Found December 28, 2012 on Fox Sports Detroit:
This ugly season will come to an end for the Detroit Lions, but will their losing streak? The Lions play their final game Sunday afternoon at Ford Field against the Chicago Bears, who are still in playoff contention. Here are five storylines to follow: 1. Have the Bears not heard that youre supposed to let sleeping Lions lie? Chicago still has a very realistic shot at making the playoffs despite losing five of its last seven games after a 7-1 start. The Bears need a victory and a Minnesota loss or tie at Green Bay to clinch one of the NFC wild-card berths. Detroit, on the other hand, appears to be down and out with a 4-11 record, a seven-game losing streak and nothing but the role of spoiler to play. So why are the Bears talking trash to risk waking up their NFC North division rival? It makes no sense. Keep your mouth shut and just watch the Lions self-destruct one more time. But here are the Bears mouthing off. Defensive tackle Henry Melton pulled out the old dirty card on the Lions and, in particular, called out center Dominic Raiola for constantly cussing and throwing cheap shots. Raiola responded by calling Melton a clown and saying that he didnt deserve his Pro Bowl invite. Melton also tweeted a cartoon photo from the Lion King that has been making the rounds. The caption reads: THAT SHADOWY PLACE IS THE SUPER BOWL. NO LION HAS EVER BEEN THERE. Bears safety Major Wright, meanwhile, went after someone who could potentially do serious damage to Chicagos playoff chances in Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Wright said that Stafford is having an OK season and added, You have to be aware of putting pressure on him. You put a little pressure on him, he kind of folds. You close the pocket on him, he hesitates. That is true for almost any quarterback, of course. But why say it about your next opponent under these circumstances? 2. The Lions can become the only NFL franchise with a player who has 2,000 rushing yards in a season and another with 2,000 receiving yards. Barry Sanders ran for 2,053 yards in 1997. Fifteen years later, Calvin Johnson needs 108 yards to hit 2K on the receiving end. Johnson broke the NFL single-season record for receiving yards last week, but he can make it that much more difficult for someone else to surpass with another big game. The Bears, however, held Johnson to a season-low 34 yards on three receptions in their 13-7 victory at Chicago on Oct. 22. Chicago put a lot of pressure on Stafford in that game while cornerback Charles Tillman constantly locked up on Johnson downfield. Johnson said the Bears also were effective in disguising their coverage at times. They do a great job with their safeties and bringing them down really late, Johnson said. 3. Johnson isnt the only one having a historic season. Stafford also has a chance to reach 5,000 passing yards in consecutive years, along with breaking the NFL record for pass attempts in a season. He needs 305 yards to reach 5K. New Orleans Drew Brees, meanwhile, needs 219 for the same back-to-back accomplishment, which has never happened in the NFL. Only four quarterbacks (Brees twice, Stafford, New England's Tom Brady and former Miami Dolphin Dan Marino) have ever passed for 5,000 in a season in league history. Honestly, it doesnt mean a whole lot to me, Stafford said. I want to try to get a win. Stafford has passed for more than 305 yards in eight of the Lions 15 games, butChicago held him to 261 two monthsago. He also needs to throw only seven passes to break Drew Bledsoes record of 691 attempts set in 1994 with the New England Patriots. As much as anything, thats a reflection of the teams lack of an effective run game, not to mention having to play from behind so often late in games. One streak Stafford needs to end: Two straight games without a touchdown pass, the first time thats happened back-to-back in his career. 4. No statistic in football reflects winning and losing more than turnover margin, which doesnt bode well for the Lions. They are minus-12 (17 takeaways, 29 giveaways), which ranks 26th in the NFL. The Bears are plus-16 (40 takeaways, 24 giveaways), second in the league. The first time they met the Lions were minus-4 in turnovers, including three fumbles. Chicagos defense, especially Tillman, has thrived on stripping the ball by punching it out. Its coached, Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said of the Bears' knack for creating turnovers. They rally to the football, Stafford said. Every time you turn on film, somebodys getting tackled and theres three or four guys right around them. If the ball pops out, theyre going to get it. Its something you have to be conscious of. In their last two losses, the Lions have committed seven turnovers that have led to 45 points. 5. A year ago when Chicago lost on Monday night to the Lions, much was made about the tremendous home-field advantage created by the raucous atmosphere at Ford Field. The crowd repeatedly disrupted the Bears offense and forced them into false starts. You wouldnt know any edge existed anymore based on the results. The Lions are 2-5 at home, including four straight losses to Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis and Atlanta, all playoff teams. Detroit is also on the verge of going winless in the division. Chicago can sweep the series, just as Green Bay and Minnesota already did. The Lions are also in danger of ending the season on an eight-game losing streak. It would be the third time in the last 11 years, fourth time in club history, that theyve finished so poorly. They were 0-16 in 2008, lost their last eight in 2002 and were 0-11 in 1942. I dont want to go into next season with a losing streak, said Raiola, in his 12th year with the Lions. Weve been through too many of those up here. We need to stop that right now. Otherwise, Raiola knows what it's going to be like starting outtraining camp next August. Thats the first thing people are going to talk about, that youre on an eight-game losing streak, he said. That makes it that much tougher.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES
CRINGEWORTHY, MAN

Stafford, Megatron star in awkward church ad

As a Detroit Lions fan this is especially painful.  I honestly don’t even know what the point of this commercial was, but it was a combination of terrible writing, acting, and execution.  It’s so bad that you have to see it to believe it actually happened.Video via: Kensington Church YouTube Channel

Detroit Lions wrap up season against Bears

And Detroit fans can breathe a collective sigh of relief. After 17 weeks of underachievement, miscues and disappointment, the 2012 season will be over for the Detroit Lions. And not a moment too soon. This game that airs Sunday at 1:05p.m. on Fox is the last one that Lions faithful will be forced to endure until next season rolls around. At 4-11, the Lions have only pride and draft...

Lions WR Johnson close to 2,000 yards receiving

The smile has rarely left Calvin Johnson's face since he broke Jerry Rice's NFL record for receiving yards in a single season against Atlanta on Dec. 22. Don't let Johnson's smile fool you. Underneath that cheery expression, there's a fierce competitor who wants to make Rice's accomplishments a distant second to his own effort this year. Johnson's record...
UNDER PRESSURE

Bears safety criticizes Stafford

In advance of the showdown between Chicago and Detroit this weekend, Major Wright took a shot at Matthew Stafford about how the Lions QB handles pressure.

Calvin Johnson Breaks Jerry Rice's Single-Season Receiving Yards Record

Seemingly half-man, half-machine, Detroit Lions wideout Calvin Johnson — the All-Pro wideout known simply as “Megatron,” a nickname inspired by...

Bears safety Major Wright says Mathew Stafford “folds under pressure”

Chicago Bears safety Major Wright told the media that Lions quarterback Mathew Stafford has a hard time dealing with pressure. “You put a little pressure on him, you close the pocket on him, and he hesitates,” Wright said Wednesday. “He doesn’t make that perfect throw.” Wright said Stafford “kind of folds” under pressure, and the numbers support his argument. The Lions...

Bears’ Major Wright: “Matthew Stafford Folds Under Pressure”

Bears’ safety, Major Wright called out Matt Stafford Per a report from Josh Katzenstein of DetroitNews.com, Chicago Bears safety Major Wright believes their defense have the key to neutralizing Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. “You put a little pressure on him, you close the pocket on him, and he hesitates. He doesn’t make that perfect throw.” Per Katzenstein...

Calvin Johnson heading to the Pro Bowl, Stafford and Suh named as alternates

Wednesday afternoon NFL Pro Bowl rosters were announced and unsurprisingly Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson was selected as a starter for the NFC squad. During a year in which he started out slow, Megatron has been simply amazing down the stretch breaking Jerry Rice’s single season yardage record and could eclipse 2,000 receiving yards on the season this coming weekend against...

Bears will face motivated Megatron

Lions wideout Calvin Johnson is on the verge of 2,000 receiving yards this season. Even though Detroit is 4-11, the Bears will have their hands full with a motivated Megatron come Sunday.

Charles Tillman compares Calvin Johnson to LeBron James

Is Calvin Johnson the NFL’s LeBron James? Bears corner back Charles Tillman compared the two today (Credit: AP Photo) The Chicago Bears have been doing a lot of talking before this weekend’s match up with the Detroit Lions. Yesterday, defensive tackle Henry Melton said he expects dirty play from the Lions. Today, safety Major Wright criticized quarterback Matthew Stafford for...

Bears-Lions Preview

While a second-half collapse has put their postseason hopes in doubt, the Chicago Bears managed to stay alive with a big win last weekend. Now, another victory coupled with some help from their archrival would allow them to sneak in. Visiting Chicago first tries to get past Calvin Johnson and the slumping Detroit Lions on Sunday before turning its attention to a late-afternoon...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.