WBEZ | Detroit Lions http://www.wbez.org/tags/detroit-lions Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Bears vs. Lions on Monday Night Football make a great clash http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-10/bears-vs-lions-monday-night-football-make-great-clash-103265 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_1brandon_marshall_phelan_m_ebenhack_0.jpg" style="height: 428px; width: 620px; " title="Brandon Marshall loves the spotlight of MNF. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)" /></div><p>You get the feeling that tonight&#39;s Lions/Bears meeting at Soldier Field could be a throwback to the good ol&#39; days of the &quot;Black and Blue&quot; division games played decades ago. All week long the phrase &quot;playing through the whistle-and beyond&quot; was how Detroit was being characterized around the Bears in Lake Forest.</p><p>While the Bears (4-1) were enjoying a bye-week, the Lions (2-3) came back in the 4th quarter to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 26-23; they won despite racking up 16 penalties (playing through the whistle and beyond). That was a huge win for the Lions; much has been expected from them this year. They were a big story last season making the playoffs after being the NFL doormat for a long time. Of course, the Bears would love to beat them to maintain a good distance with their lead in the NFC North&rsquo;s division. The only blemish on the Bears season was the loss to Green Bay &mdash;&nbsp;a loss to the Lions wouldn&rsquo;t be devastating, but could complicate playoff scenarios. The Bears will not play any divisional opponents until they meet Minnesota in late November.</p><p>There are some interesting storylines to watch Monday night:</p><ul><li><strong>Two very different head coaches</strong> Some say the team of wacky, energetic Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz&nbsp;is undisciplined; others say his players feed off him. Conversely, Lovie Smith has a calm and steadfast demeanor on the Bears sideline. His players respond well to his approach. One stat worth bringing up for Smith: He has a 8-2 record on Monday Night Football (no home losses). &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;</li><li><strong>Both have young, aggressive quarterbacks</strong>,<strong>&nbsp;</strong>Matthew Stafford for Detroit and Jay Cutler for the Bears, who are complemented by huge wide receivers, Detroit&#39;s Calvin Johnson and Chicago&#39;s Brandon Marshall, &nbsp;who they each love to target. The Lions drafted their duo, while the Bears traded for their tandem. Marshall admitted he enjoys basking in the Monday Night Football spotlight. &ldquo;I love some of the attention; when you have that spotlight on you have to show up and perform,&rdquo; said Marshall.<br />&nbsp;</li><li><strong>The Bears offensive line hopes to control the line of scrimmage</strong> against the likes of Ndamukong Suh and the rest of the Lions defensive line. The Bears want to get their ground game going with Matt Forte and Michael Bush.<br />&nbsp;</li><li>The real fun will be <strong>the Bears third-rated defense against the second best offense in the league</strong>. This is where the Bears hope they can keep Johnson from making the big plays against their secondary. Charles Tillman has already returned two interceptions for touchdowns this year. Tillman against Johnson will be one of the best matchups of the game. The Lions rushing game is below average.<br />&nbsp;</li><li><strong>The wild card in this game may be Devin Hester</strong>. He may have a bigger role in the offense since Alshon Jeffrey is out with his hand injury. Offensive coordinator Mike Tice lamented after practice that he wants to get him more involved. Where Hester may make an impact is on special teams &mdash; a weakness for the Lions.<br />&nbsp;</li><li><strong>Some players are expected to return to action</strong>: wide receiver Earl Bennett and tight end/half back Evan Rodriquez.<br />&nbsp;</li><li>Last year Bears cornerback D J Moore and Lions QB Matthew Stafford got into a scrum after the Lion QB&rsquo;s interception. Moore was ejected from that game, <strong>he says there are no grudges. . . but we&rsquo;ll see</strong>.<br />&nbsp;</li><li>You should keep track how often the MNF&nbsp;broadcast focuses on&nbsp;Jay Cutler&nbsp;and his &quot;issues.&quot;&nbsp;</li></ul><p>This is the first time the Bears have hosted the Lions on Monday Night Football. All previous meetings were in Detroit. Spotlight, chippy play, two teams that hate each other. . . get the popcorn! This will be quite the show.</p></p> Mon, 22 Oct 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-10/bears-vs-lions-monday-night-football-make-great-clash-103265 Life is back to normal: Bears pummel Lions (and other observations) http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-11-13/life-back-normal-bears-pummel-lions-and-other-observations-94009 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-13/AP111113069269.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-13/AP111113069269.jpg" title="DJ takin on the whole team!!! A little help? (AP)" width="512" height="368"></p><p>The Detroit Lions have always been division foes. But more like the Milwaukee Bucks rather than the Detroit Pistons. More like the Houston Astros than the St. Louis Cardinals. But what the Lions lack in football skill, they make up for in just being dirty. And dirty is a great way to start a rivalry. See, we dislike the Packers because they once took cheap shots at our stars. Once winning is out of the question, they turn to chop blocks and unnecessary roughness. Which brings me to my point:</p><p>You gotta love the Bears for not backing down. It would have been easy to let the Lions physically pout for playing crappy football. But after Jay Cutler was driven into the turf, the Bears defense found something to play for. Crossing route to Megatron? Briggs was there (and cleanly). If Stafford tries to behead a player out of frustration, that player (DJ Moore) teaches him a thing about the NFL. See, Detroit: We can play that way, too. We just wait to play that way when we have already won, not while we are losing...badly.</p><p>But all is right in the world. The Lions looked overmatched. They tried and tried, throwing the ball to the wrong team over and over. In a world where we teeter on the brink of financial collapse and evil, the Lions took one for the team and sucked liked they are supposed to. And we thank you for that.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-13/AP111113053065.jpg" title="Even the Soldier Field goal posts are shoddy? What gives?? Time for a new stadium (AP) " width="357" height="512"></p><p>Here are some other random observations from the Bears' beat down of the hapless Lions:</p><ul><li>I speak for every Bear fan when I say to Fox, "Turn the Saints/Falcons game off and start our game on time." We didn't miss any action, but we were sent to the game while Urlacher was giving a pre-game speech. I don't mind missing that, but what I do mind is that it seemed like we were late because Fox had to drop in 40 commercials after they left Atlanta. So the game was on time, but Fox wanted to get paid first.</li><li>This win will keep the Bears in the playoff equation until mid-December. The next five games: Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos, Seahawks, then Packers on Christmas. There's a chance that game might mean something. Woah.</li><li>Charles Tillman treated Calvin Johnson to a retro day. Remember when Tillman used to shut down Roy Williams, Randy Moss and other Goliath WRs in the NFC North? Perhaps Peanut has returned to his ways.</li><li>Paging Roy Williams: Don't you have any pride? Don't you want to beat the Lions who gave up on you? Dropping passes and cutting off routes are weird ways of showing that passion.</li><li>The halftime break for local news is unnecessary. They just show highlights of the football we just saw highlights of.</li><li>The Bears had four interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Although the real stat was how many interception drops the Bears had. I'll bet the Bears defenders had their hands on (at least) five more Stafford passes. Maybe Stafford has an aversion to the color orange. And speaking of the color orange, we're not Denver. Bring back the blue for the rest of the year, please.</li><li>Matt Stafford was pretty awful. Like, Rex Grossman awful. Like, Jay Cutler awful. Like, Chicago Bear quarterback awful. This is the guy who is going to take Detroit to the playoffs? I have a feeling that isn't going to happen. Mark my words, Detroit will not be in the playoffs.</li><li>Conspiracy theory of the week: Maybe Devin Hester wasn't hurt all week and the Bears just faked it so the Lions would punt to him? Because when I get an ankle sprain, I don't outrun professional athletes for 70 yard touchdowns. I just complain and limp. Complain and limp.</li><li>Ninety-nine percent of the NFL do not count on punt return touchdowns as offense. If they get one, it's a nice addition. But with the Bears, Hester is as important as a good running back. We are very spoiled in Chicago. When Hester leaves or his skills diminish, we will have a very empty feeling every time the back up cornerback attempts to return a punt. It will be a depressing age in Chicago. He's gotta go to the football hall of fame, right?&nbsp;</li><li>Fantasy update: Bears defense probably broke a record for points. Where Calvin Johnson and Jay Cutler probably cost their owners victories. Cutler had 123 yards and no touchdowns. Yikes, that's bad. Bad enough for a 37-13 win.</li><li>I love DJ Moore's haircut. But if you get ejected from a game in Chicago, you have to get rid of your shirt too, Rodman style. That's the only way in the Chi, right?</li></ul><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-13/AP111113069194.jpg" title="" width="512" height="366"></p><p>I think I've said this before, but isn't Julius Peppers the best?</p><p>Again, poll: Who would you take first?</p><p>Matthews (Packers), Allen (Vikings), Suh (Lions) or Peppers (Bears). I gotta say Peppers.</p><p>And, who would you take last?</p><p>Stafford (Lions), Williams (Bears), Berrian (Vikings, although waived) or AJ Hawk (Packers). I'd (not) take Williams.</p><p>Chargers are next. Rivers vs. Cutler. Remember when they used to jaw each other when Jay was in Denver? Could be fun.</p></p> Mon, 14 Nov 2011 01:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-11-13/life-back-normal-bears-pummel-lions-and-other-observations-94009 Bears fall 3 games behind after Monday night meltdown http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-11/bears-fall-3-games-behind-after-monday-night-meltdown-93037 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-11/Bears Lions Cutler hit AP.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It would be hard to pin the latest Bears loss on quarterback Jay Cutler--he threw for nearly 250 yards with no interceptions. Cutler’s offensive line committed 9 false starts—some attributed it to the crowd, others said it was the rotating line. The young Detroit team and its many top draft picks were too much for Lovie’s aging defense. The loss put the Bears three games behind the top teams in the division—a huge hole to overcome so early in the season. Sports contributer <a href="http://www.wbez.org/contributor/cheryl-raye-stout" target="_blank">Cheryl Raye-Stout</a> joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>to discuss how the Bears might dig out, the Blackhawks chances and the latest on the NBA lockout.</p><p><em>Music Button: Ikebe Shakedown, "Tujunga", from the CD Ikebe Shakedown, (Ubiquity)</em></p></p> Tue, 11 Oct 2011 14:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-11/bears-fall-3-games-behind-after-monday-night-meltdown-93037 Bears go down hard http://www.wbez.org/story/bears-go-down-hard-93033 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-11/Bears _AP Photo Paul Sancya.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Bears fans are shaking their heads after Monday night's loss to the Detroit Lions. The final score: Lions 24, Bears 13.</p><p>The Bears were leading by 3 at half-time. But Detroit scored touchdowns on its first two possessions of the second half and took control for the rest of the game.</p><p>Adding to the insult were 8 false start penalties by the Bears offense - 1 more for special teams - that killed any forward momentum.</p><p>The Bears are now three games off the lead in the NFC North division. The Lions and and the Green Bay Packers are tied for the top spot. Both are undefeated.</p><p>Next, the Bears are up against the Vikings Sunday night at Soldier Field. &nbsp;<br> <br> &nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 11 Oct 2011 12:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/bears-go-down-hard-93033 Attn Detroit Lions: I hear they are looking for a team in LA (and other random Bears v. Lions observations) http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/attn-detroit-lions-i-hear-they-are-looking-team-la-and-other-random-bears-v-lio <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/AP101205122639.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="341" width="512" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-December/2010-12-06/AP101205122639.jpg" alt="" title="" /></p><p>The Bears game in Detroit proved to be the kind that we all expected: really boring battle against a really bad team. The Lions aren't bad. They are baaaad. I&nbsp;don't care if the announcers and experts around the NFL&nbsp;say otherwise. They are wrong. If I were a Lions' fan, I&nbsp;would be calling for this coach's head. Just because last year they won two games and this year they may win three? What does that say about the squad?&nbsp;Are Detroit fans just happy to have three wins? <br /><br />Jim Schwartz is probably a decent guy, but he seems way overmatched. You need a coach in the NFC&nbsp;North that is smart, strategic and motivating. Right now, I see him making bone-headed plays (challenge, much?) and being outmanuevered by Lovie Smith. Yes, read that again. A coach being out-coached by Lovie? That's bad. Also, this Lions team plays waaaay too hard in the first half and then settles into complete mediocrity in the second half. They've probably done that six times this year, including the two games against the Bears. Throw in a couple of ill-advised 4th down attempts and strange play-calls, and you have this Lions team. Hey, Lions fans - I've heard they are looking for a team in&nbsp;LA.</p><p>Here are some other <strong>random observations from yesterday's game</strong>:</p><p>The game-ball should go to Earl Bennett. Bennett had a great game, but the game wouldn't have gone that way if it wasn't for his first quarter play. The Bears offense sputtered to begin the game yesterday and after spotting the Lions a 7-0 lead, looked again like they would go three and out. Cutler threw to Bennett on an underneath route, a few yards short of the first down marker. Bennett shrugged off would-be tacklers and extended his arm (with the ball) to the first-down marker with incredible athleticism and will. Sheer will. The refs gave him a good spot, the Lions didn't challenge and the play served as a wake-up call for the Bears offense. They went down and scored on that drive and applied enough firepower all game long to beat the Lions. That play was the game-changer. Otherwise, we were looking at a repeat of the Bears/Seahawks game from earlier in the year.</p><p>Back to coaching - the Lions defensive coordinator was overmatched in this one. How many times did Cutler snap and throw to a wide open receiver in the slot? I'm not a coach, but I&nbsp;think I could do a better job scheming blitzes than the Lions did. Ah, the D-coordinator is Gunther Cunningham, former head coach of the KC&nbsp;Chiefs. In the late 90s, Cunningham lost to the Bears during Jauron's first year. It was the first game with Bears O-coordinator Gary Crowton.&nbsp;After the game, Coach Cunningham made some great quote about the Bears &quot;razzle, dazzle&quot; offense. He may have been the only coach to be razzled or dazzled by Crowton and Curtis Enis for the rest of the year- the Bears lost 10 games that season. Fire him, Detroit.</p><p>Name one player that has turned games around and put the Bears in a position to win more than Devin Hester has. This guy is slowly becoming the best offensive player (on special teams) that the Bears have seen since Neal Anderson. Couple more TDs?&nbsp;And we are talking Payton/McMahon status. It's unreal. And I LOVED&nbsp;how dejected he was after barely missing a punt return touchdown. He was up-ended after a huge return that set the Bears up for a score, but he was so down on himself on the sideline for not bringing it back all the way. He reacted as if he had fumbled deep in his own zone. You have to love that. Hey Devin, I know you are up for the record, but did you really want to break it in Detroit?&nbsp;I&nbsp;have a feeling a national game against the Patriots would be better. And if not then, how bout Monday night against the Vikings? So get up, kid!&nbsp;</p><p>Chester Taylor:&nbsp;A lot of ooohs and aaaahs for a one or two-yard gain.</p><p>A lot of the pundits (and Lovie Smith) were down on the Bears D for a mediocre game. True, they looked lost at times - but you take away that fluke drive at the end of the half, where the Lions were content on running out the clock, and there is a different story today. And I will go further and say if you look at the tape on the Javhid Best running play where he bounced outside for 40+ yards, there is a big-time hold on Lance Briggs that sprung him. Again, you take away that drive and the Bears give up 13 points. And if Maynard and the special teams unit did their job against a no-name returner, it would probably be less points. A couple of fluke plays,&nbsp;Chicago.&nbsp;</p><p>Hey, everybody: That Suh hit on Cutler was a penalty. Whether or not it was legal or not, the intent was to punch Cutler in the head. Come on. That's a stupid play by a rookie D-lineman. If he pancakes Cutler, he probably breaks a rib. Since it was obvious his intent was to hurt the&nbsp;Bears QB, wouldn't that have worked? Forearm or no forearm, the extra push to the turf will get you 15 yards every time. </p><p>So now the stretch: Say, if the Bears go 11-5 or 10-6 and MISS&nbsp;the playoffs, do you fire Lovie Smith?&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 06 Dec 2010 15:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/attn-detroit-lions-i-hear-they-are-looking-team-la-and-other-random-bears-v-lio