Beardown’s Chicago Bears Game Preview: at Detroit Lions 30th December 2012

quiero conocer mujeres con dinero snowmobile heated shield hook up Chicago Bears Game Preview: 2012 Regular Season Week 17 – at Detroit Lions - Sunday 30th December @ 12:00 CT / 18:00 GMT Last week we headed into the game with the Arizona Cardinals knowing that we needed to win both of our final two games to stand any chance of post season football. Well, thanks to getting Part One of The Great Escape done with a business-like 28-13 win over a poor team, the Chicago Bears (9-6) now head into the final week of the regular season knowing that they have to dispense with another struggling team, in the form of the Detroit Lions (4-11), and then hope that someone else can do them a favour and take down the current #6 seed in the NFC. So this week  it’s pretty much a given that Bears fans be watching two games instead of one, with the Bears headed to Michigan for the first of two back to back games, before the also 9-6 Minnesota Vikings head to the 11-4 Green Bay Packers for the game that will ultimately decide the Bears season, but only if they can get the job done in Detroit. So, can the Bears avoid the embarrassing record of becoming the first team since 1996 to miss the playoffs despite finishing the first half of the season at 7-1? We’re going to try and figure it out as we head into the latest installment of the Beardown Chicago Bears Game Previews.

mujeres judias solteras en mexico Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions Regular Season History

créer un site de rencontre en ligne gratuit This rivalry is one of the oldest in the league, dating back to 1930 when the Detroit Lions started out life as the Portsmouth Spartans. This will be the 166th time that the two franchises have met, with the Bears 95 wins the most against any single opponent. For sheer number of games played, this rivalry is only surpassed by one other, that series being the Bears vs Packers. So there is plenty of tradition to draw upon and a rich history for the Chicago Bears to attempt to add to on Monday night.

follow site Last season the Bears and the Lions split the series for the first time since 2003, with the Bears accounting for five clean sweeps to the Lions’ two during the period. As for who holds the edge in the decades that the two franchises have squared off, the Bears own six (1930′s, 40′s, 50′s, 60′s, 80′s and 00′s) compared to the Lions’ two (1970′s and 90′s), with the Bears edging the previous decade with a 13-7 winning ratio. As for the track record when the game is in Sweet Home Chicago, the Bears’ 53 victories are the most in NFL history. Unfortunately the Lions own a 4-1 edge in Monday Night Football vs the Bears, although some of that may be due to the fact that this will be only the first time that a MNF game between the two teams has been played outside of Detroit. So, as it was back in week 7 when the Bears squeaked one out at Soldier Field against the Lions, winning 13-7, it appears that home advantage should count for something in this series.

chat rencontre 41 Last Time Out

agences de rencontres montreal Week 7′s matchup could hardly be considered a classic, unless you are particularly allergic to offenses. This game was dominated by the defenses, with the Bears defense making enough big plays to win this one, including containing the Lions to just 37 yards on their first six possessions (five of them three-and-outs), and holding the Lions scoreless until the last 30 seconds of the contest, generating three takeaways in the process. Although the Bears didn’t continue a recent trend of taking one of those turnovers back for a score, there were plenty of standout performances to make the headlines, chiefly that of cornerback Charles Tillman. Despite All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson being targeted 11 times, Tillman’s suffocating man to man coverage held the record breaking WR to just three catches totalling a paltry 34 yards.

Suh will be relishing the chance to deliver another big hit to Cutler.

go site Suh will be relishing the chance to deliver another big hit to Cutler.

On the other side of the ball, as he has done 11 times this season, Jay Cutler hit his #1 wide receiver Brandon Marshall for a touchdown pass, but this turned out to be the Bears only touchdown of the game. As evident from the scoreline Cutler didn’t have it all his own way, completing just 16 of 31 passes for only 150 yards. Despite the poor production, a key stat for Cutler was that he avoided turning the ball over. But, as with many of the Bears games this season, Cutler’s struggles were in part due to the pressure that he faced. Up against the likes of fierce Lions DT Ndamukong Suh the offensive line struggled in pass protection, giving up five sacks and allowing Suh to pummel their quarterback into the turf, bruising his ribs and taking him out of action for the final series of the first half. On the plus side, the line were able to contribute to one of running back Matt Forte’s best outputs of the season, during which he put up 96 yards on 22 carries, including a 39 yard breakaway to the Lions’ seven yard line that set up the game winning touchdown pass to Marshall.

As far as the last time out in Detroit goes, it doesn’t make for pretty reading with a 24-13 win for the Lions. The ugliest stats of all were probably the eight false start penalties commited by the offensive line, the fact that the defense gave up two long scoring plays (73 yards through the air to Calvin Johnson and 88 on the ground by Jahvid Best), and the fact that a 10-7 half time lead was undone by a 17-3 run after the break. Somehow the Bears held the ball for over 39 minutes, Cutler came away with a 99.6 rating (28 of 38 for 249 yards with 1 TD and 0 INTs), Forte racked up 116 yards on 22 carries, and the Bears still couldn’t win. But then that’s what offensive line incompetence does for a team. Better luck this time?

Bears who were Lions

Someone who should get a lot less heat with the game being played outside of Detroit is Bears’ defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. Marinelli has it permanently burned into his resume that he was the first head coach in NFL history to coach his team, which just so happened to be the hapless Lions, to an 0-16 record. Although some of that is in part due to the car crash that Detroit had at GM during that unhappy era, the almost Jerry Angelo like Matt Millen, who made an even more prominent habit out of high draft pick busts, so didn’t exactly give Marinelli much to work with from 2006 to 2008. As for those Millen draft picks, one of them is on the Bears active roster, in the form of 2006 fifth round (141st overall) pick, offensive tackle Jonathan Scott. Scott started just 6 games out of 20 during a two season stint with the Lions. After spells in Buffalo and Pittsburgh as roster depth, Scott returned to Detroit before being cut a month later. So don’t expect Scott to be a gamebreaker in this one, if he’s on then the game might already be broken.

Just one more ex Lion to go, and that’s special teams assistant coach Kevin o’Dea, who wore the Honolulu blue & silver coaches uniform in the same capacity from 2002 to 2003.

Lions who were Bears

And if you thought that O’Dea was a bit of an anti climax to end the ex Lions, it doesn’t get any better with the ex Bears. All the Lions have to show for mining Halas Hall for talent is a practice squad defensive tackle, Jimmy Saddler-McQueen, who joined the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2010 from West Texas A&M-Kingsville. But then again the NFL isn’t exactly stocked with ex Angelo draft picks.

Bears/Lions Connections

There are two Lions coaches that worked for Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice back in his time as Minnesota Vikings head coach, Lions’ offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and quarterbacks coach Tom Dowling. Bears’ tight ends coach, Mike DeBord, and defensive line coach Mike Phair were on the Seattle Seahawks staff while three current Lions were on the roster, WR Nate Burleson, G Rob Sims and TE Will Heller. Despite improved showings in recent weeks (couldn’t have been much worse), if you’re still looking for someone to pin J’Marcus Webb on, then current Lions defensive line coach Kris Kocurek was Webb’s assistant head coach at West Texas A&M, so should have some good ammunition for his line to exploit against the Bears’ left tackle.

Bears vs Lions Plotlines and Keys to the Game

First up, in a repeat of last week’s preview, we’re back on the NFC Wild Card permutations. Last time out we were looking at such teams as the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys and also commenting that, looking at their final two match ups against the hot Houston Texans and Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings could be our best bet of dropping a game or two and putting the Bears back in reach of a wild card spot. Well, it didn’t exactly work out as planned. The way those week 16 games panned out including an almost unbelievable Minnesota win in Houston) means that, not only do the Bears have to win in Detroit, they also have to rely on their bitter rivals the Packers winning out against the Vikings in one of the late kick offs. Yes, that’s right, if you value the post season over seeing the back of the Lovie Smith regime, then you will have to swallow your pride and root for the Green and Gold. Better swallow a few beers first then. Maybe also a bottle of scotch. Just choose a designated driver, so that eyes and mind are on the road preferably one who doesn’t like football, as either way this final week of the regular season could get ugly.

One more chance for NFC Pro Bowl teammates Charles Tillman and Calvin Johnson to go head to head.

One more chance for NFC Pro Bowl teammates Charles Tillman and Calvin Johnson to go head to head.

Something that will get a lot of attention in the media in this one, with the Fox Sports presenting team of Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa sure to get plenty of mileage out of it, is that now that Calvin “Megatron” Johnson has just surpassed former 49er Jerry Rice’s receiving yards record in week 16, the Lions receiver now needs just 108 yards to break the previously untouchable 2000 yard receiving yards landmark. As we’ve already mentioned, Charles Tillman held Johnson to just three catches for 34 yards in the week 7 game between the two teams. Johnson will be a different proposition in his domed, FieldTurfed home confines of Ford Field, but if Tillman can repeat his earlier feat then the pressure will really be back on Lions QB Mattnew Stafford (411 completions from 689 attempts for 4,695 yards plus 17 TDs vs 16 INTs and a 79.2 rating) to find other targets. Johnson’s near 1900 receiving yards have been a massive contributing factor (just over 40% to be precise) to Stafford managing to get to 2nd overall in the league in passing yards, no mean feat on a 4-11 team. In comparison, despite being on a 9-6 team and having a receiver that has exceeded 1400 yards, Bears QB Jay Cutler sits at much further down the rankings at 24th in the league in yardage with 2,776 (18 TDs vs 14 INTs for a 80.2 rating). Even more worrying for the Bears and their fans, and symptomatic of their offensive struggles, Cutler’s leading target has accounted for closer to 48% of his passing yardage. And talking of which…

Once again, after an improved performance in Arizona compared to a second stagnant outing against Green Bay, we are back on Brandon Marshall watch. Here is where he sits in three key receiving categories with just this game still to play:

Marshall gets another crack at rewriting the Bears history books.

Marshall gets another crack at rewriting the Bears history books.

1113 receptions (team record, breaking Marty Booker’s mark of 100 set in 2002)

1466 receiving yards (team record, breaking Marcus Robinson’s mark of 1400 set in 1999)

11 receiving touchdowns (13 is a joint team record held by Ken Kavanaugh in 1947 and Dick Gordon in 1970)

Lets add one further stat to the mix. If Marshall can come out of this one with 100 or more receiving yards then he will have broken a three way tie (with Harlon Hill in 1955 and Jeff Graham in 1995) for most in a season by a Chicago Bear.

First time out against the Lions Marshall caught six passes for 81 yards and the aforementioned score, with a highest single gain of 20 yards. We all know that Marshall has been the offensive MVP by a country mile, with two Bears records already blown out of the water by the former Miami Dolphin and Denver Bronco, the only questions that now remain are can he complete a hat-trick of team milestones by coming away with at least two scores, and in the process can he lift the Bears to a 10-6 record that is necessary to give the Bears playoff football? Want further spice to this receiving battle? Well Marshall needs four more receptions than Johnson in this one to tie for the most in the league, and obviously five more to take the crown outright. Think Marshall and Cutler don’t know that? Yeah, right. Watch this space on Sunday.

There is also another passing milestone that could get a mention at some point. We’re back on Jay Cutler and his ongoing ascendence in the Chicago record books. In a demonstration of how much the league has changed, after just 55 games Cutler needs only 41 more attempts to break a record that it took franchise great Sid Luckman 128 games to achieve. That’s do-able but not exactly a great indication that the Bears will win this one. Much more achievable is the fact that Cutler needs only eight more completions to break the mark set by Jim Harbaugh during 89 games. In terms of passing yards per game Cutler currently leads in the career stat at 218.8 vs Erik Kramer’s 216.0. Interestingly, Cutler’s best single season output was in 2009, with his 229.1 trailing Kramer’s 239.9 but, although better than 2011, this season’s average is still almost down 30 yards per game by comparison. Offensive line musical chairs anyone?

And still talking of milestones, although he was never going to break any records running behind this patchwork offensive line, after compiling 88 yards last week against the Cardinals Matt Forte enters this final week of the regular season needing just nine yards to break the 1000 yard barrier. Despite the lack of punch up front, Forte has still managed to get to this point of the season with an impressive 4.4 yards per carry on 224 rushes. Less impressive is the fact that only four of those carries have resulted in touchdowns. Okay, so back up RB Michael Bush has also contributed five scores (on 114 carries for 411 yards at 3.6 yards per carry) but that’s not exactly the output that Bears fans were demanding recently when they chanted “pay da man”. The question is now, will Forte even get the chance to get those nine yards to get over the 1000 mark, or to add to his four scores? It’s not looking good as Forte has joined Bush on the injured list, remembering that Bush had already been IR’d for the rest of the season due to a rib injury. Forte’s latest spell in the treatment room is thanks again to his troublesome ankle, which got turned over in a pile of Cardinals at the end of a run, the third time the same ankle has been injured this season. If Forte isn’t ready to come back this week then that leaves Jay Cutler and the Bears offense in a big hole, with a paper thin depth of just Kahlil Bell (recently re-signed to the roster after lasting just one month as a New York Jet) and Armando Allen. Just one more reason why QB Jay Cutler has to prove that he produce while the season is on the line.

Major Wright - last man standing.

Major Wright – last man standing.

While we are the subject of injuries and paper thin depth, we find ourselves on the subject of the final line of defense. Entering the season the top four safeties seemed to be set in stone, with 2012 third round pick Brandon Hardin joining third rounders from the previous two drafts in the form of Chris Conte (2011) and Major Wright (2010), plus a 2008 fourth rounder in the form of Craig Steltz. While Hardin didn’t make it out of the preseason after an ill-judged tackle, Conte and Wright formed an impressive partnership throughout much of the season, with Steltz offering injury and fatigue cover while 2011 undrafted free agent Anthony Walters stepped in for last resort depth and for special teams play. With Steltz ending the season on IR, the situation has worsened with Conte failing to make it out of Arizona unscathed, falling to a hamstring strain.

Although the Bears haven’t yet released an injury report at time of writing, they were talking up the chances of Conte suiting up and having some involvement on Sunday. Hamstrings aren’t usually so quick to heal so, either now or if we scrape into the post season expect Stafford, and any other QB we may face if we can keep the season alive, to target the Bears secondary over the middle and over the top. With 6’2″ 200 lb free agent safety Troy Nolan joining the team on Boxing Day after being cut this season by both the Texans and the Dolphins (seven appearances for both teams with one start, recording just five tackles in total) one thing is for sure, whether it’s a 80-90% Conte paired with Wright, or Wright paired with either Walters or Nolan, at this point safety has gone from a position of strength to a position of weakness, and one that could be exploited.

With Urlacher still out, and with Lance Briggs and Nick Roach still picking up the slack in the middle of the field, if anyone can keep the heat off the safeties and prevent an accurate ball from coming over the top, it’s the defensive line. Last week we asked if the Bears DL could deliver pressure on a struggling quarterback. The question was answered emphatically by Julius Peppers and co, with #90 himself stepping up with three sacks and taking himself to 11.5 for the season, becoming the first Bear since Roosevelt Colvin in 2001-2002 to reach double digits in back to back seasons. The 2012 Bears defense currently sit at 2nd in the all time lists with eight interception returns for touchdowns, and also for their nine defensive touchdowns. If they are going to further cement themselves in defensive history then continued pressure on Stafford will be key. Time for the biggest defensive free agent signing in team history to lead the way once more.

Another big game is required from the stars on the defensive line.

Another big game is required from the stars on the defensive line.

Finally, one more thing that did make the news in the last week in the aftermath of the win in the desert was that the much maligned offensive line put together a pleasantly surprising game against a hot Arizona pass rush. We’ve already touched on Forte’s impressive stats before he went down injured, but another key stat was that the Cardinals only sacked Cutler once, with that sack coming as Cutler was chased down from behind as he broke protection and ran for the sideline. And that was with J’Marcus Webb and Gabe Carimi as his tackles. It remains to be seen whether RT Jonathan Scott will return from injury and push Carimi back inside, but with offensive coordinator Mike Tice predominantly prone to make switches after poor performances (of which there have been far too many this season) it could be that all five starters in week 16 are rewarded with a second successive team start. A lack of consistency has been a real problem for the Bears blocking unit, and if they are going to be remotely deserving of a chance of post season ‘ball, then they are going to need to prove that they can stay on top of their games.

So, with Brandon Marshall, Julius Peppers, Henry Melton, Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings all recently announced that they are headed to the Pro Bowl, will the rest of the Bears be seeing any further action after the regular season comes to a close on Sunday? Let’s hope so.


Thanks once more for reading this Beardown Chicago Bears game preview, and for checking in with us during 2012. I hope this isn’t the last for this season.

To discuss this, and more, make your way to the forums here at Beardown. Look forward to seeing you there. :)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

About cornish

Fast approaching 30 years as a Bears fan, oh man does that make me feel old. With only one Superbowl win to show for it, oh man does that make me feel depressed. But Lovie says this is the most talented roster he's had, oh man does that make me feel... like deja vu? Anyway, Go Bears!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>