In Week 10, we have an NFC North face-off between the glass cannon Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions, coming off a dominant defensive performance against the cheese heads up north. The Bears open up as 2.5-point favorites at home, with a high o/u of 48.5. There are a couple of interesting storylines to follow in this game, namely the possible return of Byron Pringle and what Chase Claypool’s role will be with his new team. In this article, I will showcase a few of these storylines, along with giving my personal score prediction at the end. Without further interruption, let’s get straight into it.
The Return of Bryon Pringle?
One of the Bear’s few offensive signings of the off-season; Pringle hasn’t seen action since week 3 of this season, as he went on IR with a calf injury. Now, Pringle has been elevated off the IR list and is eligible to make his return as soon as tomorrow. However, It’s hard to see what kind of role Pringle can have with this team in its current state. With the new addition of Chase Claypool and the increased roles of Dante Pettis and Equanimous St. Brown, I can’t help but think Pringle may be lost in the rotation. There definitely won’t be any designed Jet Sweeps or RPOs for Pringle, as he hasn’t participated in a single practice in almost 2 months. If he is active tomorrow, except to see Pringle run as a decoy in the backfield, and maybe get a target or 2 of simple shallow routes.
A full week of practice for Chase Claypool
Last week, Claypool was running under a limited snap count due to his inexperience with the new system. However, expect the Bears to unleash him in a style akin to his 2020 breakout year. We got a small glimpse of it last week, with a couple of deep targets that ultimately led to a big DPI call (and one atrociously missed PI in the 4th quarter). Claypool is a premier deep threat when used correctly, and just the possibility of this opens things up for Justin Fields. If I were a betting man, I would bet that within the first 4 plays tomorrow, Fields is gonna chuck up a 40+ yard bomb to Claypool on an early down. I don’t expect the Bears to have a similar game plan to last week, where they looked for a ton of WR screens. Instead, expect a lot of designed rollouts, and deep post routes targeting Claypool.
Will the Running Streak Continue?
As of the Saturday before Week 10, the Bears are tied for the longest streak of consecutive 225+ yard rushing games; tied with the 1976 Steelers. If this continues this week against a 31st-ranked Lions run defense, that record will be broken. The Bears are already on pace to beat the record for most rushing yards in a season, with a potential total of 3,323 yards. This would beat the previous record of 3,296, set by the Ravens in 2019. This is the Bear’s chance to make history, as another good running performance will keep them on pace for this record.
Final Score Prediction:
Barring catastrophic injuries or any other outside interference, I 100% expect another great offensive showing from the Bears. All signs point to another big rushing day against a weak rush defense and a limited linebacker group. I would signal some caution when trying to throw the ball deep, as Rookie DB Kerby Joseph was on fire last week, picking off Aaron Rodgers twice in their upset win. If the Defense just makes a couple of good stops, and maybe a turnover or two, the Bears should hopefully cruise to victory.
Final Score: Bears 35 Lions 27
Image Credit: Tommy Jaggi (Fansided)