Kickoff Sunday, Dec 10th 1:00pm Eastern

Lions (
23.75) at

Bears (

Over/Under 44.5


Key Matchups
Lions Run D
3rd DVOA/3rd Yards allowed per carry
Bears Run O
10th DVOA/6th Yards per carry
Lions Pass D
16th DVOA/30th Yards allowed per pass
Bears Pass O
23rd DVOA/23rd Yards per pass
Bears Run D
4th DVOA/4th Yards allowed per carry
Lions Run O
4th DVOA/5th Yards per carry
Bears Pass D
17th DVOA/11th Yards allowed per pass
Lions Pass O
9th DVOA/9th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By hilow >>
  • This game is being considered as weather game number three on this slate. Again, let’s get that out of our collective heads right now before continuing this exploration. You can always downgrade initial thoughts or reads on a game or pieces from a game, but it is extremely difficult to overcome negative biases invoked by worrying about the weather too early in the week.
  • Lions C Frank Ragnow (knee/back/toe) has yet to practice this week (as of Thursday).
  • Bears RB D’Onta Foreman logged a full practice in each session this week, indicating a likely return to action following one missed game with an ankle injury.
  • The Lions have given up 30.25 points per game over their previous four contests – which came against the Chargers, Bears, Packers, and Saints.
  • The Bears have held each of their previous four opponents to passing yard totals below their season-long average of 239.5 allowed, since the addition of Montez Sweat.
  • Points scored in the previous four games involving the Lions – 61, 51, 57, and 79, against the Chargers, Bears, Packers, and Saints.
  • Of the seven teams to average 27 points per game or more this season, the Lions have the second smallest delta depending on location.

How detroit Will Try To Win ::

The Lions have given up 30.25 points per game over their previous four contests, which came against the Chargers, Bears, Packers, and Saints. In those four games, their defense has managed just four sacks and generated just four turnovers. In fact, they now have just 14 takeaways on the season, which has them tied for 22nd in the league. All of that is important for how it influences this team’s path to winning football games, which has turned into an all-out shootout mentality of late. The combined points scored in their previous four games, against the opponents listed above, are as follows: 61, 51, 57, and 79. Long gone are the days when the Lions were holding the Chiefs to 20 points scored. This team is now a breeding ground for offensive production. They have done this while ranking below average in pass rate over expectation (PROE) while averaging the third most plays per game at 67.5. Even so, they have returned exactly three GPP-worthy fantasy scores during that most recent four-game stretch of elite game environments, one each for Jahmyr Gibbs, Sam LaPorta, and Amon-Ra St. Brown. In other words, the Lions are harboring extremely fantasy friendly game environments while simultaneously not raising the likelihood that their players are players you need on a given week. But you all already knew all that because we’ve been harping on it for the past three weeks on The Slate podcast.

I used the previous four weeks for this discussion for a very specific reason – that was when David Montgomery returned from his most recent injury, giving us the best snapshot of the current state of this team. Montgomery returned to immediately eat into a large chunk of the volume that made Jahmyr Gibbs so valuable in Week 7 and Week 8, most notably outsnapping Gibbs for the first time since returning in Week 13 against the Saints. The Lions rank seventh in the league in rush attempts per game at 29.8 and have fed their running backs 76 total targets through 12 games played, good for 6.33 per game. That works out to a total expectation of over 36 running back opportunities per game, which is now most likely to be split about 60-40 between Montgomery and Gibbs, with Gibbs likely to see the bulk of the available targets. That baseline in passing work likely receives a slight bump against a Bears team filtering the third most targets to the position this season at 7.5 per game. Basically, expect Montgomery to have the upside for 18-22 carries while Gibbs is likeliest to land in the 10-12 carry and five to seven target range in this spot. The matchup on the ground is brutal on paper against a Bears defense holding opponents to 3.4 yards per carry behind a diminutive 1.09 yards allowed before contact. The saving grace here is one of the top red zone rush rates in the league, which benefits both backs in this spot.

The Lions offense has settled into about 20 percent 12-personnel rates with LaPorta seeing between 80 and 90 percent of the offensive snaps. St. Brown is the only wide receiver that can be counted on to see more than 90 percent of the offensive snaps while Josh Reynolds should be expected to land in the 70 to 80 percent range and downfield threat Jameson Williams held right around 60 percent of the offensive snaps. Kalif Raymond and Donovan Peoples-Jones round out the wide receiver corps, likely to combine for 25-30 offensive snaps between the two. The Bears play around league-average rates of man and zone coverages, with St. Brown seeing a nearly identical target rate against each primary shell at right around 27.5 percent. The biggest issue for the Bears is that they have largely been unable to generate pressure in the backfield and have been below average in coverage from both man and zone, two things that the recent addition of Montez Sweat has helped to address. Furthermore, and take this under the context of the Bears haven’t exactly played teams that light up the scoreboard through the air recently (games against the Saints, Panthers, Lions, and Vikings with Joshua Dobbs), the Bears have allowed no more than 236 pass yards in their last four games played, which coincides with the arrival of Sweat along the defensive line. That high mark over the previous four weeks just so happened to be this Lions team. In other words, the Bears have held each of their previous four opponents to passing yards below their season-long average of 239.5 since the addition of Sweat. That’s at least interesting in this spot.

How chicago Will Try To Win ::

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