The Bears have less than a week to get what ails their defense cured before they face the 4-0 Lions in Detroit on national TV next Monday night. If not, Chicago will surely be exposed by a Detroit passing offense that is averaging 301.2 yards per game, seventh best in the NFL.
"We just haven't played good," cornerback Charles Tillman said. "We've missed some easy tackles, myself included. We definitely have to play defense way better if we expect to win in Detroit because they're playing unbelievable right now. They're on fire, and in order for us to win against a team like that, we definitely have to bring our 'A' game in all three phases."
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has thrown 11 touchdown passes and just three interceptions. His 100.3 passer rating is No. 7 in the NFL, and wide receiver Calvin Johnson has already caught an NFL-best eight touchdown passes.
"He's probably the top receiver in the league right now as far as just throwing the ball up and just letting him go up and get it," Tillman said of the 6-foot-5, 236-pound Johnson. "He's the Goliath of receivers. As a secondary, we'll definitely have our hands full trying to contain him."
If not, Johnson could have his hands full of touchdown passes.
The Bears don't have anyone who can win a one-on-one matchup with the king-sized Johnson, but no one else has been able to match up with him this season, especially in the red zone. He's made a habit of going up and taking jump balls away from defenders.
The Bears' 6-foot-2, 198-pound Tillman has done about as well as anyone in the league at controlling Johnson over the years, but that was mostly when Johnson didn't have Stafford throwing to him.
Johnson has played seven games against the Bears, but the only time he had Stafford at quarterback for the entire game, he caught eight passes for 133 yards in Week 4 of the 2009 season. That was Johnson's only 100-yard game against Chicago.
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