Wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be a threat to Detroit. Image courtesy of jconline.com/AP/Jose Yau
The Chicago Bears have stormed to the top of the NFC North this season with a 4-1 record. They’re yet to be fully tested, though, and their four wins have come against teams with a combined 8-13 record. Lovie Smith’s team is also fully rested coming off the bye.
The cannon fodder on the Bears’ schedule continues to be served up on Tuesday morning (AEDT) with the highly inconsistent Detroit Lions visiting the Windy City. Jim Schwartz’s side is coming off a win, though, following their 26-23 overtime victory against Philadelphia.
Lions quarterback Matt Stafford and his offence are rated second in the league thanks to an average of 320 yards per game in the air, but those numbers hide the real story. The Bears’ defence has scored five touchdowns this season, one more than Stafford has thrown across his first five games. They also picked him off on four occasions on the Lions’ visit to Soldier Field last season.
Mikel Leshoure and Kevin Smith have done a serviceable job out of the backfield, averaging a tick under 100 yards per game, but they’ll be going up against the best run defence in the NFL. In their Week 4 Monday Night Football match-up against Dallas, the Bears’ defence finished with five takeaways, and they’ve conceded just 27 points in their last three games.
Louis Delmar’s return at safety has helped stiffen up the Lions’ secondary, but they’ll still have a tough time containing Bears wideout Brandon Marshall who has caught for 496 yards with three touchdowns this season. Earlier this year, two games in a row the Lions’ special teams allowed a kick return and a punt return in for a touchdown. They’ll need to be on red alert on Tuesday coming up against the best in the business, Devin Hester .
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