coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
On 09/23/2013 07:20 PM in NFL

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions: Preview and Pick

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions: Preview and Pick

The Chicago bears are quickly being recognized as one of the best teams in the National Football League and if they can get a win this Sunday in Detroit against the Lions they could have a strangle hold on the division. The Lions are ready to prove that they are for real this year and are going to battle the Bears all season long for the top spot in the NFC.

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Odds

The NFL betting line for this game opened up with the Bears listed as three point favorites. While the Bears crushed the Steelers on Sunday night football, that has not swayed the betting public. The early money is betting on the Lions with 56 percent of the early wagering on the Lions. This line has yet to move and can still be found at (-3) at many of the top rated sportsbooks.

If the Bears want to win they will need to try and slow down Calvin Johnson. Matthew Stafford attempted more passes 15-plus yards downfield Sunday than he had in the first two games combined. Stafford went 4-of-5 to Calvin Johnson on those throws Sunday after going 0-of-4 in the Lions' first two games. But beating the Bears defense will not be easy.

This defense plays well and puts points on the board. Sunday was the Bears' 4th game with multiple defensive TD since last year. The other 31 teams have 10 combined. The Bears' defense sacked or put Ben Roethlisberger under duress on a season-high 16 of his 45 drop backs Sunday. Roethlisberger succumbed to the pressure as he had both an interception and sack-fumble that were returned for touchdowns. The Bears will be on the prowl and ready to growl this week when they head to Detroit.

The NFL betting trends for this game are going to be useful for NFL football betting fans trying to win some money. Chicago is 4-1 straight up in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Detroit, but they are just 2-5 against the spread (ATS) in the last seven games in the Motor City known as Detroit. Detroit is 1-9-1 straight up in its last 11 games and 1-5 straight up in the last six games that they have played at home. The total has gone over in 6 of Detroit's last 9 games when playing Chicago and this should be a great game this Sunday.

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Pick

With plenty of time to go before the start of the regular season, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/24/2013 02:33 PM

The Detroit Lions are back to square one, searching for a complement for Calvin Johnson.

With Nate Burleson set for surgery on the broken arm he suffered in Tuesday morning's single-car crash, the Lions are talking with multiple clubs about trading for a receiver, Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official website reported, citing sources.

With Ryan Broyles expected to man the slot from here on out, the Lions are short-handed until Patrick Edwards returns from a knee injury that kept him out of Sunday's tilt against the Washington Redskins.

Obvious trade options include Josh Gordon and Greg Little of the Cleveland Browns and Kenny Britt of the Tennessee Titans. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski told reporters Monday his team has "no plans" to shop Gordon after he exploded for 146 yards and a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3. We'll believe it when we see it.

ESPN's Adam Schefter continues to report that Gordon and Little are available. Gordon would be costly for the Lions, but Little shouldn't require more than a low pick, maybe a fifth-rounder, considering his recent benching and history of drops.

Britt's role in Tennessee's offense diminishes each passing week. He was benched in Week 2 and not on the field during Jake Locker's game-winning drive against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. He flashes occasional top-level talent, but off-the-field chaos and concerns over his attitude make him an unattractive trade target.

The Lions are desperate, so we expect a move to come soon.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/24/2013 02:35 PM

Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton tore the ACL in his left knee Sunday night and will miss the rest of the season, coach Marc Trestman said Monday.

Trestman said Melton, who received the Bears' franchise tag in the offseason, is "terribly disappointed."

"We lost a very good player," Trestman said. "Unfortunately it's a next-man-up situation where the next guy has to come up and be ready to play and help our football team. We're not happy about it, but the downside of the National Football League is players are going to get hurt, and the team has to respond."

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/26/2013 01:22 PM

The Chicago Bears are threatening to enter uncommon territory when they go up against the Detroit Lions in Week 4. Another win would push Chicago's record to 4-0 for the first time in eight years. Since 1993, the Bears have only started the season with four consecutive wins one time (2006), and that was the year they returned to their first Super Bowl since Mike Ditka's mustache led them there in 1985.

With the Lions at 2-1, whichever team emerges victorious after this battle with take early control of the legendary black and blue division. A Chicago win means they will immediately open up a commanding two-game lead over everyone else in the NFC North. In order for the Bears to make that happen, there are five important keys they must consider heading into Week 4.

The Health of Charles Tillman -- The Bears' Pro Bowl corner is battling a groin injury that kept him off the field for large chunks of time in Week 3. This week, Chicago goes up against arguably the best wide receiver in football in the person of 6-5, 230-pound Calvin Johnson. At 6-2, Tillman is the rare type of defensive back with the size to limit the jump-ball ability of the Lions' passing attack -- particularly in the red zone.

Johnson got 25 targets in the two games the Bears played Detroit last season, but Tillman was able to hold "Megatron" to an average of 4 catches for 53 yards per game, and more importantly, Chicago kept Johnson out of the end zone.

While Tillman was banged up last week, the Bears allowed the Steelers' Antonio Brown to go off for 196 yards and two touchdowns on nine receptions. The Lions are second only to the Denver Broncos in passing offense this season. If the Bears hope to push their record to 4-0, Tillman must be healthy enough to cover Johnson for 60 minutes on Sunday.

Win the Turnover Battle -- After leading the NFL in takeaways in 2012, the Bears' ball-hawking defense is right back on top of the hill through the first three weeks of the 2013 season. Chicago has ripped 11 total turnovers from opposing offenses and has already taken three of those back to the house for scores. Conversely, the Lions' red-hot offense has committed the fewest number of giveaways in the NFC to start the season, so something has to give.

Both teams have been taking care of the rock this season, but Cutler and Stafford each have a history of being loose with the pigskin. This game could come down to the one QB who is able to avoid the big turnover late in the game.

Replacing Henry Melton -- When analysts talk about a reserve player needing to come in and fill the hole left by an injured veteran, they are always talking metaphorically. But, in the case of the Bears' 300-pound interior lineman, there very literally will be a gaping hole in Chicago's defensive line that will need to be plugged.

When Melton tore his ACL in last Sunday night's nationally televised game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Bears lost a special player who will be difficult to replace with the next man on the depth chart. Melton had a Pro Bowl season in 2012 by being one of the most athletically gifted big men in the entire NFL.

This college running back turned NFL defensive tackle not only stuffs the run, he also gets after opposing quarterbacks. With six sacks and 44 tackles a year ago, Melton is very much the Bears' answer to Ndamukong Suh, but Chicago must now turn to three-year veteran Nate Collins to fill the void. In 12 total games for the Bears since 2012, Collins has 18 tackles and zero sacks.

The Good Jay Cutler - In the first year of the Marc Trestman experiment, Cutler has looked like a completely different player. Gone are the off-balanced throws fading away from the line-of-scrimmage into triple coverage. And after creating highlights for lowering his shoulder to deliver a bone-rattling hit on a would-be Pittsburgh tackler last Sunday, Cutler appears to be playing with an entirely new swagger.

With twice as many TD tosses as interceptions, the bad Cutler has not yet made an appearance in the 2013 season. Since joining the Bears in 2009, Cutler is 7-1 against the Lions and has thrown 12 touchdowns to only one interception. If Cutler's trend against Detroit continues, he may not even need to mount his third game-winning drive of the season to move Chicago to 4-0.

Matt Forte vs. Reggie Bush - The Bears and Lions each have their own version of the NFL's new-school dual-threat running back. After rushing for 90 yards and adding 101 more in the passing game in Week 1, Bush was slowed by a knee injury in Week 2 that kept him out of action last Sunday. Although he was limited in practice for Detroit on the Wednesday leading up to the Lions' Week 4 meeting with Chicago, Bush contends that he will be ready to go. When healthy, the threat of Bush's speed out of the backfield has the ability to change the Bears' defensive schemes.

But the Lions will have their hands even fuller with Forte. Trestman has made it a point to feature Forte in the offense, and the result has been a much improved passing game for Chicago. Forte has rushed for 225 yards on the ground while also becoming the second leading pass-catcher on the team -- only two receptions behind Brandon Marshall for the team lead.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/27/2013 12:12 PM

Calvin Johnson faces his most difficult test of the season Sunday when the Chicago Bears visit Ford Field with the division lead on the line. Needless to say, the Detroit Lions' wide receiver isn't rolling out the welcome mat.

"It's easy to have a dislike for them," Johnson said Thursday, per the team's official website. "It's not hard at all."

It's also not hard to understand why Johnson has no love for the Bears.

Cornerback Charles Tillman & Co. in the Bears' secondary have clamped down on Megatron like no other NFL team. Johnson has just two 100 yard games in 11 career games against the Bears. During his record-breaking 2012 season, Johnson had just 34 and 72 yards receiving, respectively, in two games against Chicago.

Tillman has been slowed by injuries early this season, and the Bears' secondary was torched by A.J. Green in Week 1, but they haven't forgotten how to create turnovers -- 11 through three weeks.

"They want to make the offense make a mistake, make you work your way all the way down the field, dump it off 5, 10 yards at a time," Johnson said of Chicago's defense. "Usually an offense will make a mistake and that's one area I think we've grown in."

The Bears have beaten the Lions in nine out of the last 10 tussles, with turnovers keying many of those victories.

With Nate Burleson sidelined with a pizza injury, the Bears' defense will solely be able to focus on Megatron. If no other Lions receiver makes them pay for doubling Johnson (see, Broyles, Ryan), the Bears could make it 10 out of the past 11.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/27/2013 12:14 PM

Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles believes he's ready for more playing time and it appears his offensive coordinator agrees.

Meeting with local media after Thursday's practice, Scott Linehan said Broyles is capable of handling whatever the Lions ask of him while Nate Burleson is sidelined with a broken forearm.

"I think he's capable of handling any amount of snaps, really," Linehan said. "He's in a position he doesn't have to play every play, because of the position he plays for us and we have some other guys we can use. He sure is a guy we have a lot of confidence in."

Broyles was active for the first time this season during Sunday's win over the Washington Redskins. He played just 17 snaps, but caught three passes for 34 yards.

"I thought he played well," Linehan said. "We called his number a couple of times, made some nice catches. Crucial situations. Played about the right amount of snaps, we felt, for that game. We just feel like he's right on track to progress that way."

Broyles is coming off an ACL tear for the second consecutive season. Like last year, the Lions have eased him back into the mix, deactivating him the first two games each season.

He also played 17 snaps in his first appearance last season, but was limited to 12 combined plays the following two games.

Given the team's pressing need with Burleson out, there's no way Broyles' workload continues to mirror last year's trend.

""I'm ready to play football," Broyles said on Tuesday. "I am. I'm ready to go."

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/28/2013 10:57 AM

The Detroit Lions could be without wide receiver Patrick Edwards when they face the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

Edwards was the only Detroit player listed as doubtful on the team's final injury report of the week Friday. He missed last week's game at Washington with an ankle injury.

Defensive end Ziggy Ansah, safety Don Carey and right tackles Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard are all listed as questionable. All were at practice this week, however.

A plethora of players -- running back Reggie Bush (knee), defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (knee), cornerback Chris Houston (hand), linebackers DeAndre Levy (abdomen) and Ashlee Palmer (ankle), guard Rob Sims (knee) and wide receiver Calvin Johnson (knee) -- are probable. All had full participation in practice Friday.

Oh, and wide receiver Nate Burleson is out

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/28/2013 10:59 AM

Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman returned to practice Friday after missing the first two days of preparation for Sunday’s matchup against the Detroit Lions due to a sore right knee and a strained groin, and is officially listed as questionable.

Tillman participated during Friday's session in a limited capacity.

“He worked today, looked good,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow. But I still would have to say he’s questionable. We’re reasonably optimistic that he’ll be playing. He’ll work out the next couple of days and continue to get treatment.”

In addition, cornerback Sherrick McManis missed his third workout due to a quadriceps injury, and is officially listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game.

Trestman called Tillman “day-to-day” earlier in the week, but stressed on Friday there’s no need to rush the cornerback into action if he’s not ready to play.

Tillman, 32, has fought through multiple issues over the first three weeks of the season, playing with the knee injury in the first two contests, before missing time last week against the Steelers to rest the sore groin.

“It’s all up to trainers and to the doctors. If the doctors and the trainers say he’s ready to go, then he’s ready to go. I won’t be making this decision,” Trestman said. “It’ll be made with Charles’ best interests at heart. This game isn’t the most important game if he’s not ready to play for him. I expect that he will. I’m optimistic that he will.”

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/29/2013 08:17 AM

Pick: Lions -3

This is a must win for a Lions team that wants top challenge the Bears for the division. Reggie Bush back makes this offense even more of a threat.