Five reasons Monday night could be a trap game for the Bears

Five reasons Monday night could be a trap game for the Bears
Chicago Tribune photo

Are you ready for some football? I know I am, as well as the rest of Bears' Nation as the Monsters get set to battle the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football. Yet—what may be misinterpreted as angst can be easily found in the fear department—the 2-3 Lions are coming off an emotional overtime win against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Bears are coming off of a Week-6 bye. So, what would be considered an advantage for the Bears takes a shift in paradigm.

Here are 5 reasons why:

1.) Rust

The Bears are coming off of a Week-6 bye, giving players time to rest up and work out kinks. It can also, however, allows players time to rust.

rust
verb
: to degenerate especially from inaction, lack of use, or passage of time

2.) Age

No doubt that rest is good. However, what happens to athletes, particularly those who are "up there" in age—in the NFL aging is quite similar to dog years—is counter-productive. Be that as it may, the Bears (average age of starters = 28) were able to mend multiple injuries: Matt Forte (ankle), Brian Urlacher (everything), Alshon Jeffery (out-hand), Earl Bennett (questionable-hand), Devin Hester (questionable-quad). It is uncertain how the vet's will perform early on in the game, but that may be the difference.

3.) Odds

The Chicago Bears’ success on Monday Night Football only further agitates the odds machine against their favor. The Bears are 6-1 in their last seven MNF appearances and are 8-2 all-time under head coach Lovie Smith. Any pessimist could tear that stat to shreds. However, the Bears will take a three-game winning streak in to the Monday night contest.

Even worse.

The NFC North, which shares the second most wins of any conference (13), next to the NFC West (16), is one of the toughest divisions in football. For the past four seasons, teams in the north have rotated winning the division, with the Green Bay Packers (6-0) claiming dominance last season. The Bears are currently 0-1 in the division and so is Detroit. Somebody is getting a win and will create distance one way or the other. Will it be Chicago?

On a bright note, the Bears own the most wins in franchise history against the Lions (94-65-5), but a lot of those wins were against very, very, very miserable Detroit teams.

And then there's this:

At Chicago -6.5 Detroit 47.5 -$280 +$240

Courtesy of footballlocks.com

4. Sleeping Lions

Jay Cutler gets sacked . . .  a lot, and the Lions have been perennial sack leaders and an all-around nasty bunch when it comes to quarterback treatment. Led by Ndamukong Suh, one of the League's most ferocious, old school defensive linemen, Detroit is itching for a chance to awaken the tenacious pass rush that has been the model for the turnaround success of the franchise. Monday night just may be that night.

See: Sunday, October 3, 2010

On The Bright Side . . .

Jay Cutler is 5-1 on Monday nights. Also the Detroit Lions, after recording five sacks in the first two weeks, failed to get a sack the following week. In the past two weeks, Detroit has recorded five sacks (3-PHI, 2-DET).

5. Light reception

The Bears enter Week-7 a little slim in the wide receiver department, losing white-hot rookie Alshon Jeffery to a hand injury. Devin Hester and Earl Bennett are both recovering from mild injuries as well. The Bears aren't nearly in the category of vulnerable, but they are definitely meeting a very hungry, desperate, and recently efficient Detroit Lions team that netted 449 yards and just one turnover against the Eagles last week.

There is no doubt that Chicago must bring firepower to Soldier Field in order to keep up with the Lions’ offense, which generates 25.2PPG (26PPG in last three). Without Jeffery, Cutler will have one less down-field threat, as Brandon Marshall has found more success in the middle of the field rather than the outside the numbers.

On The Bright Side . . .

After all, Soldier Field, where the conditions are typically execrable, passing games are typically neutralized and an added focus to the ground game becomes paramount. The Bears will be able to use the dual-back system with Forte and Michael Bush (3TDs, 3.6 yards per carry). The two should be able to gash the four man front of Detroit and control the time of possession, which allow Cutler to have his way with the secondary, keeping the defense honest in both zone and man-to-man coverage.

Although my prediction for Monday night's game is Bears 35, Lions 20, I believe that this has all the makings of a trap-fest.


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