Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears Prediction, Preview, and Odds - 10-3-2021 - Winners and Whiners

An NFC North divisional showdown between the Chicago Bears and winless Detroit Lions takes center stage at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon. A hellacious start to the schedule has led to disaster in the early going for a Lions team that has lost three straight to the Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers. Meanwhile, the Bears got hammered in a 26-6 loss on the road to the Cleveland Browns.

I get the need to want to clown on the Lions for being the perennial punchline team in the NFL. They haven’t won a game yet this season, and they’ll probably be bad the rest of the way. I wonder if Jared Goff thinks about the situation he had with the Los Angeles Rams in comparison to the one he has right now in Detroit when he lays his head down on his pillow at night.

The good news is the Rams played well defensively against a Baltimore Ravens team that runs over everyone. They somehow managed to hold Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ No. 1-ranked rushing offense to only 116 yards total on the ground. That’s an important nugget when facing another potentially dynamic playmaker at the quarterback position with Chicago’s Justin Fields. If they can keep him from killing them with his legs, it’s going to be another long afternoon for the Bears defense.

The goal here is to keep Fields contained in the pocket and force him to step up and make the big NFL throws downfield. It’s clear the No. 11 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft is being forced onto the field before he’s ready behind a makeshift offensive line. This is a great opportunity for the Lions defensive front to feast, assuming they aren’t compromised with both Trey Flowers and Michael Brockers showing up on the injury report.

It’s also a chance for Goff and the offense to start to change the narrative surrounding the team. It obviously hasn’t been smooth sailing with the team facing three possible playoff contenders right off the bat. Although the Bears are doing a better job of getting after the quarterback, there are still holes on the defense, particularly in the run game. If the Lions can get running back D Andre Swift going, it might open up the play-action passing game Goff typically excels at. Keep in mind, Swift has been limited at practice with an injury, and it could be more Jamaal Williams on Sunday.

It’s obvious Justin Fields isn’t ready to start at quarterback in the NFL. He went 6-of-20 passing for only 68 yards against the Cleveland Browns last week .

However, if we’re being fair, the Browns are one of the best defensive teams in the league, and there’s nothing wrong with a young quarterback needing a little extra time to develop, especially when it s in a limited offense bereft of high-end talent. Fields was thrown into the fire before he was ready, and the team can only hope to count it as a learning experience.

With that said, Andy Dalton or Nick Foles should be the ones starting on Sunday.

Dalton has been limited at practice this week, and third-string quarterback Nick Foles is clearly available. The Bears need a quarterback capable of getting the passing game going. The fact that the Lions held up so well against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens run defense can’t be setting well with coach Matt Nagy, either. They would essentially be throwing Fields to the wolves for a second straight week.

On the defensive side of the field, it will fall on the Bears to get pressure on Jared Goff and come up with takeaways, especially if the team opts to start Fields again. They couldn’t even punch the ball into the end zone once last week. It could be a real problem if things stay as they are for another week.

The Lions have been pretty mediocre on offense with a lack of explosive offensive playmakers. So there really is no excuse for the Bears defense not to take over this game. They’re currently averaging the third-most sacks (3.7) with a unit hovering close to top-10 territory again.

If only they could fix their run defense.

All predictions are made well in advance of game time. Don t bet this pick before calling the free Winners And Whiners Hotline to make sure the pick is still good.
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