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When and where: November 11, 2018, Soldier Field, Chicago, IL, 1:00 PM ET
The Detroit Lions will try to avoid slipping completely out of the NFC North race on Sunday when traveling to Soldier Field for a divisional showdown with the Chicago Bears. After trading receiver Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Lions have seemingly packed it in for the season. They are coming off back-to-back losses to the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks. Meanwhile, the Bears have won two straight against the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills.
Have the Lions given up on the 2018 season?
The decision to bring in Bill Belichick disciple Matt Patricia as the new Lions head coach brought a sense of excitement to a Lions organization that was swirling in the toilet. There was hope that Patricia could finally be the one to get the team over the hump and make them into a viable playoff contender. Great coaching became a necessity in a rapidly improving NFC North division.
Yet, it has been the same old Lions this season.
Patricia hasn’t done a poor job, but he also hasn’t done anything to convince the masses the organization is finally headed in the right direction. Not to mention the team just traded its best offensive asset outside of quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Eagles. The decision to move on from Tate doesn’t help the Lions in the short-term. Stafford is now without a top receiver on offense, and the team is no closer to competing in their own division, much less for a playoff spot.
Trading Tate was basically a waving of the white flag. Even if they refuse to admit it, the Lions have already moved onto next season and beyond.
Stafford and the Lions offense struggled in the first game without Tate against the Vikings. The veteran quarterback was held to only 199 passing yards. Marvin Jones led receivers with six receptions for 66 yards in a 24-9 loss.
Bears on the verge of a playoff berth
Few expected the Bears to be sitting atop the NFC North division at the halfway point of the season, and yet, first-time head coach Matt Nagy has the team in position to potentially return to the playoffs for the first time in eight years. There is obviously still a long way to go, and they’ll have to continue to play as well in the second half as they did in the first. But the Bears are finally a team worth talking about again.
Mitchell Trubisky, the former No. 2 overall draft pick, is coming along nicely in the system, and the team has done a tremendous job of going after viable receiving targets for him. However, the game-changing move was the decision to make the trade for former Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack. The fearsome linebacker is making another case for the prestigious award in a defense that was already good before he arrived. They’ve essentially gone from good to great in one brilliant move.
The defense picked off Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman three times and held the offense to only nine points without Mack on the field last Sunday.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 6, 2018
Two of those turnovers were converted into touchdowns in a 41-9 victory.
- Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against teams in the NFC
- Bears are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 games played in the month of November
- Bears are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games
- Bears are 5-1 ATS against teans with a losing record
- Lions are 3-9 ATS against teams with a winning record
- Lions are 0-2 in last two straight up games
- Under is 5-1 in the last 6 head-to-head meetings in Chicago
Updated on Nov 11 at 7:55am EST
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
The Bears have gotten 54% of the bets and they have gone from -6.5 to -7. Not much to read into that.
Injury / Weather Report
No Weather Issues Expected
Detroit’s Impact Injury Report:
OG T.J. Lang (6 Starts) and Darius Slay (22 Tackles, 2 INTs) are both out.
RB Kerryon Johnson (503 Yards) is questionable
Chicago’s Impact Injury Report:
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Lions are forgoing the win-now attitude and shifting their focus more towards the future. They wouldn’t have made the decision to trade Tate mid-season if that wasn’t the case. That’s definitely not the attitude one would expect to help them knock off the No. 1 team in the NFC North division.
The Bears are currently the fourth-ranked defense in the league in points allowed, fifth in total yards and third against the run. Mack, who has missed the last couple games with an ankle injury, could also be back for this divisional match-up. The last thing Stafford needs right now is less weapons when facing one of the best defenses in the league.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Bears are also averaging 29.4 points per game. Trubisky isn’t Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson, but he is a capable quarterback that finally seems to have sparked a little life in the Bears offense. Stafford was once praised for his ability to win shootouts in spite of a bad Lions defense, but the Lions haven’t played well offensively or defensively this season.
The Bears should have no problem putting this game away at home.
Prediction: Chicago Bears (-6.5)
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is 4-1 in the last five head-to-head games between these two teams. Opponents are only averaging 19.1 points per game against the Bears suffocating defense, and they could have the luxury of Mack being back on the field for this game. Trubisky and the offense is hit-or-miss, and I don’t expect this to be one of those prolific offensive performances with a divisional opponent standing on the other sideline.
Prediction: Under (45)