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Old 12-30-2019, 04:01 AM   #1

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Dec 2019
Default Trevathan left the field with the arm dangling
LAKE FOREST https://www.thebearsfanshop.com/Jim-Mcmahon-Jersey , Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have a rare opportunity to beat the Detroit Lions and pick up a victory over an NFC North opponent.As accomplishments go, those seem rather modest. Then again, consider their recent history.The division-leading Bears have a chance to check off two more boxes when they host the struggling Lions on Sunday.They have lost nine of the past 10 games against Detroit and have dropped 10 in a row to division opponents heading into their matchup at Soldier Field.Since the start of the 2014 season, Chicago is 4-21 against the NFC North. But these Bears aren’t those Bears.Chicago (5-3) hit the halfway mark with its best record in five years and sole possession of the NFC North lead for the first time since 2013. It’s a big change for a franchise with four straight last-place finishes. But the Bears have already matched their win total from last year and are making a push for their first playoff appearance since the 2010 team advanced to the NFC championship game.“There’s just so much ball left,” said coach Matt Nagy, in his first season. “For our team, we’ve won in different ways and we’ve lost in different ways. I think we’ve kind of learned different ways to do it. And when you lose, you try to figure out why and how to not let it happen again. When you win, you figure out why and how you can always improve and be better. I like where we’re at, but we understand we have a ways to go.”Chicago is coming off back-to-back wins over two struggling teams, with a 41-9 blowout at Buffalo after beating the New York Jets at home.Detroit (3-5) has dropped two in a row and last week’s 24-9 loss at Minnesota was particularly ugly. Matthew Stafford got sacked 10 times Walter Payton Color Rush Jersey , and the Lions were held to single digits in points for the first time since a 17-6 loss to the New York Giants on Dec. 18, 2016.They also traded wide receiver Golden Tate to Philadelphia prior to the Vikings game, and they fired special teams coordinator Joe Marciano on Monday night.“Definitely have to learn from some of those things that we’ve done in the past that haven’t been up to par or haven’t been good enough, and try to minimize those or eliminate them as we go forward,” coach Matt Patricia said. “That’s the most important thing.”Here are some things to know about the matchup:ON THE MENDThe Bears might get star outside linebacker Khalil Mack (ankle) and top receiver Allen Robinson (groin) back from injuries.Both players missed the past two games. But they went through full practices on Wednesday. Tight end Adam Shaheen might also return from a foot injury he suffered in the preseason.ANSAH BACKThe Lions got a boost last week with the return of defensive end Ziggy Ansah.He had a sack in the second quarter that forced the Vikings to settle for a field goal, after missing six games because of a shoulder injury. Having Ansah back means more pressure on the quarterback and maybe better luck stopping the run. The Lions rank 30th in that area.“We’ve just got to set an edge and whoever has got a gap to be in, they’ve just got to be in there,” Ansah said. “Just play fundamental and be able to execute.”FAMILIAR FOESThe Bears are about to meet the Lions twice in a 12-day span, with a Thanksgiving matchup at Ford Field and a primetime Sunday game against Minnesota at home in between.This three-game run facing the NFC North comes after four in row against the AFC East. Chicago hasn’t played a division team since a 24-23 season-opening loss at Green Bay, when it blew a 20-point lead against an injured Aaron Rodgers.STRUGGLING STAFFORDAfter a solid stretch, Stafford has struggled a bit the past two weeks with 13 sacks and a 90.3 rating. He had ratings above 100 in each of the previous five games.“He’s been with the Lions for all of his career and he has a great group of receivers Gale Sayers Jersey , and for some reason they’re not putting games together,” Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara said. “But they’re still a great team and I know for a fact we won’t take them lightly.”GETTING OFFENSIVEWhile a defense that ranks fifth overall has gotten much of the credit, the Bears insist their offense is doing its part.Though Trubisky has been wild at times, his rating (96.1) is similar to Stafford’s (96.5). Chicago also ranks fifth in the NFL in scoring. It would have been easy for the Chicago Bears to get carried away with their emotions after ending a four-game losing streak.Instead, the Bears recognized a 20-13 victory over the injury-riddled Detroit Lions for the flawed effort it was, and they turned their focus on preparing for a Sunday night game in Los Angeles against the Rams."We've just got to keep getting better," quarterback Mitchell Trubisky said. "We've just got to keep building, keep getting better, hopefully use this as momentum."And hopefully it builds confidence for our offense, and we just keep working hard and get back to it and try to be 1-0 next week again."Although the Bears (4-5) scored 20 points in a stretch of just under six minutes, and Trubisky broke out of a recent slump with three touchdown passes https://www.thebearsfanshop.com/Mike-Singletary-Jersey , they went through huge chunks of the game unable to advance the ball against a struggling Detroit defense.After taking a 20-6 lead with touchdowns on three straight possessions, the offense went three-and-out on five of its last six possessions. The defense needed to make a final stand to preserve the win."Just finish, let's keep our foot on the gas and finish," wide receiver Allen Robinson said. "We had been able to find some success in that second quarter and get some completions. As long as we continue to string some completions together, we'll continue to make plays."The Bears struggled to protect their 20-6 lead against backup quarterback Jeff Driskel, who filled in for Matthew Stafford, who was sidelined by hip and back injuries."There's still a lot of things that we need to get better at, we understand that," coach Matt Nagy said.WHAT'S WORKINGThe rush defense continues to thrive despite losing inside linebacker Danny Trevathan in the first half with a left elbow injury. The Bears allowed Lions running backs to gain only 61 yards on 22 rushes.WHAT NEEDS HELPThe way the Bears open games on offense has to improve if they're going to make a run in the season's second half. They have scored only one touchdown on an opening drive in nine games and have had three-and-outs to open three of their last four games. They haven't had the ball for more than four plays on opening possesions to start any of the four games."It goes back to right now we got to be better on the opening drive," Nagy said. "We're not as good there, and we need to be better."STOCK UPFourth-year linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski came on after Trevathan's injury and had an interception Dick Butkus Color Rush Jersey , a sack and nine tackles. Earlier this year, Kwiatkoski replaced Roquan Smith and produced a similarly strong effort."When you lose a guy like Danny in the middle, that leadership part, you lose a little bit, but then you have Kwit come in and do such a great job," Nagy said. "He was all over the field (Sunday). That was really neat to see."STOCK DOWNTight end Adam Shaheen didn't make it onto the field Sunday in uniform. He was deemed inactive.The second-round pick of general manager Ryan Pace in the 2017 draft, Shaheen had 13 starts and 27 games played but has just nine receptions this season and lost a fumble on a kickoff at the end of a 22-14 loss Nov. 3 to the Eagles.Nagy spelled out what he expects of Shaheen."We want all of our players to be able to be completely detailed and play hard and do everything they can to be the best player they can be," he said.INJUREDTrevathan's left elbow injury was serious enough that injured reserve could come into play, according to Nagy. Trevathan left the field with the arm dangling and more will be known on the injury later in the week. Trevathan is a free agent after this season. ... Also hurt was tight end Trey Burton, who suffered a calf injury.KEY NUMBER5 — The Bears allowed the Lions five sacks after Detroit made only 14 sacks for the entire first half of the season. The five sacks matched the most the Bears have allowed this season and came on a Sunday when they switched left guard Cody Whitehair to center and center James Daniels back to left guard. Moving those players back to positions they played last year didn't seem to help a great deal. The Bears still averaged only 3.4 yards a rushing attempt.NEXT STEPSThe Bears (4-5) play at the Rams (5-4) on Sunday night. Last year the Rams came to Chicago and lost 15-6 before going on a run to the Super Bowl.
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