Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Preview

By J.E.  |   Saturday, October 29, 2005  |  Comments( 0 )

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The Chicago Bears (3-3) visit the Motor City to take on the Detroit Lions (3-3) in a battle for sole possession of first place in the NFC North. Kickoff is set for 1:00pm ET at Ford Field.

This is the second and final regular season meeting between these divisional rivals. Chicago hammered Detroit 38-6 back in Week Two in what was the Bears' best offensive performance in several years.

Last week, the Chicago Bears' offense did just enough to get past the struggling Baltimore Ravens by a score of 10-6. Quarterback Kyle Orton completed only 18 passes for 145 yards, but one of those completions found FB Marc Edwards in the end zone for a touchdown. Orton had the best game of his young pro career against the Detroit Lions earlier this season when he threw for 150 yards and a TD in the Bears' win. He'll be looking to repeat that success this week, too.

In order to do so, Orton will need help from running back Thomas Jones. When Jones is able to sustain the rushing game, it takes pressure off of Orton's arm. Jones has rushed for 641 yards and 6 TDs so far this season, with two of those touchdowns coming against the Lions. He should be a huge factor for the Bears again this week.

Also looking to be a factor in the Chicago Bears' offense is wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad. Muhammad, who led the NFL in receiving yards last season with Carolina, is well off the pace this year. He has yet to break the century mark through six games with Chicago, and has scored only 1 touchdown.

The Detroit Lions are also coming off a win last week, as they defeated the Cleveland Browns 13-10. Jeff Garcia started the game at quarterback in place of the ineffective Joey Harrington. Garcia, who missed the first five games with a broken leg, completed 22 of 34 passes for 210 yards. He also scored a 1-yard TD on a sneak in the second quarter. Coach Steve Mariucci plans to stick with Garcia this week as well.

Running back Kevin Jones will be looking to atone for his poor performance in Week Two when the Bears held him to just 22 yards on 8 carries. He's going to have to step it up in this game and deliver the kind of performance Detroit has been waiting for all year.

The Lions are also looking for big plays from their receiving corps. Garcia doesn't have the accuracy issues that have plagued Harrington all year, so wide receiver Mike Williams and tight end Marcus Pollard should benefit from the QB switch. Williams had 5 catches for 95 yards against Cleveland last week in his best performance so far this year.
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