Chicago Bears (0-0) at Detroit Lions (0-0)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 1:00 pm (Ford Field)
The Line: Detroit Lions -3 -- Over/Under: 44 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions meet in opening week NFL action in an NFC North division matchup from Ford Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Chicago Bears come into the 2020 season looking to shake off a disappointing 2019 season that saw the Bears fall back from an NFC North crown and a 12-4 record in 2018 to a 8-8 record in 2019, missing the playoffs for the 8th time in the last 9 seasons. Mitch Trubisky is back under center for the Bears this season after taking a step back in 2019, throwing for 3,138 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 picks on 63.2% passing. The Bears made a corresponding move in the offseason bringing in former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, but Trubisky was confirmed to be the Bears’ starting quarterback for week one. David Montgomery had a solid rookie campaign for the Bears, logging 889 rushing yards with 6 TDs while Tarik Cohen was used more as a receiving back, catching 79 balls out of Chicago’s backfield for 456 yards. Allen Robinson was the top receiver tor the Bears with 1,147 yards and 7 touchdowns while Anthony Miller had 656 receiving yards but is coming off of shoulder surgery, leaving the Bears to try to find a fix at tight end by signing Jimmy Graham to a two-year deal and drafting the top tight end in the draft, taking Cole Kmet out of Notre Dame in the second round. Defensively, the Bears return some pieces that will be key to taking a step forward in 2020, bringing back Akiem Hicks on the defensive line, Khalil Mack in the linebacking corps and Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson in the secondary. The Bears ran out of patience with Leonard Floyd, so Chicago decided to bring in Robert Quinn and his 11.5 sacks from 2019 to try to fill in. Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan are also back in the middle linebacking spots, but the big question mark for the Bears is who is going to replace Prince Amukamara in the secondary, but pieces are there to plug in as well like Artie Burns and Jaylon Johnson.
The Detroit Lions are hoping to finally get some liftoff in year three of the Matt Patricia experiment, looking to rebound from the worst season since 2009 in the Motor City after finishing the year with a 3-12-1 record and a second straight last-place finish in the NFC North division. Matthew Stafford appears to finally be healthy after missing a game for the first time since 2010, starting in just eight games for the Lions with 2,499 yards, 19 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Stafford will hope to pick up where he left off before getting injured halfway through last year, leading the NFL in passing yards per game and 20+-yard completions while sitting 2nd in the NFL in touchdown passes. The good news for Stafford in that regard is that a lot of his talent is coming back, with Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola and T.J. Hockenson all returning. The area of concern for the Lions is in the ground game, as Kerryon Johnson led the way for the Lions with 403 rushing yards, but like Stafford, he was injured for half of the season. The Lions tried to help that part of the roster by drafting D’Andre Swift out of Georgia with their second-round draft pick, giving the Lions a back that can create space for himself if the offensive line isn’t where it needs to be this season. Defensively, the Lions haven’t become the defensive juggernaut that a Matt Patricia-led defense suggests it would be, sitting second-last in terms of yardage allowed and 26th in points per game against last season. The Lions completely overhauled on defense, bringing in Jamie Collins for the linebacking group as well as Desmond Trufant at one corner and 3rd overall pick Jeff Okudah at the other corner spot. Danny Shelton, Duron Harmon and Nick Williams are also coming in to help secure the Lions’ defense and to help Detroit make a move forward in the upcoming season.
Chicago is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 0-6 ATS in their last 6 road games while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games as a road underdog. Detroit is 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite while the over is 12-1 in their last 13 week 1 matchups. Chicago is 3-7 ATS in the last 10 meetings between these two teams in Detroit.
This is one of the harder opening week games to call as it’s a division game to begin with and these two really don’t like each other as it is. With that said, I think the Lions hold a distinct edge offensively, and while Chicago has the edge on defense, the parts are there for the Lions to have the success on that side of the ball and maybe finally live up to the hype that a Matt Patricia defense would have associated with it. I think the Lions could be a team to watch for this season, so I’ll lay the field goal with the Lions here.