The NFL returns to Sunday action to continue its Week 1 play with the Chicago Bears traveling to take on division rival the Detroit Lions. Chicago went 2-0 against the Lions last season with a pair of single-digit victories. Both teams are looking to start the year on the right foot after a disappointing 2019 season.
The NFC North showdown kicks off at 1 p.m. EST at Ford Field in Detroit. Oddsmakers have the Lions as a three-point favorite in the showdown in the Motor City.
What to Know – Chicago Bears
Chicago is looking to build off a disappointing 8-win season that saw the Bears miss the playoffs for the eighth time in nine seasons. Head coach Matt Nagy is 4-0 against the Lions since Detriot hired Matt Patricia.
The Bears signed quarterback and 2018 Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles in the offseason, but the team announced last week Mitch Trubisky will hold on to the starting job for Chicago. Since being named a starter, Trubisky is 23-18 over three seasons for the Bears.
Chicago returns most of their skilled players on offense, including running backs David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen, as well as wideouts Allen Robinson II and Anthony Miller. The Bears will expect more production out of these players, as Chicago ranked 29th in the league last season offensively.
Defensively, the Bears were not as dominant last season as previous years, but Chicago still returns one of the league’s elite units. Outside linebacker Robert Quinn was signed in the offseason to help take away some of the focus on Khalil Mack. The two combined for 20 sacks season, with Quinn posting 11.5 as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
What to Know – Detroit Lions
The Lions had a very disheartening end to last season’s campaign, losing their final nine games. Patricia is clearly on the hot seat this season and will need to show the Lions’ front office early that he is the right man for the job.
Veteran gunslinger Matthew Stafford returns under center for his 12th season as a Lion. Stafford played in just eight games last year after suffering a back injury that ended his season early. Stafford began camp this season on the reserve/COVID-19 list due to a false-positive test prior to camp.
Adrian Peterson signed with the Lions late in camp after being released by the Washington Football Team. Peterson is likely to see limited carries early in the season as he picks up the offense, so look for Kerryon Johnson to get the bulk of the carries until Peterson or the injured rookie D’Andre Swift are healthy.
Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. return to lead the wide receiving corps, and the expectation is to see more of tight end T.J. Hockenson featured in the offense.
Detroit had significant personnel changes on defense this offseason after being one of the league’s worst units last season. The Lions added linebacker Jamie Collins and signed cornerback Desmond Trufant while drafting Ohio State product Jeff Okudah with the third overall pick in last April’s Draft.
The Pick is In
History is in the Bears’ favor with Nagy’s record against Patricia. The biggest question mark will be how each team’s quarterbacks perform. Trubisky has had his way with the Lions in the past, and despite Detroit’s improvements, we should expect that trend to continue. Chicago can easily win this one, but we will stick with the Bears getting the +3.