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Bears Thu Dec 31 2009
After sending minor tremors across the NFL-verse and making pundits and fans alike wonder how good the Minnesota Vikings really are, the Bears close out the 2009 season with a trip to Detroit for the Week 17 finale. Since the Week 4 win at Soldier Field over Detroit the Bears have won all of 3 games and the Lions have won all of one game. Granted, this season has not been the astounding failure of 2008, still, 2-13 is not where the Lions wanted to be at this point in the season. Cursed with injuries to their starting rookie quarterback, Matthew Stafford for a majority of the season, their starting running back, Kevin Smith, and their electrifying wideout, Calvin Johnson, hasn't helped but the MoTown Leos have been terrible for the, seemingly, 100th year in a row. Seriously, it has been 10 years since the Lions were even in the playoffs. The Lions haven't won a playoff game since 1991! Ouch.
Meanwhile, all Chicago sports fans should be familiar enough with the tragi-comedy of the Bears 2009 season. Promising Start. Awful stretch of losses. Win over Cleveland. Awful losses. Beat Minnesota. End. So the Bears and Lions are both coming in from the cold looking like two bedraggled winos hoping only to drink enough to forget this awful year. Great. Let's take a closer look.
When the Lions Have the Ball
Charles Tillman got knocked out of the Monday Night game and he's nursing a bruised right lung along with several cracked ribs, so, yeah, he's "out" for Sunday's game. The good news? Daunte Culpepper is behind center for Detroit. The bad news? Chicago's secondary has been bad enough that any quarterback can torch da Bears. More bad news? Megatron is finally rounding into shape and it's looking like a "Revenge of the Fallen" scene could happen at Ford Field. Gulp! The Lions run game has been fairly "meh" for the season and Chicago's defensive line showed up last week against a vastly more formidable Minnesota line than the outfit they'll be facing this weekend.
Hunter Hillenmeyer in particular was downright beastly against Minnesota and if he can rack up some more impressive stats than at least spiritually (if not physically) Lance Briggs can have a comrade in arms at the Pro Bowl.
When the Bears have the Ball
See? See? Cutler Bot 5000 is good. Recently Chris WIlliams has been playing at left tackle instead of the decrepit Orlando Pace and Cutler's sacks have drastically gone down. He has time to find receivers! Williams outmuscled and outplayed Jared Allen on nearly every down of the Minnesota game. Bears offense was clicking. Wow. Huge difference. A tremendous impact from the most important and under-observed position on the offense. Can the momentum sustain? Well, Detroit's not necessarily a defensive powerhouse by any stretch and in the Week 4 meeting the offense posted 48. [shakes Magic 8 Ball] "Signs point to Yes."
Tune in Sunday, Bears fans. The offseason is long and lonely and a bad football game is still a football game. You won't see your Bears again until next August, so embrace the day and embrace the game!