Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears: DJC Writer Predictions

Oct 18, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 18, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Jock City writers make their predictions for the Detroit Lions’ week 14 home game against the Chicago Bears.

Here is what the Detroit Jock City staff sees for the game ahead as the Lions try to keep a strangle hold of the NFC North race.

Erik Schlitt (6-6) – The Lions are 7-1 since they last met the Chicago Bears. They are coming off their best game of the season, playing a full 60-minutes, and excelling in all three phases of the game. The Bears are coming off a victory over arguably the worst team in the league in San Francisco., but they won convincingly.

The last time Matthew Stafford played the Bears he threw two interceptions, but that was in Chicago, and this one is in Detroit. Since Jim Bob Cotter took over play calling duties, Stafford has thrown 19 touchdowns and only one interception over 10 home games.

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Bears rookie running back Jordan Howard has been on a tear lately, last week he ran for 117 yards and three scores. Over the last five weeks, Howard has had over 99 all-purpose yards and is the focal point of their offense. On the opposite side of the ball, the Lions have really stepped up their run defense. Over the last four games, the Lions have yet to allow a team to rush for more than 83 yards.

Throughout this season, the Bears have established a pattern of winning and losing. Over their last 12 games they have lost three, then won one, lost the next three, then won another one, losing the next three again, then winning one again. They won last week, so it’s time to start that losing streak again. Lions win, 27-17.

Matt Pelc (5-7) – I believe that the Detroit Lions can beat the Chicago Bears today, and beat them quite handily. As a Lions fan, however, it’s hard to break free of the shackles of remembering this franchise in similar situations. Leading the division with four games to play three years ago, and only needing to beat a bad Bears team at the end of the 2000 season to earn a playoff spot (and losing it on a game-winning field goal by former Michigan State Spartan Paul Edinger), are games that float into my consciousness. As does a 2014 Week 15 game at Ford Field against the then-terrible Minnesota Vikings. The Lions got down 14-0 before rallying for 16 unanswered points to hold off what would have been a damaging loss for their playoff hopes.

The Bears aren’t just going through the motions as you might expect them to be, or most Lions’ fans wish they’d be. Rookie running back Jordan Howard is a rising star, and Chicago’s defense gave San Francisco all it could handle last week (albeit in the snow), so this is not a gimme by any means.

Ultimately, I have confidence that this team is different. The players on the field Sunday don’t want to be reminded about what happened in Lions’ history 16 years ago, two years ago, or Week 4 for that matter. They have a goal of winning the division, and today will push them one step closer to that goal. Lions 27, Bears 17

Zac Snyder (5-7) – If we’re being honest, the Detroit Lions backed into their previous two playoff appearances. They have a great opportunity to do the opposite by stepping on a couple throats to win the NFC North and clinch the franchise’s first home playoff game since 1993. Last week’s showing against the Saints gives confidence that they might just do it and the next step is to take care of the hapless Bears today.

If there is cause for concern it is that the Bears have already beaten the Lions this season. However, the Lions from week four are not the Lions of week 14. This is a team much more in control on both sides of the ball. I look for an efficient performance on offense and more of what we’ve seen of late from the defense. Lions 23, Bears 13

Matt Snyder (4-8) – It’s not quite a must win for the Lions, but this is a tremendous opportunity to keep the pressure on the Vikings and Packers in pursuit of the division crown. The Bears are a bad team, certainly the type against which the Lions need to take advantage. I however have been going strong with my picks against the Lions. Let’s keep it rolling. Bears 20, Lions 17

Colton Wesley (6-6) – The Lions are a good football team, they proved it last Sunday. The Bears are not. Even when healthy, they were only okay, and now that they are without Jay Cutler, Eddie Royal, Zach Miller, Kyle Long, Danny Trevathan, Kyle Fuller, Brandon Boykin and others, they simply lack the playmakers to be competitive with good teams.

Matt Barkley is not a terrible quarterback, but there’s a reason he’s the backup to the backup, and that effects the production of everyone in the Bears’ passing game. Jordan Howard is the only consistent producer in the Chicago offense, so I expect the Lions to load the box (maybe with DeAndre Levy at linebacker for the first time in months?), key in on stopping the run and play to make Barkley throw.

On the other side of the ball, it is a similar story. The Chicago defense is not bad when healthy, but they are simply not healthy. The Lions have too much depth for a hampered Chicago secondary and should be able to move the ball effectively through the air.

The Lions should win this game convincingly. While not exactly a must-win, this is the easiest game left on the Lions’ schedule, and with Green Bay and Minnesota still within striking distance, a win would go a long way towards keeping the Lions in position to win the NFC North. Lions win, 27-17.

Next: Lions Prepare For Bears as NFC North Leaders

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