I’m in Motown! Monday Night Football has made its way to Detroit for the first time in a decade and the city is hype! The Detroit Lions are playing the Chicago Bears at home on national TV. The city is pumped as if it is a NFL playoff game.
Now the “D” is accustomed to hosting large sporting events. In the last ten years, they have had Super Bowl, MLB All-Star and a NCAA Men’s Final Four. It is one of the best sports towns. Since the last MNF visit, locals have seen the Detroit Pistons, Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs. Actually, the Red Wings are so good that the playoffs are just considered part of their regular season. When it comes to professional football the Motor City has been a little deprived. So, it isn’t just finally getting MNF. It is the undefeated Lions hosting a MNF game.
Tonight’s game has the perfect setup for a prime-time battle – rivalry and controversy. The Lions and Bears are divisional rivals. The Lions are coming into this game 4 – 0. They want to prove that they are the real deal and the beginning of their season is not a fluke. The only other undefeated team in the NFL is the defending Super Bowl Champions, Green Bay Packers. Coincidentally, the last regular season game Detroit lost was to the Chicago Bears last December.
Chicago won both games last year. They were close games and had some controversial calls that easily could have given the Lions a victory. The Bears want to get past their even record (2-2) and sit one game behind second in the NFC North.
To win, both offenses need to focus on what they have done well. For the Lions, that means QB Matthew Stafford passing to wide receiver Calvin Johnson. The Bears must keep their running game going and get running back Matt Forte the ball. On the defense side, Chicago’s secondary has to find an answer for Johnson’s talent and height. Meanwhile, Detroit will need to slow down Forte.
I am really impressed with the Lions, but I think that the Bears are going to win. Their record is not as good, but their two losses were to the teams that won the Super Bowl in 2011 (Packers) and 2010 (New Orleans Saints). The Lions only beat up on Kansas City. The other three games against Tampa Bay, Minnesota, and Dallas were all close. And Minnesota just won their first game yesterday. Great things to come for Lions fan, but I don’t see a 5 – 0 start.
MNF kicks off at 8:30 pm on ESPN.
Heels & Helmets