CHICAGO – This is going to sound a little funky to you, but the Bears actually are a better football team than the Detroit Lions on paper, just not in the standings.
The only spots the Lions should scare you on either side of the ball are in their passing game, points scored and returning punts.
Detroit is fifth in points scored in the NFL, fourth in throwing the football, ninth in average gain per pass and first in punt returns on the strength of two long returns for touchdowns by Jamal Agnew.
The Bears are only 30th covering punts, and one of the NFL’s weakest clubs in special teams overall, but in the passing game they actually negate some of Detroit’s advantage, ranking ninth in passing defense and 15th in average gain per pass allowed.
The Lions and Matt Stafford are 12th in interception percentage, and the Bears are only 29th defensively, but Detroit is only 21st in QB sack percentage allowed, while the Bears have climbed to sixth defensively in that category.
Detroit is dead last in the NFL running the ball and average gain per run, while the Bears ‘D’ is 14th against the run and 10th in average gain per rush.
Offensively, the Bears are only 30th in total offense, but the Lions defense is only 27th. The Bears are seventh running the ball and fifth in average gain per rush, while the Lions’ ‘D’ is only 20th and 21st vs. the run and average yards per rushing attempt, respectively. Although the Bears are dead last in passing yards per game and 25th in average gain per pass, the Detroit defense is only 27th and 28th, respectively.