In a matchup of the NFC North teams with the two best records, the 3-0 Chicago Bears will put their perfect record on the line against the 2-1 Detroit Lions.
Two of the quarterbacks with the strongest arms, Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford, will face off, with the Bears trying to win their fourth straight over the Lions. This game will also feature two superstar wide receivers, with the Lions Calvin Johnson and the Bears Brandon Marshall.
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
When: September 29, 3013, 1:00 ET
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket, Game Rewind
Bears Player to Watch: Matt Forte
All eyes will be on Cutler of course. He hasn’t always been great in big road games, and this is certainly a big one, as the Bears will get a two game lead in the NFC North with a win. But I expect Forte to be really involved, getting somewhere between 25 and 30 touches. The Bears will use Forte similarly to the way they used him in Week 2, when he racked up 161 total yards against the Vikings.
Lions Player to Watch: Ryan Broyles
Broyles had one of the best games in his rookie season against the Bears last year, getting 51 receiving yards and a touchdown. With Nate Burleson injured now, Broyles steps in as the Lions’ number two wideout opposite Calvin Johnson. Obviously Stafford will be looking for Johnson a lot, but the Lions will be using Broyles on the outside and in the slot to make catches on intermediate throws.
Matchup to Watch: Calvin Johnson vs. Charles Tillman
No corner was better against Megatron last season than Tillman. He held him to 106 total receiving yards in two games last year, while Johnson averaged 133 yards in his other 14 games. I still give the advantage to Johnson at home this Sunday because he’s — well — Calvin Johnson, but Tillman won’t make anything easy for him, both in coverage and as a tackler after the catch.
I fully expect this game to be tight throughout, as the Lions are always tough at home against divisional opponents. But in close games, the team that makes fewer mistakes prevails, and the Bears are the sharper, better-coached team. With a defense that always capitalizes on turnovers and a distinct special teams advantage, the Bears will continue on their theme this year of making plays late in the fourth.
Bears 27, Lions 24