Kip & Moon: Previewing Bears-Lions
Warner: Playing under Martz
Wright: Stopping the Lions' offense
Suh: The physical specimen
Read: Why can't teams contain Johnson?
When Charles Tillman said Monday that he was not entirely surprised by the Detroit Lions doing well, he had good reason.
The Lions led the Bears after three quarters in both 2010 games and that was with quarterback Matthew Stafford playing less than two of the combined eight quarters.
A Julius Peppers sack finished him in the second quarter of game one, but the Lions had a lead with less than two minutes to play, and then nearly won when Calvin Johnson was ruled to have not maintained possession of an apparent touchdown pass. That was all with the Lions rushing for all of 20 yards on 21 carries, Shaun Hill muddling through with 9-for-19 passing, and the Bears rolling up 463 yards.
By the time the Bears saw them again, the Lions were down to Drew Stanton at quarterback. Problem: He had the Lions up 20-14 in the third quarter and put up a passer rating of 102.4 that was second only to Tom Bradys against the Bears defense last season.
The problem now is that the Lions have Stafford intact (Stafford has been sacked five times, but all of those in one game, none in the other three), and Johnson is setting records for TD receptions, not putting them prematurely on the ground. He has two in each of Detroits first four games, an NFL first.
Johnson may even be too good for the Lions or anyone else. Maybe the whole NFL.
Hes in his own ballclub, Tillman said. To be that strong, that fast, his vertical is impressive. Hes in a league of his own.
Johnson has achieved Biblical proportions. Hes the Goliath of receivers, Tillman added.
(Goliath ultimately was a loser but thats for another discussion.)
The Lions, however, are difficult to gauge.
It looks like Detroits a second-half team and were a second-half team so it should be a good game.
The Bears are not particularly a second-half team, yet. They were outscored 10-7 by Green Bay and 14-3 by New Orleans in those losses, and out-pointed Carolina just 10-9 in escaping with that victory.
But are the Lions, for that matter, a second-half team?
They defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 48-3. But the only team the Chiefs have beaten this season has been Minnesota, and that was a team that squandered a 20-0 halftime lead to Detroit, giving the ball to Adrian Peterson exactly five times in the second half.
Detroit rallied from a 27-3 hole against Dallas, a team with a quarterback throwing two interceptions returned for touchdowns and a third to set up the Lions game-winner.
It has nothing to do with the Bears but Brett Favre cant seem to quite let it all go. And hes doing a pretty good job of kicking dirt on his legacy as the patron saint of Green Bay football. Aaron Rodgers already has won as many Super Bowls (one) as Favre but Favre has basically given Rodgers a backhanded compliment: With the talent that Rodgers had around him, what took him so long?
ProFootballTalk.com recounts Favre comments made on an Atlanta radio station, both the exact comments and the scurrying trying to dull the edge on what sound like nothing short of sour grapes from someone who failed to achieve anything of note with two teams (N.Y. Jets, Minnesota Vikings) after the Green Bay Packers chose to put their future in the hands of Rodgers instead of a vacillating Favre (http:profootballtalk.nbcsports.com20111005atlanta-radio-station-bends-ov...).
John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.