The Detroit Lions are 6 days away from opening up their 2020/2021 campaign against division foes, the Chicago Bears. Here is what you can expect from this divisional matchup.
Lions Opportunity to Pounce
How COVID has affected preparation, fluidity and continuity is yet to be seen. This does open the door for an unexpected turn in results across the league in Week 1. Now, considering the Bears had the 25th and 27th Pass and Rush Offense last year, it shouldn’t be crazy to expect a solid performance from this Detroit defense who were just horrible last season. With Chicago averaging just 17.5 points per game last season, I don’t see why Detroit should give up anything more than 20-24 points on Sunday. Anything under 20 points would be a bonus for Matt Patricia and this defense.
Darrell Bevell & Matthew Stafford are probably licking their chops at this Week 1 matchup. Yes, the Bears defense is a good one, but with no preseason and limited conditioning. Don’t expect to see the prime of the Bears defense. Expect Detroit to run the balls 28-34 times this game, with Stafford efficiently moving the ball down field. Considering both teams are suffering from the lack of preparation, I still see Detroit enjoying the day far more. Their offense has a big opportunity to take advantage of a defense that more likely than not, won’t be in mid-season form this Sunday.
Expect Foles before the BYE
With the Chicago Bears bye week coming in Week 11, it wouldn’t surprise me if Mitchell Trubisky is benched as early as Week 4. Adam Scheffter tweeted that due to “progression, leadership and overall performance…” Mitchell Trubisky is expected to be named the starter. This really doesn’t come as a surprise, but considering Foles apparenly made it “difficult” for Matt Nagy speaks volumes to their trust levels at Quarterback. Just look at how they handled the kicker fiasco, I don’t see this season ending well for the Bears. Trading up for a QB that doesn’t work out is a big set back for a team with such strength on the defensive side of the ball.
Make or Break for Matt Patricia
This project that has taken the football team backwards in terms of results needs a winning season to warrant any future at all. The Lions were one of the worst defensive teams in football last year, yes they were on the end of some pretty bad calls but that’s football. This is year 3 for Matt, and if 9-7 wasn’t good enough for Jim Caldwell, it sure as hell isn’t for Matt Patricia. 10-6 seems reasonable and very doable this year, although as Lions fans we always find a way to check off 9 or 10 wins every year before the season starts. Considering the division is considerably strong, how Patricia performs in divisional play with weigh heavily on whether or not the team will be a success this year. With the open two weeks scheduled against the Bears & Packers, there’s no better way to make a big statement early than two divisional wins.
Let’s see what Sunday brings, hopefully a Detroit Lions win and some optimism for a team, and city that needs it.