Week 12: 5 Key matchups for the Detroit Lions vs the Chicago Bears

It’s a short week for the Detroit Lions, but an even shorter week for the Chicago Bears. The good news for both teams is the fact they played each other just two weeks ago. They should have a similar game plan already set with a few minor tweaks and adjustments to be made. Perhaps the biggest changes in scheme will be from injures to important players. Here are five key matchups to watch.

1. Lions Offensive Tackles vs DE Khalil Mack

Mack got the best of this matchup two weeks ago. Hopefully after some film and a new game plan, LT Taylor Decker and RT Rick Wagner can hold Mack at bay. It will be no easy task.

Mack got his hands on Stafford a few times in there previous matchup — not all of them for sacks. He is also coming off of a game where he destroyed former Lions LT Reily Rieff. Suffice it to say, you can never truly stop Mack, you can only contain him.

2. WR Kenny Golladay vs CB Kyle Fuller

Fuller will shadow the Lions best receiver. Without question, that player will be Kenny Golladay. With Marvin Jones still out, Golladay will have to continue to be a target-hog at wide receiver. He did step up last week as he racked up 113-yards on eight catches and a touchdown. Fuller did not get an interception in the last meeting, but he does have a knack for coming down with the ball.

3. CB Darius Slay vs WR Allen Robinson

Slay was injured in the last matchup between these two teams and Robinson went off for 133-yards and two touchdowns. The Lions can’t allow Robinson to have another big game like that. Robinson was a big reason why the Bears jumped out to a 26-0 start over the Lions. Having Slay back will be a big boost against against the pass.

4. Lions RBs vs Bears D-Line

The Lions will be without star running back Kerryon Johnson and will have to use a running back by committee approach. They will have to rely on LeGarrette Blount, Theo Riddick, and Zach Zenner to try to get something going on the ground. Detroit can not be one-dimensional and predictable against the ferocious Bears pass rushers.

The Bears defensive line is very formidable and Johnson has shown he has the best vision of the running backs on the Lions roster. Without the vision of Johnson, combined with the few openings the Bears defensive line allows, I predict a very poor game for the Lions running backs.

5. Lions Defensive Backs vs Bears Quarterback

Trubisky got hurt in the fourth quarter of the Vikings game this past Sunday. He carries a doubtful tag and all signs point to the Bears readying to go without him. Even if he plays, he will not be 100% and will be impacted by this injury. Chase Daniel is the next quarterback up. He has very limited starter experience but has been a long-time NFL backup.

The Lions defensive backs need to step up just like they did against former MVP Cam Newton last week. Tracy Walker is showing his potential and deserves to get more reps this week. It would also be nice if another corner outside of Slay could get an interception for once.

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