The Bears are bad, but the Lions are still the Lions

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - BEARS -

Mitch Tru­bisky had two very good games last sea­son, and one was at home against the Lions. The Lions de­fense, which was re­built dur­ing the off­sea­son, is strug­gling again. The Lions of­fense is once again one-di­men­sional now that run­ning back Ker­ryon John­son is on in­jured re­serve. But first-year of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Dar­rell Bev­ell is bring­ing out the best in quar­ter­back Matthew Stafford, and that makes him dan­ger­ous.

The Bears of­fense has scored at least 20 points in two games this sea­son. The Lions have done it in seven. That’s scary math con­sid­er­ing how well Stafford is push­ing the ball down­field and how the Bears pass rush has been in­con­sis­tent with­out Akiem Hicks. But the Bears are des­per­ate, and I’m weigh­ing the ca­reer day Tru­bisky and the of­fense had against the Lions at home last Novem­ber.

Stafford is hav­ing a ca­reer sea­son in his 11th year in the league, and here I am pick­ing a Tru­bisky-led group to win? Maybe I’m delu­sional, but I think a bad Lions de­fense will set the stage for a bet­ter show­ing on of­fense. And the Bears de­fense will thrive with less of a load to carry. The surly fans at Sol­dier Field will have some­thing to cheer there for the first time in more than a month.

As bad as the Bears of­fense has been, it should have am­ple op­por­tu­nity to break out of its slump against a de­fense that doesn’t pres­sure the quar­ter­back con­sis­tently, is weak against the run and is or­di­nary on the back end. If the Bears fail to take ad­van­tage of this get-well game, their trou­bles will be­come deeper.

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