The NFC North shines bright in the Monday night spotlight when the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears tangle in a classic division rivalry. Oddsmakers have tagged the Bears as 6-point home favorites.
We enroll the help of expert bloggers Sean Yuille of Lions blog “Pride of Detroit
” and Adam Oestmann of Bears blog “Chicago Bears Huddle
” to help us cap the Monday nighter. They strap on the pads and debate which team will cover the spread – Lions or Bears?THREE REASONS WHY DETROIT WILL COVERSean Yuille is the managing editor for Pride of Detroit and SB Nation Detroit. You can follow them on Facebook and on Twitter @PrideOfDetroit.Dominant D-line returns
Through the first four games, the Lions' defensive line was quite disappointing. Calls of overrated didn't seem that far off, as the D-line really hadn't done a whole lot. Last week in Philadelphia was a much different story. The Lions hit Michael Vick 11 times and had three sacks and 10 tackles for a loss.
In general, Vick was running for his life quite a bit and back-to-back sacks in overtime essentially won the game for the Lions. Based on how Chicago has struggled at keeping Jay Cutler upright at times, the Lions' D-line could have a field day in Chicago."Cardiac Cats"
No matter what the score is going into the fourth quarter, the Lions never actually seem to be out of a game. They play their best football in the fourth quarter and Matthew Stafford has now led comebacks in seven of his 15 career NFL victories.
A big part of this stems from the Lions starting slow much too often. But, even if they're down a few possessions, look for the Lions to make this game close Monday night.
To put it bluntly, the Lions can't afford to lose this game. They need a victory much more than the Bears because of their 1-3 start and current 2-3 record. Falling to 2-4 would put them in a really tough spot and make the odds of returning to the playoffs that much longer.
Bouncing back and getting their record to 3-3, on the other hand, would set the Lions up quite nicely to get back into the playoff hunt, especially if they are able to win back-to-back road games. To say the least, the Lions will be the more desperate team in Chicago Monday.
THREE REASONS WHY CHICAGO WILL COVERAdam Oestmann is the managing editor for Chicago Bears Huddle on ChicagoNow. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @BearsHuddle
.Lions are not as good as advertised
I can tell you all about how great Detroit’s Greektown and the Riverfront are, and the truth is that they really are nice. But the rest… well, the rest is steaming pile of… OK, I didn’t come here to pick on Detroit. But the Lions are no different than their home town: Flashy in a number of areas, dilapidated in most others.
Calvin Johnson and Matt Stafford are great. Ndamukong Suh, Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch are great. But the core group is suspect and football is the ultimate team sport. The offense is one-dimensional and the defensive, beyond the front four, is suspect. The team as a whole is undisciplined. The Lions rank third-worst in the league in penalties committed and both the Bears’ offense and defense will expose them and show the nation that “they are who we thought they were”.
The Bears’ special teams are far superior to the Lions’ in just about every facet. Detroit has given up more than a couple big plays on special teams this season, and the Bears are itching to take a couple impact ones from them. Devin Hester has five career returns for touchdowns on Monday Night Football. And he’s oh so hungry.
History says the Bears will win
Through the last two seasons, the Bears have managed to play their best football following the bye week. They’ve gone on winning streaks of three and five games post-bye in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Lovie Smith is 5-3 following the bye week in Chicago (2-1 at home, 3-2 on the road), including one win against Detroit.
In addition, the Bears are 8-2 under Lovie Smith on Monday Night Football. The Bears have won six of their last seven against the Lions at Soldier Field and seven of their last nine since 2003, including four straight. The Bears’ 53 home victories against the Lions are the most against any individual NFL team.
Join the debate. Who covers on Monday Night Football – Lions or Bears?