Detroit passes to set up run team, or do they?

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Detroit passes to set up run team, or do they?

The Detroit Lions are heading into their Monday Night tilt against the Bears ranked as the second-best offense in the NFL. The New England Patriots are No. 1, averaging 436.1 total yards per game with the Lions a close second averaging 419.6 total yards. Detroit completes its aerial assault at a 63.2 clip with roughly 46.2 attempts per game, finishing a contest throwing for about 320 yards per contest.

But what does it mean?

Actually, it means nothing when facing the Bears, but it does prove the Lions are powerful offensively in a pass-happy league. Detroit will attempt to run the ball tonight against the Bears, but Chicagos defense dictates the Lions try to do so. There are three reasons why:

1. The Lions are a league-leader in three wide receiver personnel groupings with Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, and Titus Young as the culprits--it forces Nickel defense. Thus, Bears linebacker Nick Roach will come out and cornerback D.J. Moore will substitute into the game versus this grouping.

2. The Bears live in the Tampa 2 defensive world, which includes two high safeties in Major Wright and Chris Conte playing the deep halves of the field. Cornerback D.J. Moore will be lined up over Detroits third wide receiver, which will be outside the tackle box. Here is the chess game for true football fans where the Bears must win: Can the Bears stop Detroits run game with six in the box?

Let me explain again because it is 6-on-6 (five offensive linemen tight end) with Detroits seventh guy running back Mikel Leshoure running the football. If you count Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford on the bootleg game, Chicago is out-manned by two guys. Stafford can make life difficult for Bears defensive ends Julius Peppers and Isreal Idonije closing down on inside runs if Stafford fakes it, then breaks contain for pass.

3. Detroit will also go shotgun running the football inside and outside, and then will run play action off it, trying to work the middle of the field to put Urlacher and Briggs in a bind hitting the Tampa 2 zone behind the linebackers in front of the Bears safeties.

It will be something to watch unfold during the game. Chicago has not been challenged by other teams yet this season against this grouping because their opponents have been down with wide receiver injuries or, quite frankly, simply not as strong overall. The Bears come into this Monday Night matchup at No. 1 in the NFL at stopping the run. They've only given up 65.8 yards a game while allowing only one rushing touchdown all year. The Lions feel they have their matchups because the numbers are in their favor and will look to challenge the Bears' defensive stats early, then rely on their powerful passing attack late in the game. Tonight's matchup should be a good one.

Watch: James Blackmon Jr.'s buzzer-beating 3 gives Indiana win after Penn State erases late deficit

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USA TODAY

Watch: James Blackmon Jr.'s buzzer-beating 3 gives Indiana win after Penn State erases late deficit

Indiana's season has been pretty shaky so far, and the Hoosiers almost had one of their worst losses yet on Wednesday night.

Despite holding a game-high 14-point lead with nine and a half minutes left and a 13-point lead with five and a half minutes left, Indiana let Penn State battle all the way back in the closing moments. The Nittany Lions scored seven straight to cut the gap to just six with three minutes to play. The Hoosiers had an eight-point lead with a little more than a minute to play, but the Lions used an 8-0 run to tie the game on a pair of Lamar Stevens free throws with four seconds to go.

That's when James Blackmon Jr. played hero, preventing Indiana from dropping to 2-4 in Big Ten play with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that delivered a 78-75 win in Happy Valley.

Check it out:

The Hoosiers slipped away with a win despite an ugly final few minutes. After taking that 14-point lead with 9:19 left in the game, Indiana was outscored 22-11 the rest of the way.

The Hoosiers truned the ball over 17 times on the evening, leading to 17 points for the Lions.

But Blackmon's clutch triple was part of a big night. He scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds and handed out three assists. Robert Johnson and Thomas Bryant each scored 17 points and hauled in seven and nine rebounds, respectively.

Tony Carr had a huge performance for Penn State, scoring a game-high 24 points. Shep Garner, who hit a 3-pointer in the final minute to cut it to a two-point game, finished with 15 points, and Payton Banks had 10 points in the loss.

This narrow escape isn't likely to alleviate any of the concerns anyone has about Indiana, which is now 13-6 overall and and 3-3 in the Big Ten. A win's a win, and the Hoosiers have two of them in a row. But there doesn't appear a surefire win left on Indiana's schedule, meaning every night will be a fight to stay on the right side of the NCAA tournament bubble, something we didn't think we'd be saying when the Hoosiers scored non-conference wins over Kansas and North Carolina.

Meanwhile, the upstart Penn State group is 11-8 overall and 3-3 in the league, Wednesday's defeat snapping an impressive two-game win streak with victories over Michigan State and Minnesota. Now comes the really hard part: back-to-back games at Purdue and at Wisconsin.

SportsTalk Live: David DeJesus discusses time spent with Joe Maddon, World Series criticism

SportsTalk Live: David DeJesus discusses time spent with Joe Maddon, World Series criticism

"Be sexy."

That was one of two rules manager Joe Maddon told David DeJesus when the Tampa Bay Rays acquired him in 2013.

DeJesus appeared on SportsTalk Live on Wednesday to discuss his time spent with Maddon in Tampa Bay.

"Just be yourself out there," DeJesus said of Maddon when the Rays traded for him. "I want you to have fun and I want you to just have that ora of 'just don't worry, just go out there and play.' It kept the whole team loose."

DeJesus also shared his thoughts on Maddon's questionable managerial decisions in the World Series.

Hear that, and more, in the video above.