More of the same. And maybe much more so.
"Yeah, they're a good defensive team," Mariucci said. "We know that.
They're healthier than they were last year. Urlacher is back, and their
safeties and corners - they're back fresh and healthy.
"They just have the quarterback issue that they're dealing with right
now. They've been a good defense and they are a good defense. You saw that
in the first game against Washington. Yeah, I suppose it might be another
Black and Blue Division-type game."
Considering the difficulty the Lions had moving the ball against a rather
average Packers defense, they could be facing an even tougher task moving
against middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, strong safety Mike Brown and the
rest of the highly-regarded Bears defense.
There is no doubt the Lions offense remains a work in progress. Although
they are starting no rookies, they are still a young offensive team
searching for an identity.
Quarterback Joey Harrington posted a 95.4 passer rating, good for
ninth-best among NFL quarterbacks in the first weekend of the regular
season. He threw two touchdown passes and was not intercepted, but his 167
yards passing was among the lowest in the NFL.
Wide receiver Roy Williams caught just two passes for 13 yards in the
opening game, a total he would normally have posted in the first quarter.
And running back Kevin Jones carried 25 times for 87 yards, an average of
3.5 yards per carry, a full 1.2 yards per carry less than he averaged as a
rookie running for 1,133 yards last year.
Harrington believes he knows what to expect from the Bears defense.
"Chicago's going to get that eighth guy up in the box," he said. "They're
going to play more single safety, they're going to give us more routes on
the outside and try to keep us from running the ball."
If the Lions can run the ball and move it consistently, they might be on
their way to establishing something for the upcoming season.
"It's nice when you play well against those defenses and do what you plan
on doing," Harrington said. "But you've also got to know that it is a great
defense and the type of defense that will hold a team in a game, so if
things don't go well for us on every play in the game, we've got to be solid
enough in the head to know we've got to keep pushing and we're going to make
those plays eventually. We've got too many guys out here for it not to
SERIES HISTORY: 151st meeting. The Bears hold an 83-62-5 lead in the
series, which began in 1930 when the Lions were still playing in Portsmouth,
Ohio. The Lions won at Soldier Field last year for the first time in four
years, in the process of breaking their NFL-record 24-game road losing
streak. They have won the last three games against Chicago.
Mariucci Expecting Slugfest With Chicago
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