Friday, September 10, 2010
The Bears and Lions engaged in two shootouts last year with the blue and orange coming out victorious over the blue and silver each time. In the first match-up, at Soldier Field, the game was tied at 21 at halftime, but the Bears overwhelmed them in the second half and won going away 48-24. In a meaningless Week 17 game, the Bears ended their season with a 37-23 win, the Lions' 14th loss of the season.
But will the Lions continue to be the whipping boy of the NFC? (They've won more than six games just once since 2001.) Do the Bears' preseason struggles presage a season with fewer wins than the seven they claimed last year? I don't know for sure, but I'll tell you how I'm going to find out: by watching some f**king football this Sunday. Bring it.
Keys to the game
Protect Cutler. Duh. If you had a lobotomy and somehow forgot that this was a huge issue last season, this is your reminder. And if you completely ignored the preseason during which Jay Cutler spent lots of quality time with the ground, I'm here to tell you about that too. Protection is hugely important in any offense, but especially in a Mike Martz offense. And Detroit added second-overall pick Ndamukong Suh to their defensive line.
Don't let Detroit put their "Best" foot forward. There it is, folks, the first bad pun of the 2010 NFL season! (polite applause)
The 30th pick in this year's draft, former Cal star Jahvid Best gives the Lions a potentially legitimate weapon in the backfield, something they lacked last season. Though Detroit's passing weapons are not to be ignored, the Bears should still key on Best and force Stafford to beat them through the air.
The return of Urlacher. I really hope I'm not jinxing anything here. Urlacher missed 15.5 games last year and was hurt during the preseason. Hopefully he's 100 percent for this Sunday, and if he is, it will be fun to see what remains in his tank. Can he be the ubiquitous presence he once was and help restore the Bears' D?