Detroit Lions All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson may have stoked a fire with his comments ahead of Sunday afternoon’s matchup with the Chicago Bears at Ford Field.
“It’s easy to have a dislike for them,” Johnson said to the Detroit Free-Press about the Bears. “It’s not hard at all. Can’t stand them, one, because they’re filling up the stadium a lot with a lot of Bears fans. So that’s one reason I can’t stand them. But we’re going to have a good showing this week."
Those are bold statements against a team that’s beaten the Lions in nine of the last 10 meetings dating back to 2008, but Johnson is probably confident in his team’s fifth ranked offense averaging 410.7 yards and 27.3 points after three weeks.
It was Johnson’s 11-yard touchdown with less than four minutes remaining that put away the Washington Redskins for a 27-20 victory last week. Quarterback Matthew Stafford went 25-for-42 for 385 yards, two scores, and a pick, while Joique Bell rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown, filling in for the injured Reggie Bush.
However the Lions two victories have come against Redskins and Vikings clubs that are 0-6 and ranked near the bottom defensively after three weeks.
Now they’ll meet a Bears defense that might be near bottom in yards and points allowed, but is still eighth overall against the rush, and tied for third with five interceptions.
That's without mentioning the beatdown Chicago’s defense served to Pittsburgh, highlighted by Major Wright’s 38-yard interception and defensive end Julius Peppers 42-yard fumble recovery, both for touchdowns.
Quarterback Jay Cutler went 20-for-30 for 159 yards, a touchdown and a pick, while top receiver Brandon Marshall had five catches for 52 yards. Matt Forte also rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown, and is currently ninth in the league in rushing.
The game starts at 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by FOX, or watch a live online stream by purchasing NFL Game Access here.
Betting Odds: Detroit is favored by 3 points
Over/Under: 47.5 points
Prediction: Chicago 30, Detroit 27