Sunday, September 12, 2010

On Tap: Lions at Bears

Week 1 of the 2010 NFL Season is upon us, even if it started last Thursday with a dry, opening performance between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings, with the Saints winning 14-9.

My Lions are playing in Chicago today, and while I predicted the Lions would go 5-11 this year, I see this game as an upset. Last year, I predicted the Bears would beat the Lions 41-17. The Bears won 48-17. Not bad.

This year things are different. The Lions are moving up, and the Bears have decided they will implode because they hired Mike Martz to be the offensive coordinator and have chosen to keep Jay Cutler their starting QB. Martz was legendary prior to 2005 for running "the Greatest Show on Turf." Since then, he has been fired from 3 coaching jobs, one as an Offensive Coordinator with the Lions.

Meanwhile, Cutler has floundered since getting dumped from the Denver Broncos prior to 2009. While throwing 27 TDs, Cutler led the league in interceptions with 26. Cutler looked god awful in the preseason, and I'm hoping he continues that play into this game at least.

The only way the Lions will win is on offense. The offense looked good in the preseason, and now it's time for QB Matthew Stafford to take it to the next level. The Bears' defense on paper is still scary, but they're getting old. Led by Brian Urlacher who is 32, the Bears' D is coached by former Lions' coach Rod Marinelli, who led the Lions to the first 0-16 season ever.

The Bears offense is porous, but not as in bad a shape as the Lions' defense. Aside from the defensive line, the Lions will be without MLB DeAndre Levy, which means only Julian Peterson at LOLB and Louis Delmas will be the only reliable players. The jury's out on Zack Follett replacing LB Ernie Sims. But the secondary can be expected to give up the most yards all season long.

Bottom line, it'll be close, but I think the Bears take this, 28-24.

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