him falling short of 1,000 rushing yards, but is on pace for his first 10-touchdown season and has scored four times in his last three games. Cohen has been an all-purpose machine who has taken advantage of an up-tick in playing time as a new set of eyes on the coaching staff continues to place him in advantageous spots.
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky has improved on his yards per attempt, yards per game, completion percentage, and passer rating thanks to a variety of reasons. A new set of pass-catching targets such as Trey Burton, Taylor Gabriel, and Anthony Miller has helped a ton. And while Trubisky isn’t on the same page as big-ticket free agent addition Allen Robinson, the Bears’ passing offense has been better when Robinson is in the lineup.
Defensively, the Bears are better than what they were last year. Adding Khalil Mack obviously helps, but Kyle Fuller is humming along, Eddie Jackson has taken a big leap, Roquan Smith is playing as if he didn’t even miss any time due to a holdout, and contributions are coming from everywhere on the depth chart.
Moving forward, the Bears have to get over the mental hurdle of not having beaten an NFC North team in a while. It can start with the Lions, a team which the Bears have beaten once in their last 10 meetings. It’s a brutal streak that’s due to end, but it won’t be easy. Detroit’s defense has improved against the run since trading for defensive tackle Damon Harrison, but defending the pass has been a problem despite ranking in the top five in fewest passing yards allowed.
The challenge here is for the Bears not to have let the success of recent wins go to their heads. Overlooking a sub-.500 opponent would be a mistake, especially one you’ll face twice in an 11-game span.
Chicago Bears (5-3, 1st NFC North) vs. Detroit Lions (3-5, 4th NFC North) – noon CT, FOX (Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin), WBBM-AM 780, WCFS-FM 105.9
Odds: Bears (-7), Over/Under 45, via the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas.
Note: Despite some of the Lions’ late-week injuries, the spread didn’t move much from where it opened earlier in the week.
Game Thread and Week 10 Preview
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun. And hopefully, we can watch the Bears keep on keepin’ on as they move into the NFC-heavy portion of their schedule.
Matt Nagy (5-3) vs. Matt Patricia (3-5)
Bears: Mitch Trubisky: 1,949 yards, 16 TD, 7 INT, 64.2 completion pct., 96.1 rating
Last week at Bills: 12-20, 135 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 76.0 rating
Lions: Matthew Stafford: 2,111 yards, 14 TD, 6 INT, 67.8 completion pct., 96.5 rating
Last week at Vikings: 25-36, 199 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 83.0 rating
Today's inactives for #DaBears:
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) November 11, 2018
Bears Expected Offensive 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 Expected Defensive 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
- Cody Parkey (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Benny Cunningham, Taquan Mizzell Sr. (kick returners), Tarik Cohen (punt returner)
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) November 11, 2018
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
- Matt Prater (kicker), Sam Martin (punter, holder), Don Mulbach (long snapper), TJ Jones (kick return, punt return)