The Detroit Lions will hit the road to face off against the Chicago Bears. The Lions are coming off a division win over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay backers. There are certain Detroit Lions players who need to rise up this weekend because, on the other side, the 3-6 Bears are coming off a tough 35-32 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Their offense has finally started to click under Justin Fields who is enjoying a second-year breakout. While his passing numbers have not been huge, the offense has found a way to utilize his tremendous speed. The result has been a single-game QB rushing record and a revitalized offense.
The Detroit Lions players who need to rise up vs. the Bears
One of the Detroit Lions players who need to rise up is Derrick Barnes, who is coming off his best game as a pro by far. Against the Packers, Barnes had 12 tackles, a tackle for loss, a sack, and a pass deflection (with his face). Fans, the coaching staff, and Barnes as well were waiting for the 4th round pick to show the potential that made him an exciting pick two years ago. This week, they need him to follow up on that performance to get the win and prove last week wasn’t a fluke.
The need for Derrick Barnes to rise up
With Malcolm Rodriguez banged up, Barnes will have to step up in the run game. David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert form a nice duo in the number 1 ranked rushing offense. On top of that, Justin Fields is one of the best rushing quarterbacks in the league. He can carve up defenses on both designed runs and on scrambles. Barnes needs to use his speed as a QB spy on Fields and in the run game. If he can do that and shed blocks, he can have a big impact and slow down the Bears’ run game.
The second Detroit Lions player who needs to rise up is Aidan Hutchinson, who will also have a big role to play in stopping Justin Fields. The Bears have struggled at protecting the QB giving up a whopping 3.7 sacks a game. This provides an awesome opportunity for Hutchinson to have another big game. He needs to take advantage of this great opportunity to get to Fields and create large negative plays.
Hutchinson must remain disciplined
However, Hutchinson cannot try to get sacks with reckless abandon. If he does, Fields will take advantage and get the edge for big plays. Even if Hutchinson does not put up big sack numbers, he can have a productive day by generating pressure and keeping Fields contained. If he can’t, Fields will repeat last week’s performance with a huge rushing day. Hutchinson leads all rookies in pass-rushing statistics and must continue that production this weekend.
Since Josh Reynolds and DJ Chark were out with injuries, the Lions’ passing offense has fallen off. Amon-Ra St. Brown made his return last week and was relatively productive, but he needs help next to him. Reynolds will likely be out again this week, so the healthy options are Tom Kennedy, Kalif Raymond, and recently resigned Trinity Benson.
Raymond will be needed due to depleted WR corps
Raymond is the most accomplished of the receivers and the final Detroit Lions player who needs to rise up. With Jaylon Johnson on St Brown, Raymond will have a good opportunity going against PFF’s 101st corner, Kyler Gordon. Raymond needs to take advantage of Gordon on screens, crossing routes, and other intermediate routes. If they can, it will take a lot of pressure off St Brown and help Jared Goff out.