The Detroit Lions defense will see Brian Griese instead of Rex Grossman behind center on Sunday, but it will hardly matter. You can bet the Chicago offense will certainly borrow a page from the Eagles' playbook. Individual player news and notes inside.
The Lions will see Brian Griese instead of Rex Grossman on Sunday, but it will hardly matter. You can bet the Chicago offense will certainly borrow a page from the Eagles' playbook -- keep a lot of players in to block, give the quarterback some time and burn the Lions' suspect secondary.
The Eagles used that formula well Sunday in a 56-21 victory over the Lions. After scoring only one touchdown in two games, they scored five on their first five possessions and six on their first seven. They might have gone 7-for-7 had they not turned over the ball inside the Detroit 10.
Donovan McNabb went 21-for-26 for 381 yards and four touchdowns. His passer rating was perfect, 158.3. Kevin Curtis caught 11 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns. Brian Westbrook had 111 yards and one touchdown receiving, to go with his 110 yards and two touchdowns rushing.
"If you have two-man routes, you've got to figure your coverage has a chance to win," Lions coach Rod Marinelli said. "You can't give up something over your head with a two-man route. You've got to play the defense. That's what you do.
"There's no scientific law coming out what you do. You do what you do, and if you play your coverage exactly right, like you should, those plays wouldn't have happened. We didn't play the coverage correctly."
Why not? Marinelli said it was like when you slice a shot in golf.
"Technique, focus, fundamentals -- that's usually what it is," Marinelli said.
There is a lot of speculation in Chicago that the Bears will bench Grossman in favor of Griese. But Grossman has burned the Lions downfield before. In two games against the Lions last season, Grossman threw five touchdowns against zero interceptions.
QB Jon Kitna continues to put up gaudy passing numbers, but he continues to commit a lot of turnovers, too. He passed for 446 yards Sunday at Philadelphia, a Lions record, but he also threw an interception in the end zone for the third straight game and lost two fumbles.
RB Kevin Jones scored a two-yard touchdown Sunday on his first snap since Dec. 10, when he suffered a serious foot injury trying to score a touchdown. He had only three carries and one reception, but he said his foot felt fine and he hoped to carry more of the load against the Bears.
TE Sean McHugh has taken advantage of his opportunity, catching five passes for 72 yards. Still, the Lions miss Dan Campbell, who went on injured reserve with an elbow injury Saturday.
WR Roy Williams racked up 204 receiving yards Sunday, third-most in Lions history. He ranks third in the NFL with 335 receiving yards, behind only Chad Johnson (442) and Randy Moss (403).
WR Calvin Johnson suffered a bruised lower back Sunday when he made an amazing catch and smacked hard into the turf. He walked through the locker room like an old man Monday, and asked if he would play against the Bears, he said he would see how he felt this week.
LB Alex Lewis suffered a hamstring injury Sunday and was scheduled to have an ultrasound exam. His status is uncertain for the Bears game.
DE Kalimba Edwards, who didn't play Sunday, said his injured ankle felt better but he wasn't sure if he would be cleared to practice Wednesday.
LB Ernie Sims made eight tackles Sunday. No other Lions linebacker had more than one tackle.
LT Jeff Backus suffered a strained side muscle in warm-ups Sunday, played poorly and had to come out of the game. He has started 99 straight games, but his streak is in jeopardy of not reaching 100.
RG Damien Woody took a direct shot to the ribs Sunday and was really sore Monday. He is day to day.