It was a mere three weeks ago that the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears squared off at Ford Field. In a wild affair, the Lions pulled off a miracle comeback, eking out a 31-26 win over their NFC North counterpart. But a lot can change in less than a month in the NFL, so what does this Lions Week 14 matchup have in store for fans?
Probably a different game script from Week 11's meeting. After all, that game was played in a cushy, climate-controlled stadium. A Chicago Sunday in December threatens to bring inclimate weather, and already there has been talk about how the wind might affect this meeting.
For Dan Campbell's Lions, a high-scoring offense has been their calling card this season, so it's safe to say we'll still see Jared Goff slinging the ball plenty.
On the opposing sideline, Matt Eberflus let victory slip from his fingers by being too conservative against Detroit last time out. Has he learned anything from that crushing defeat?
We don't know, and yet, predictions were promised, so it's time to do our best. Here are some Lions Week 14 predictions for your reading pleasure.
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Lions prioritize ground game
Part of what makes the Lions' offense so dangerous is its balance. Ranking fourth in the NFL in both passing and rushing yards per game, Goff and Co. can attack defenses in multiple ways with equal efficiency. On Sunday, expect the ground game to lead the way.
The Bears defense allows the fewest rushing yards per game in the NFL, so things won't be easy. But Campbell has a bruiser (David Montgomery) and a slasher (Jahmyr Gibbs) at his disposal to get the job done.
A commitment to the run will also limit Goff's turnovers, which have piled up recently. He threw three picks against Chicago in Week 11, and lost three fumbles the following week. Windy conditions won't help the pass game, so watch for Goff to hand the ball off frequently.
Kmet burns Detroit D
Chicago found the endzone through the air once in Week 11's loss, with Justin Fields linking up with D.J. Moore for a score. In this matchup, look for TE Cole Kmet to be the one on the receiving end of a Fields TD toss. Kmet has garnered a lot of attention in the passing game in recent weeks, seeing seven or more targets in four of his last five games.
Aaron Glenn's unit ranks just 21st in stopping the pass and has given up nine passing scores in its last four games. One also might expect Eberflus to learn from the last meeting and realize he'll needs more than field goals to keep pace with the Lions offense. When the Bears enter the red zone, the Lions should worry about Kmet.
Lions comfortably handle Bears
Since these teams last faced off, the Lions have gone 1-1 while the Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings and enjoyed a week off. In light of that, there isn't much compelling evidence that the Bears will pull off an upset here.
Sure, they controlled play for much of Week 11's matchup. But they also lost that game. If Chicago can't prevail in a game in which it was the better team for 58 minutes, why think they'll get over the hump this Sunday?
The Lions are too deep on offense for the Bears to keep up, and Dan Campbell has a knack for pulling the right strings. As they prepare for a playoff run, they'll win the games they should win, Week 14 included.