June 22, 2024

The Chicago Bears know they should’ve beaten the Detroit Lions in their last meeting. So, they will likely approach the rematch at Soldier Field with some unfinished business. It will also be a vital game in the evaluation of the head coach Matt Eberflus and quarterback Justin Fields. Both must put forward their best effort if they want to save their jobs. The Lions are not an easy opponent. However, some good fortune may have fallen the Bears’ way ahead of the Sunday matchup.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus doesn't answer whether he believes he's 'safe'  for 2024 - Chicago Sun-Times

Reports indicate defensive tackle Alim McNeill is going on Injured Reserve, meaning he’ll miss at least the next four games for Detroit. One cannot understate how big of a blow this is. Not only was he a big part of their 5th-ranked run defense this year, but he was also their second-best pass rusher with five sacks. He had a sack and two hits on Fields in the previous meeting. Without his presence in the middle, the Lions may have difficulty generating pressure on the quarterback outside of Aidan Hutchinson.

Justin Fields thanks Bears players for still believing in him

The Chicago Bears can’t ask for a better opportunity.

They will be at home, which is always an advantage. Even better, the weather is expected to be cold with possibly snowy conditions. Dome teams like Detroit don’t always function well in such conditions. Now they’ll have to do it without the second-best player on their defense. If Fields and the offense can’t put up some points with those advantages, it won’t be a great look for him. Without McNeill, the Bears should be able to form more stable pockets. Fields is often better without pressure up the middle.

How Detroit Lions' Alim McNeill gave himself a chance to be great

Part of being a good team is being able to take advantage of opposing weaknesses. Detroit is hurt in a bad spot. The Chicago Bears want to believe they’re trending in the right direction. Beating the Lions in this game is the ultimate test of that theory. They’re coming off a big win in Minnesota. They’ve had two weeks to rest, get healthy, and prepare for this game. If they can’t put everything together now, then it will be a surefire sign the current power structure isn’t working.

According to most fans it won’t matter because the coaches need to be fired anyway.The last thing the Bears need is to play teams that are less than full strength.

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