Keys for Bears against Detroit

Chicago needs win to keep playoff hopes alive, but Lions won't go away easily

Originally Published: December 28, 2012
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
Charles TillmanAP Photo/Paul ConnorsThe Bears could use a big play or two from Charles Tillman against Detroit.

A Week 17 game between two strong franchises that really don't like each other, the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears, might seem like a lopsided matchup at first glance.

After all, the Bears have everything to play for, with a shot at the playoffs on the line (although a win doesn't automatically punch their postseason ticket), and the Lions are expected to mail this one in, without anything to play for other than pride.

The problem for the Bears is that Detroit is a proud team. For whatever we might think of them, the Lions are a feisty group that knows the best way to end their own disappointing season would be to knock their rivals out of the playoffs.

In short, the Bears can win this game, but they had better be prepared to play 60 minutes. Here is a look at four keys to a Chicago victory.

1. Jay Cutler's offense: Cutler may be the streakiest QB in the NFL, and the Bears have to hope they get the "good" Cutler this weekend. He may not have a run game he can depend on versus Detroit, which means this will likely be a one-dimensional passing offense.

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.