TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 7: Detroit Lions At Chicago Bears

Lions
Bears
Detroit Lions v Philadelphia Eagles
Chicago Bears v Jacksonville Jaguars
Quarterback
Winner Matthew Stafford continues to throw the ball for big yardage, but he has not been finding the endzone the way head coach Jim Schwartz and Lions fans expect. Stafford has only thrown four TD passes in his first five games while tossing five interceptions. Stafford caught fire in the come-from-behind win against Philadelphia and the Lions are hoping that game represents a return to form.
Winner The Bears have full confidence in Jay Cutler. He has one of the strongest arms in the league and he couples that with a quick release. Cutler is often maligned for his body language, but he puts the ball on the money and can go downfield with accuracy. Cutler can buy time for his receivers to get open with his quick feet.
Offense
The Lions have plenty of big-play weapons on the offensive side, led by superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson. While he has caught 35 passes for 558 yards, he only has one TD and that needs to change. Running back Mikel Leshoure is only giving the Lions ordinary production on the ground.
Winner Brandon Marshall is one of Cutler’s best friends in football and also one of the most dangerous receivers in football. He is the Bears’ best big-play wideout and he is good enough to beat double-team coverage. Running back Matt Forte is one of the most versatile players at his position in the league. He is a strong runner, a solid receiver and a consistent blocker.
Defense
The Lions have plenty of big-name talent on the defensive side of the ball, but they are not playing to that talent level. The Lions have gone three consecutive games without getting a sack and that’s a recipe for disaster against a quality team like Chicago. The Lions often lack discipline and that is demonstrated by late-hit penalty calls against the defense.
Winner Big plays are the rule for the Bears defense. Linebacker Lance Briggs is one of the Bears’ biggest stars on defense and he has returned interceptions for scores in each of the last two games, as has defensive back Charles Tillman. Julius Peppers is a pass-rushing force to be reckoned with and he faces double-team coverage on a regular basis.
Special Teams
The Lions have struggled badly covering kickoffs and punts. They have already given up four special teams touchdowns. That’s an area that the Bears may be able to exploit. Jason Hanson is a dependable placekicker, making 16-of-17 field goal attempts this season.
Winner Robbie Gould is one of the most dependable kickers in the league and he has mastered the Soldier Field winds. The Bears should have a huge opportunity to get their kickoff and punt return games going against the vulnerable Lions.

The Winner Is

Chicago Bears v Jacksonville Jaguars
Winner Bears
4 out of 4

The Bears excelled in a previous Monday night matchup at Dallas and they will try to assert themselves against their divisional rival. While the Lions have a sensational big-play wide receiver in Johnson, Stafford has struggled to get him the ball. If Cutler doesn’t turn the ball over, the Bears seem to have the edge.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants breaks a tackle by Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins in the second half at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against Everson Griffen #97 and Tom Johnson #92 of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st half during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Minnesota Vikings

    The Vikings defense has annihilated every opponent so far. Can they do it to the explosive Giants offense this week?

  2. KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Center Mitch Morse #61 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball to Alex Smith #11 at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against  Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Chiefs and Steelers battle it out in a match-up of AFC playoff contenders.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At San Francisco 49ers

    The Cowboys have been rolling with rookie QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. They look to continue that momentum this week.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Philly

Guide To Oktoberfests And Other Fall Beer Events
Sign Up Now!
Taz Goes Big!

Listen Live