Three Bears necessities to a win over the Lions


Three Bears necessities to a win over the Lions


In the last three games against the "former" Lions defense, the NFL's 2015 rushing leader, Matt Forte, had 41 carries for 94 yards and no touchdowns. Detroit's run defense last season held opponents to 69.3 yards per game. This year, it's allowing 126.6 per game, including 187 last week, when Forte's fellow-2008 draftee, Chris Johnson, had 11 carries for 103 yards. On the other side, Joique Bell's been slowed by an ankle injury, Ameer Abdullah's fumble-itis has overshadowed his explosiveness to the tune of a team per game rushing average of 49 yards. The Lions have 245 total rushing yards. The NFL record for fewest through six games in 296. Force them to abandon the run again, and keep Matthew Stafford chuckin' wildly (a record-tying 70 attempts last week), and hope to add to his eight interceptions.

[MORE BEARS: Complete Bears-Lions coverage on CSN]


Even though Detroit's minus-6 turnover ratio is twice as bad as the Bears is, John Fox's club has allowed two kick returns, an interception, and a fumble recovery for touchdowns. That helps add up to just as many giveaway points this season as the Lions (41, tied for third-most). Stay ahead of that curve and keep adding to the Lions' league-high 15 turnovers. Both Bears interceptions this season have come from outside linebackers (Jared Allen and Pernell McPhee).


Christian Jones takes over signal-calling duties on defense. The initial communication process was shaky once Shea McClellin went down with a knee injury last week, despite that unit shutting down the Chiefs in the second half. With a week of practice under his belt, it's Jones' job to make sure communication and last-second adjustments are on point with all 11 guys. The other inside linebacker will be either LaRoy Reynolds (last week's option), Jonathan Anderson (elevated from the practice squad after spending all of training camp in the system) and Lamin Barrow (who started one game for Fox last season in Denver).

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans]

*Get ready for Sunday's game in Detroit at 11 a.m. on Comcast SportsNet with Lance Briggs, Jim Miller, Dan Jiggetts and Chris Boden on Bears Pregame Live, presented by Meijer. Once the second quarter ends, go to for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Bears Halftime Live, as Miller and Boden break down the first 30 minutes and go over possible second half adjustments. Then as soon as the game goes final on Fox, switch back to Comcast SportsNet for 90 minutes with the four guys for reaction, analysis, live press conferences and locker room interviews on Bears Postgame Live, presented by Nissan*

ICYMI: The Bears lose in OT, the Bulls season nears, the Blackhawks make history


ICYMI: The Bears lose in OT, the Bulls season nears, the Blackhawks make history

The Bears suffered a heartbreaking defeat (that makes two of those), but the Bulls are days away from the start of a new season and the Blackhawks did something that has never happened before in sports history.


The Bears had a slow first half, failing to score against the shorthanded Dolphins, but picked things up in the third quarter. It all fell apart late in the fourth quarter and then again in overtime in a 31-28 defeat. Miami went up against the Bears without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but Brock Osweiler threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns. What does that say about the Bears' defense?

Matt Nagy was a bit chippy with the media after the game, but there were still positive signs from the offense.

Plus, Dwyane Wade was there and repped the Bears on the road.


The Bulls wrapped up the preseason Friday with a 98-93 loss to the Nuggets. Wendell Carter Jr. and Bobby Portis both showed well in the preseason finale and Jabari Parker flashed his potential as well.

With the preseason complete, Mark Strotman graded each player on the Bulls roster. You may not want to calculate the team GPA.

The roster is being finalized as well, with Ryan Arcidiacono making the team and local product Tyler Ulis getting picked up off waivers.


Saturday was an eventful day for the Blackhawks. First, it marked the 1,000th career game for Duncan Keith. Keith talked about the emotional night after the game.

As for the game itself, the Blackhawks beat the Blues 4-3 in overtime. That was the second time the Hawks beat the Blues in OT this season, adding to a 5-4 OT win in St. Louis on Oct. 6.

Unbelievably, that was the fifth straight OT game for the Blackhawks. Every game has gone to overtime this season, and not one of those has even gone to a shootout. No NHL team has done that since the league introduced a regular-season overtime period in 1983-84, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Overtimes are more rare in other sports, but that also holds true for the NBA, NFL and MLB.

The Hawks don't play against until Thursday, when the host Arizona.

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — In a game full of pivotal moments, one seemed to irk the Bears in particular following Sunday’s 31-28 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.

Driving on the Dolphins three-yard line, the Bears lined up in a T formation with Jordan Howard, Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen lined up left to right in the backfield behind Mitch Trubisky, who was under center. Burton motioned out of the backfield and to the right, and ran his route into linebacker Kiko Alonso.

Trubisky threw a short pass to a wide open Cohen for a touchdown, with Alonso late getting to the running back after being hit by Burton. But that score was taken off the board for offensive pass interference, with officials ruling what Burton did amounted to an illegal pick play.

“Trey did everything I asked him to do,” Matt Nagy said, sharply.

On the next play, Trubisky forced a pass into double coverage in the end zone, which was easily picked off by Dolphins safety T.J. McDonald. Miami turned that interception into eight points on Albert Wilson’s 43-yard touchdown and an ensuing two-point conversion.

The way Burton understood the rule was that offensive pass interference was only assessed on a pick play if he intentionally ran into a defender without running a true route. That’s what Burton felt he did; the officiating crew disagreed.

“I thought I ran a route and the guy ran into me,” Burton said. “I thought they changed the rule this year or last year — if you run the route, it doesn’t matter if you pick the guy or not, you’re good. Obviously they called it.”

A Rough Return

The conversations surrounding the Bears Sunday into Monday would be awfully different had a number of things happened — Trubisky doesn’t throw that interception, the Bears’ defense gets a stop, Tarik Cohen doesn’t fumble near midfield, etc. In that same group: If Cody Parkey hits what would’ve been a game-winning 53-yard field goal in overtime.

Parkey, instead, missed that kick wide right. His career long is 54 yards, which he hit last year while with the Miami Dolphins (and that was a game-winner with about a minute left against the Los Angeles Chargers).

“I had the distance, I just didn’t kick it straight enough, bottom line,” Parkey said. “But you’ve got to move on. I’ve made game winners, I’ve missed game winners. As long as I keep playing, I’m just going to keep trying to kick my best.

“… I control what I can control, and unfortunately I missed a field goal. I’d like to have that one back, but it is what it is and I’m just going to focus on the next game. That’s all I can do.”