Detroit Lions Open NFL Season Against Bitter Rival
The two teams predicted to battle for third place in the NFC North start the season head-to-head as the Chicago Bears travel to face the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Both teams were disappointing in 2019 and look to bounce back this season and take their coaches off the hot seat.
The kickoff at Ford Field in Detroit is set for 1 p.m. ET on Sunday and will be televised regionally on FOX.
These teams met twice last year in NFC North play with the Bears winning 20-13 at home in Week 10 and 24-20 on Thanksgiving in Detroit. The Bears lead the all-time series 101-74-5, but the Lions won nine of 10 before last season. Detroit has won six of the last nine in Michigan, and the teams will open December squaring off in Chicago.
Chicago Bears Outlook: No Change Under Center
Matt Nagy and the Bears went 8-8 last season, finishing 29th in scoring at 17.5 points per game and allowing 18.6 points per game, fourth in the NFL. They were even in turnovers with 19 both ways and finished in the bottom 10 in the league in both passing yards and rushing yards.
The Bears traded for QB Nick Foles but are still going with Mitch Trubisky as the starting signal-caller to start the season. OG Kyle Long retired, but the Bears added TE Jimmy Graham from Green Bay and WR Ted Ginn Jr. from New Orleans. They also drafted TE Cole Kmet with their first pick in April.
Trubisky started 15 games last season and completed 63% of his passes but had just 17 touchdowns to go with 10 interceptions. RB David Montgomery led the team with 889 yards and six scores but was injured to start the season, leaving the back duties to Tarik Cohen and WR/RB Cordarrelle Patterson.
WR Allen Robinson had a monster 2019 season with 98 catches for 1,147 yards and seven scores while Anthony Miller caught 52 passes for 656 yards.
The defense lost LB Nick Kwiatoski and DB Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in free agency and cut LB Leonard Floyd. They added LB Robert Quinn (11.5 sacks) from Dallas to help All-Pro Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith.
In the secondary, Kyle Fuller had three interceptions last season while Eddie Jackson had two, and they will be joined by newcomers Tashaun Gipson and draftee Jaylon Johnson.
Detroit Lions Outlook: Stafford Returns
The 2019 season didn’t go as planned for the Lions as QB Matthew Stafford was injured, and they finished 3-12-1. Head coach Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn were put on notice at the end of the campaign. Meanwhile, a majority of the coaches were let go as Cory Undlin took over as the new defensive coordinator.
New to the Lions this season are backup QB Chase Daniel, LB Jamie Collins, DT Nick Williams, CB Desmond Trufant, LB Reggie Ragland and WR Geronimo Allison. DT A’Shawn Robinson left via free agency as did QB Jeff Diskel and LB Devon Kennard.
The draft added CB Jeff Okudah, RB D’Andre Swift and DE Julian Okwara in the first three rounds, while future Hall of Fame RB Adrian Peterson was added last week after being released by Washington.
Stafford started just eight games last year with 19 touchdowns, five interceptions and 2,499 yards. The Lions need to have him healthy for 16 games to compete in 2020.
Kerryon Johnson ran for 403 yards last year and will share carries with Swift and Peterson. WR Kenny Golladay had a breakout 2019 campaign with 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Marvin Jones had 779 receiving yards and nine scores.
The defense struggled all season, allowing 26.4 ppg and finishing 31st in yards allowed. No player had more than two interceptions while Kennard and Trey Flowers both had seven sacks.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Betting Odds By Realbookies
● Bears spread: +3 (-115) Bears moneyline: +135
● Lions spread: -3 (-105) Lions moneyline: -155
● Over/Under: 44.5(O -110, U -110)
Both teams and coaches will be desperate to see where they are in development and get a season-opening win for momentum. Neither offense did much to talk about last season, but the Bears defense always comes to play. Expect a low scoring opener.
Free AI Pick By Gameadvisers: Under 44.5 points (-110)