It’s not a surprise that the Lions beat the Chicago Bears 40-32 at Ford Field on Sunday. The two teams are now each 3-1 and tied for the lead in the NFC North. Here are five reasons it’s not a surprise:
1. The Bears were undefeated entering the game, but they had only beaten one team (Cincinnati) that had won a game in the first three weeks. They had only beaten the Vikings by one point and that was at Soldier Field. They may have been 3-0 but they weren’t all of that.
2. The Lions have enough talent on offense that they can make up for the loss of Nate Burleson at least temporarily. So many fans just looked at the depth chart at wide receiver and cried for a trade. That is no way to do it. Matthew Stafford threw to two wide receivers (Calvin Johnson, Kris Durham), two tight ends (Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler) and two running backs (Reggie Bush, Joique Bell). It was fill in the Burleson gap by committee. And it worked just like I suspected it would.
3. This new-look offensive line does not get enough credit. They are opening up holes for Bush and Bell. They are also protecting Matthew Stafford who has been sacked just three times in four games — just once by the Bears.
4. Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley are leading the way on the defensive line but it’s not like Ziggy Ansah and Willie Young are just passengers along for the ride. All four have played extremely solid football for four games.
5. The secondary has been good enough. Both starting cornerbacks (Chris Houston and Rashean Mathis) were out in the fourth quarter and it showed. The Bears were clawing to get back in the game. Give then this, they’re doing OK so far. Bill Bentley had a rough game in Arizona and has improved. Darius Slay lost the starting job, but had a good pass defense on Sunday along with seven tackles. Louis Delmas had his best game of the season. He had two interceptions and Glover Quin another. Jay Cutler had only been intercepted three times in his first three games.
There you go.
My prediction was Lions win 24-17. I was off on the score, but not the result.