How about this for a start? Score

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - BEARS - By Dan Wiederer

The Bears can climb out of the NFC North cel­lar with a win over the Lions. A loss, how­ever, would be the team’s fifth straight and would fur­ther darken a mood that has soured con­sid­er­ably dur­ing the sur­pris­ing skid. With that in mind, here’s a look at our three keys.

Find a way to be sharp of­fen­sively right away. The Bears’ slow starts have been alarm­ing. In eight games, they have scored only once on their open­ing pos­ses­sion: a touch­down in Week 4 against the Vikings. They punted on their other seven open­ing drives, with three of those se­ries not pro­duc­ing a sin­gle first down. Fur­ther­more, dur­ing this four-game los­ing streak, the Bears haven’t scored a first-half touch­down and have av­er­aged 15 yards per pos­ses­sion on 23 drives be­fore half­time. That is un­ac­cept­able in­ep­ti­tude that has chal­lenged ev­ery­body’s pa­tience and threat­ened to cre­ate a con­ta­gious men­tal strain. “It’s a hur­dle we’ve all men­tally got to get over,” coach Matt Nagy said. “That’s the hard­est part. It’s hu­man na­ture to say, ‘Here we go again.’ That’s where we’ve got to be strong.” With an edgy home crowd await­ing them, the Bears can’t af­ford an­other list­less start.

Buckle down on the back end.

Through eight games, Lions re­ceivers Marvin Jones and Kenny Gol­la­day have com­bined for 77 catches, 1,175 yards and 13 touch­downs. Their big-play abil­ity has been con­sis­tent and will pose a test for the Bears se­condary. Quar­ter­back Matthew Stafford has de­vel­oped great trust in his top two re­ceivers, will­ing to give them chances to make plays down the field. But that also should give the Bears de­fen­sive backs an op­por­tu­nity to make plays on the ball. The Bears in­ter­cepted Stafford four times in two games last year. The Lions have com­pleted an NFL-best 41 passes for at least 20 yards. Lim­it­ing that down­field dam­age will be cru­cial.

At­tack the weak­est link. Lions right tackle Rick Wag­ner is vul­ner­a­ble, the least re­li­able starter on an or­di­nary of­fen­sive line. That should open up op­por­tu­ni­ties for Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd to get after Stafford on a con­sis­tent ba­sis. In last sea­son’s meet­ing at Sol­dier Field, the Bears sacked Stafford six times in a 34-22 win. Mack and Floyd each beat Wag­ner for sacks in that game.

The Bears de­fense could use a flood of big plays to help turn the mo­men­tum. It would help if they could play with a lead for an ex­tended pe­riod. Re­gard­less, get­ting after Wag­ner should be a pri­or­ity.

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