Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 6/26/14

This week’s Monday Night Football matchup  features a rivalry from the old “black and blue” division. The Chicago Bears (2-2) will travel to play the undefeated Detroit Lions (4-0).

The Lions have been the NFL’s best surprise this season. They had been playing better for the past two seasons, but now with Matthew Stafford healthy they’re a seriously dangerous team. The Bears, though, have been consistently inconsistent with their passing and running game showing up at time but never at the exact time.

Bears-Lions: The Offenses Chicago Bears

The Bears’ offense has been somewhat of a wreck this season. While Jay Cutler isn’t having a terrible season, he’s not blowing anyone away with his stats, but he shouldn’t have to. The Bears are still a run and defense-oriented team.

The two games the Bears won, their defense forced turnovers and Matt Forte had a good game on the ground. Some teams can win through the air. The Bears aren’t that type of team.

What the Bears’ offense is going to need is another stellar day in the running game. Forte doesn’t need to run for 205 yards like he did last week, but he needs to break off some medium gains in order for the defense to respect the run game. If that doesn’t happen, the Bears’ passing game is not going to be able pick up the slack and carry the team.

If Cutler throws over 35 passes this game, the Bears are going to lose. It’s that simple.

P.S. Limiting the sacks would help as well.

Detroit Lions

For the Lions, it’s the other way around. Let Stafford throw the bal,l because he has something Cutler doesn’t have: a wide receiver to throw to.

Calvin Johnson has 321 receiving yards with an astonishing eight receiving touchdowns this season. He’s been the go-to-guy for Stafford, and it’s paying off big time. The Bears’ defensive backs are the most vulnerable aspect of the defense, leaving Johnson and Stafford the chance to have a huge game.

The Lions had to fight back in their last two recent games. In both of those game, Stafford threw over 40 times. Even with the offensive threats, you don’t want to see a team throw that many times, but the Lions can if they have to, and that’s a major advantage they have over the Bears.

Bears-Lions: The Defenses Chicago Bears

The Bears like to tout their defense as one of the best, but this year the defense is getting rocked almost every single game. They’re dead last in yards allowed per game (425.8) and in the 20s in every other major category.

They couldn’t stop the run last week against Carolina and definitely couldn’t stop the pass, leaving no proof that things will be different against an equally (probably more) dangerous passing game this week.

The defense needs to do what they’re built to do: get at the quarterback and force turnovers. The Bears’ strength lies in their defensive lineman and linebackers, who all have the potential to disrupt the passing game and force turnovers. I see this as the only way to stop the Stafford-Johnson relationship.

Detroit Lions

The front four for the Lions is scary. Led by Ndamukong Suh, the Lions’ front four is one of the best in the league. I have no doubt the front four are going to be able to manhandle the Bears’ offensive line, but their strength is against the run.

If the Lions can be effective against the run, and they have been (allowing only one rushing touchdown this year), that forces Cutler to have to throw the ball more than he’d like to, and that usually doesn’t end well for the Bears.

The Lions’ weakest aspect is their pass defense. While the Bears’ passing game isn’t the best, it can hurt you from time to time, but if the Lions get to Cutler and do not allow Forte to run the ball effectively, they will have done their part in this football game.

Bears-Lions: Prediction

The Bears have beaten the Lions six games in a row, and 10 of the last 12 meetings between the two. The Bears have a 6-1 record in MNF under Lovie Smith, as well. But this is a Lions team that the Bears haven’t played before.

Expect that six game losing streak to end Monday.

Lions 30 | Bears 20

  • Lions-Bears Spread Pick: Lions -6
  • Lions-Bears Over-Under Pick: Over

 **********

Bears-Lions Game Info
  • Bears-Lions Date, Time, and TV: Monday, October 10th at 8:30 ET on ESPN
  • Bears-Lions Announcers: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, and Ron Jaworski
  • Bears-Lions Point Spread: Lions -6
  • Bears-Lions Over-Under Odds: 48
Contact author at tyler.juranovich@gmail.com Follow him on twitter at @tylerjuranovich
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