Friday, October 2, 2009

Bears v. Lions - Week 4 Preview

The Bears are laying 10 or 10.5 points today, and I'm taking them. The Lions are no longer 0-19, but it would take a lot more than 10.5 to get me to bet on the Lions.

BBS Pre-season predictions -
-4- Oct. 4 DETROIT, noon, Fox-32

2j – I hope the Lions are starting a rookie QB at this point. Bears win this one BIG. Also, I would like to take this chance to tell all Detroit fans to have fun convincing yourselves that you actually like watching the most selfish, me-first basketball player on earth – Ben Gordon. Bears 45, Lions 6

Kmart – I love Ben Gordon. Bears 67, Lions 0

DC – The Detroit Shock have a better chance of beating the Bears this year. Bears 35, Lions 3

Desmond Clark might help the running game -
Desmond Clark never envisioned remaining sidelined long despite suffering a crack rib in the season opener.

After missing two games, the Bears tight end is set to return to the lineup Sunday against Detroit.

``You always push to try to get back as soon as possible,'' Clark said. ``Over the years, you learn not to take any of this for granted. Every game, every snap is important. So if I can get back out there sooner rather than later, that's what I'm trying to do.''

Clark's return could add a boost to the Bears' stagnant running game, ranked 28th in the league at 71.7 yards per game. Of the team's top three tight ends -- Greg Olsen, Clark and Kellen Davis -- Clark is the best blocker.

Good thing we are deep at the LB spot
Lance Briggs celebrated being named NFC defensive player of the week by taking the day off.

Not by choice, of course.

The Bears linebacker and co-captain sat out Wednesday's practice and had a protective boot on his left foot. The injury, however, appears to be nothing more than soreness, although Briggs might not return to practice until Friday.

"I'll be ready Sunday," Briggs said. "I'll tell you right now, I'll be there Sunday. There's no doubt about it. I'm fine."

Briggs last missed a game during the 2007 season as a hip injury sidelined him for the Bears' 35-7 thumping of the Packers.

The Bears need Briggs in the lineup based on how banged up they are at linebacker.

Middle linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer's status coming off a rib injury is unclear as he sat out Wednesday's practice, although there is a chance Hillenmeyer could play. Strong-side linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, who has been out since Week 1 with a knee sprain, said he won't play Sunday against Detroit. Brian Urlacher was placed on injured reserve after he had wrist surgery.

Hillenmeyer out Sunday
While Lance Briggs returned to practice Thursday with a sore left foot, fellow linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer is expected to miss Sunday's game with a rib injury.

Briggs was limited after missing practice Wednesday. He poked fun at his injury during his weekly trip to the podium.

"It started off as a hairline fracture then it increased yesterday to a major break," Briggs joked.

"So they put me in boot because ... miracle. Overnight healing. Never seen anything like it."

Hillenmeyer missed his second consecutive day but is expected to be recovered after the club's off week.

Blitzing the Lions' rookie QB -
Conventional wisdom says the Bears will work to pressure Lions rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford, who'll be making his fourth career start Sunday at Soldier Field.

But it might be difficult for the defense to dial up more heat than it already has been applying. According to, the Bears are second in the league in blitzing after three games, bringing an extra pass rusher on 47.46 percent of the downs. It's a subjective number arrived at after film review, but the margin for error isn't too wide. It's not a surprise. Coach Lovie Smith has taken over the play-calling, but he always has been adamant that the cover-2 is only part of his defensive strategy.


And of course a quick reaction to the Bulls pre-season opener ...
Loved the starting line-up: Rose, Salmons, Deng, TT and JoaNoah. Taj played great for a rookie in his first game, and it looks like we have a lot of depth of front: Taj, JJ, Brad Miller. We even have some backcourt depth with Salmons at the 2 spot. Leaves Kirk, Pargo and Hunter. If our second unit is Kirk, Pargo, JJ, Taj and Brad, we should have an advantage somewhere on a lot of teams. Enough rambling, it was only 1 pre-season game.

Taj impresses, TT concusses -
Rookie Taj Gibson had 19 points and nine rebounds to help the Chicago Bulls beat the Indiana Pacers 104-95 on Friday night in the second preseason game for the NBA's replacement officials.

It was an uneventful night for officials Kevin Scott, Karl Lane and William Mensah, though Pacers fans briefly booed them for reviewing whether the Bulls had committed a shot-clock violation with 3.7 seconds left and the game already decided. The Bulls were called for the violation.

The league has hired replacements during its lockout with the referees union, and so far, there hasn't been much trouble. Indiana was called for 28 fouls to Chicago's 21. The only technical foul was a 3-second call against the Pacers. The game was run smoothly and lasted just 2 hours, 20 minutes.

The officials didn't draw attention from Gibson's performance. Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro liked what he saw from the first-round pick out of Southern California.

"Taj is like the Energizer Bunny, just keeps on coming at ya," Del Negro said. "He shoots it better than you think, he's picking and popping, he's long. Just a great effort for a first game for a rookie. It's a good sign for him."

Gibson, the Pac-10 defensive player of the year last season, said he wants to prove that he's a solid all-around player with a team mentality.

"I'm just an athletic, extremely high-energy guy," Gibson said. "If I have to go out and get a couple rebounds, take a charge, I'm willing to do anything to help the team win. That's my whole mind-frame right now."

Rose added 17 points, and Luol Deng and John Salmons had 15 each for the Bulls. Chicago's Tyrus Thomas left the game in the third quarter because of a concussion.

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