3 Detroit Lions Players who must BALL OUT vs. the Bears

Well, it's the final home game of the season, and the Detroit Lions are looking to end on a high note against their NFC North rival, the Chicago Bears. It's a must-win game for the Lions if they want to keep their playoff dreams alive, and they'll need a few key players to step up and deliver some solid performances.

Why it matters:

  • The Detroit Lions will face the Chicago Bears in Week 17 to even their season record at 8-8 and sweep the series.
  • The Lions must win the season's final game at Ford Field to keep their playoff hopes alive.
  • The Lions are recovering from a 37-23 loss against the Carolina Panthers in Week 16 and need to bounce back with solid performances against the Bears.
  • The Bears have won only once since Week 3.

QB Jared Goff

Jared Goff Detroit Lions

It looks like the Detroit Lions' quarterback, Goff, will have a chance to shine in this potentially explosive game against the Bears. Goff excels when he has the time to look around the field and choose the best receiver/coverage matchup.

The Bears are not known for putting a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. In fact, they have only 18 sacks this season (compared to the Lions' 30). They have the lowest PFF team grade in the pass rush, and their leading sacker is rookie safety Jaquan Brisker with four. The Bears need Brisker's skills in coverage to support their thin secondary.

Goff should have plenty of time and opportunities against the Bears. He needs to make the most of them, which he has been doing well lately (except for the Panthers' loss).

Detroit Lions QB Jared Goff Stats
Stats via Google.com

RB Jamaal Williams

Jamaal Williams Detroit Lions

So, Williams has had a rough patch in his last few games. In the past four, he's only run the ball 47 times for a total of 116 yards, which averages out to a measly 2.46 yards per carry. Yikes! Some of this may be due to blocking issues, but Williams hasn't been making defenders miss or hitting the hole with as much power as he did earlier in the season.

But don't worry, there's still hope! If Jamaal Williams can improve his running on first downs, it'll set up our offensive coordinator, Ben Johnson, to be more aggressive in attacking the Bears' defense. And let's not forget Williams had a fantastic game against the Bears in their first meeting. He forced a season-high of five missed tackles and gained almost 50 yards after first contact.

If Williams can bring that level of playback to the Lions' backfield, it'll be challenging for the Bears' defense (which has given up 32.6 points per game in their last eight losses) to handle us. The Detroit Lions only gave up 22 points per game in the same timeframe. Here's hoping for a comeback game for Jamaal Williams!

Jamaal Williams Stats
Stats via Google.com

CB Jeff Okudah

Jeff Okudah Detroit Lions

It's Okudah time! In their first meeting, Okudah completely shut down the Chicago Bears' offense. He even managed to intercept QB Justin Fields in the Lions' 31-30 victory in Week 10.

Detroit Lions
via PFF

But Okudah is coming off his worst game of the season. He was benched in the Week 16 loss to the Panthers for a good reason. Okudah's typically solid run defense was not up to par in Carolina. The Detroit Lions can't afford another subpar outing in run defense from Okudah, especially with safety DeShon Elliott questionable to play.

Luckily for Okudah, the Bears' receiving corps presents an excellent matchup for him. He needs to get back on track quickly, though, as the Lions rely heavily on their No. 1 corner to control their defense. He can't afford another rough game, especially against a dynamic QB like Justin Fields.

Jeff Okudah Stats