Bears-Lions Game Plan

The Bears try to contain the Lions running game, while getting their own off the ground.

GAME PLAN: The Bears don't expect their former coach Dick Jauron, who is now the Lions' defensive coordinator, to blitz rookie quarterback Kyle Orton nearly as much as the Redskins did in the opener. But Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner knows his team has to run the ball much more effectively than it did while picking up just 40 yards in the opener. Rookie Cedric Benson will get a bigger chunk of the carries than he did last week, when he had just three attempts in his first NFL game action. The Bears ran only 18 times last week, and that number will definitely be exceeded against the Lions. Turner still wants to see Orton make plays in the passing game and will not dummy down the offense for him.

Defensively the Bears are leery of the Lions' talented bevy of wide receivers, but they aren't ignoring running back Kevin Jones, especially after they were gashed for 164 yards on the ground against the Redskins. The Bears will occasionally use a third safety and remove a cornerback in situations that dictate running plays.


  • Lions DTs Shaun Rogers and Dan Wilkinson, who each weigh 340 pounds, against Bears guards Ruben Brown, an 11-year veteran, and Terrence Metcalf, essentially a first-year starter, and Pro Bowl center Olin Kreutz, who figures to be kept busy helping out against the two behemoths.

  • The Lions huge, talented, young group of wide receivers - Charles Rogers (6-foot-4, 218 pounds), Roy Williams (6-3, 220) and Mike Williams (6-5, 234) - against Bears CBs Charles Tillman, Nathan Vasher and Jerry Azumah. Vasher and Azumah are both 5-10 and all three are under 200 pounds.

    BY THE NUMBERS: Last Sunday's 9-7 loss to the Redskins was the lowest combined number of points in a game involving the Bears since Oct. 24, 1999, when the Bears lost to the Bucs 6-3.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "Me, personally, I got my butt kicked for the first time. I ate a piece of humble pie. That's why I'm talking to you guys today. I mean, everybody needs it. I got a taste of it and hopefully I can go back and just get better and do the things I can do well." -- Bears DT Tommie Harris after the 9-7 loss to the Redskins.

    GAME PLAN: It was the defense that stood strong in the season opener against Green Bay and it might have to carry the load of keeping the Lions in the game again Sunday at Chicago. Look for the Lions to try to confuse or fluster Bears rookie QB Kyle Orton. Offensively, the Lions will test the Bears run defense but they probably will have to get more passing yardage than they got last week when QB Joey Harrington went 15-for-28 and 167 yards if they hope to control the ball and the clock.


  • Lions DT Shaun Rogers vs. Bears QB Kyle Orton. Rogers is a dominating inside force when he's got the motor running and he will try to pressure the Chicago rookie, hit him and sack him to disrupt the Bears passing game.

  • Lions RT Kelly Butler vs. Bears DE Adewale Ogunleye. The Packers tried to take advantage of the rookie RT but didn't have a lot of success. The Bears will try also, hoping DE Adewale Ogunleye can get to the quarterback.

  • Lions RB Kevin Jones vs. Bears MLB Brian Urlacher. Jones averaged just 3.5 yards on 25 carries in the season opener against Green Bay and will probably have a tough time unless he gets help from backup FB Paul Smith blocking on Urlacher.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 33 - Consecutive games started by quarterback Joey Harrington since missing the final two games of the 2002 season with an accelerated heartbeat.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's one of those things, too, where I walk normal and so people kind of (think) 'You big faker, you kicker.' " - Kicker Jason Hanson talking about the possibility of playing Sunday against Chicago in spite of an injury to the hamstring of his right (kicking) leg.

  • Bear Report Top Stories