Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions passes the football against the Washington Redskins at Ford Field on September 27, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Redskins 19-14.
Is anyone else slightly afraid of the Detroit Lions? Should we be?
It's not as if the Lions are a fearsome bunch. Sure, they're coming off a win, but that win came against the apparently disheveled Washington Redskins, who appear to be one of the worst teams in the league thus far. And let's not forget what proceeded that win: An historic losing streak, an 0-16 season, a lack of winning that will go down in history as one of the most inept periods in any franchise's history, NFL or not. So maybe fear isn't the right emotion.
Still, though, given the way the teams line up, and given that the Bears needed nearly every play of a close game to beat the Seattle Seahawks (a team missing eight starters without much of a chance at success this season themselves) maybe Bears fans shouldn't be so confident after all.
For one, the Bears run game is almost nonexistent at this point. The offensive line is troubled. And if the Bears frequently turn to the pass -- which they will -- the outlook isn't necessarily any better. The Lions defensive line, meanwhile, managed to disrupt the Redskins offense throughout the team's win Sunday; the Skins managed to score only 14 points, and much of that had to do with the two fumbles and two picks forced by the Lions' d-line.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Lions have a balanced attack that's beginning to show signs of airborne ability. Calvin Johnson is nearly unstoppable. If he keeps developing his relationship with rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Bears secondary could have their fair share of issues. And don't discount the fact that this is a team that made Seahawks backup Senaca Wallace look downright capable in week three.
Really, though, the Bears should win. They're the better team. But the gulf between the and the Lions isn't nearly as wide as many of us would like to think. We think.
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.