Plenty of factors play into the difference between a win or a loss in the National Football League.
On Sunday, two very talented teams will square off in a big NFC North matchup. The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions are tied a top the division with the Green Bay Packers at 5-3.
The Lions hold the edge after beating the Bears in the previous meeting this season.
The Bears have tons of legitimate talent on the offensive side of the ball and have stayed rather healthy there minus Jay Cutler recently.
But on defense it has been a completely different story. The middle of the defense is depleted with defensive tackles Henry Melton and Nate Collins, linebacker D.J. Williams lost for the season.
Not to mention the captain and weakside linebacker Lance Briggs will be out an extended period of time after going down two weeks ago with a bruised shoulder.
Shea McClellin (hamstring) is doubtful and that isn't good for a Bears' defense that thrives off pressures and sacks in the Cover-2 scheme.
Things can be done to win this one, but who will step up and play big?
Here are five Bears players you should watch on Sunday at Soldier Field against the Lions.
The 22-year-old rookie has 15 tackles on the season. 11 of those tackles are solo, which is definitely promising. He made a big impact against the Redskins in Week Seven racking up eight tackles, but against Green Bay last week he had a quiet four tackle performance. He is still learning. But the kid is smart I'll tell you that much. He has been staying in his gaps for the most part and looking pretty solid in pass coverage. This is a big test for him against Matthew Stafford and Reggie Bush.
The 29-year-old UCF product compiled his first game with 100 or more receiving yards since Week Two. He averaged 15.3 yards per catch, which was also his largest output since Week Two. He is a stud there's no way around that. He has a solid matchup against a Lions' pass defense that allowed Marshall to total 79 receiving yards in the first meeting this season. He needs another big game to help the Bears pick up their sixth win of the year.
Not often do offensive linemen make this list of players to watch, but the 34-year-old is an important player on this Bears team. He keeps the offensive line together as the main leader on-and-off the field. He isn't the same player he once was, but he still delivers the snaps on time and in a good spot to the quarterback. The Bears haven't had much success running the ball up the middle, Garza surely has something to do with that. This is a gigantic game for Garza, who has a tough matchup against a very talented Lions pass rush.
The 32-year-old appears as healthy as he can be after playing every snap last week against the Packers. He made five tackles and one forced fumble. He was even in on special teams making six appearances. He will matchup with Calvin Johnson, who has been a monster this season. Some help over the top should ease the pain of Megatron, but Tillman will have to do most of the dirty work off the initial snap. Look for Tillman to have his game of the year on Sunday,
The 25-year-old defensive tackle has been no where to be found since his nice Week One performance, which included seven tackles and 0.5 sack. He has posted two tackles per game since the opening game of the season. He did miss two weeks (Week Five-Week Six) with a turf toe injury, but he is 100 percent and the excuses have to stop. He needs to step up in this one with McClellin likely out and the defensive line already thin.
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