As the Lions take on the Bears tonight at Soldier Field in adivisional matchup with potential post-season implications, the Lions defenseaims to be the deciding factor in Monday nights contest. M Live reporterJustin Rogers suggests that the Lions should focus on QB Jay Cutler in order tosucceed. Cutler has been underwhelmingso far this season after being reunited with WR Brandon Marshall. Through sevengames, Cutler has completed on 59 percent of his passes for a 78.7 rating alongwith seven interceptions.
Cutler is prone to making mistakes whether he is pressuredor not, wrote Rogers. The Bears offensive line has been shaky and the Detroitdefensive line is coming off its best performance of the season...Detroit needsto do what it did to Michael Vick and deliver a few hits to Cutler early,making him uncomfortable in the pocket.
While Cutler will be the main focus, Lions cornerback Chris Houstonhas made a habit lately of shutting down the oppositions top wide receivers the past fewweeks. Recent victims include Tennessee's Kenny Britt, Minnesota's Percy Harvin, and Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson.The Lions premier corner draws a tough match-up this week as 6-foot-4, 230-pound wide receiver Brandon Marshall has five inches and more than 50 pounds on Houston. The secret toHoustons success is preparation. In a recent conversation with Dave Birkett ofthe Detroit Free-Press, Houston shared his recipe for success.
Houston said he spends an extra 4 hours or so nightly,usually 6-10 p.m., watching film of his opponent for the week. First he watchesan entire game, then receivers individually, then he delves into specificcutups, the offense in certain down and distance situations or by hash splits.
The Bears will have their own defensive agenda this eveningagainst Calvin Johnson. Detroit News reporter Josh Katzenstein points out thatsince 2010, Megatron has had a lot of success against the Bears. In his pastthree games, Johnson is averaging five catches for 92.3 yards with twotouchdowns.
Less than 14 hours after being taken by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft, Trevor van Riemsdyk is already on the move.
The Golden Knights have traded the 25-year-old defenseman to the Carolina Hurricanes, where he will reunite with former Blackhawks teammates Scott Darling, Joakim Nordstrom and Teuvo Teravainen. Carolina also receives a 2018 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2017 second-rounder.
Vegas general manager George McPhee made it known that he was going to draft "a lot" of defensemen Wednesday night, and he did just that with van Riemsdyk being one of 13 blue liners selected. Because of that, it makes players like van Riemsdyk expendable, giving McPhee the opportunity to collect assets by trading some of them and using the returns on other parts of the roster.
Van Riemsdyk joins an up-and-coming Hurricanes team that has a young, promising defensive corps featuring 25-year-old future All-Star Justin Faulk, 20-year-old Noah Hanifin, who was the No. 5 overall pick in 2015, and 23-year-old Jaccob Slavin, who has emerged into of their best defensemen.
Van Riemsdyk has one year left on a deal that carries a $825,000 cap hit, and is set to become a restricted free agent next summer.
MIAMI - The Cubs are preparing for a major shakeup that would send struggling World Series hero Kyle Schwarber to Triple-A Iowa and put Gold Glove outfielder Jason Heyward on the disabled list.
Stuck in a 36-35 pattern but still only 1.5 games out of first place, the Cubs are expected to add outfielder Mark Zagunis and reliever Dylan Floro from Iowa before Thursday night's game at Marlins Park.
Schwarber will try to regain his confidence on a Triple-A level he almost skipped while skyrocketing through the farm system as the No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 draft. While still showing flashes of the power (12 homers) that made him a Wrigleyville favorite, his .171 batting average ranked last among qualified big-league hitters this season.
Unable to grip a bat, Heyward has been waiting for a nasty cut on his left hand to heal after trying to make a diving catch on Sunday in PNC Park's foul territory.
For a banged-up Cubs team, Heyward would join a World Series MVP (Ben Zobrist) and a Cy Young Award finalist (Kyle Hendricks) on the disabled list.