TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 17: Chicago Bears At Detroit Lions

Bears
Lions
Divisional Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions v Oakland Raiders
Quarterback
The Bears kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a win over the Cardinals and they must get a victory in the season finale to remain alive. Jay Cutler has never had much help from his receivers (aside from Brandon Marshall) or the offensive line, but his performance has not been what was expected. Cutler has a magical arm, but he lacks consistency.
Winner Quarterback Matthew Stafford has been slinging the ball all over the filed but the Lions have been losing week after week. Stafford has completed 60 percent of his passes and has thrown for 4,695 yards, but he has thrown 16 interceptions. The Lions make too many mistakes and so does their quarterback.
Offense
Matt Forte had to come out of the Bears’ Week 16 win over the Cardinals with an ankle injury. Marshall is a dominating receiver who can use his strength and receiving skills to make big plays. The Bears have not been able mount a consistent offense all season, primarily because the offensive line has nearly every week.
Winner This has to be the Calvin Johnson show for the Lions, who is looking to top the 2,000-yard mark in receiving yards. The rest of the team may be ready to start their vacations as soon as the game ends, but Johnson is ready to extend his season yardage record that he set in the Week 16 loss to the Falcons. Mikel Leshoure is not fancy at running back, but he packs a punch when he carries the ball.
Defense
Winner The defense is still the strength of the Bears, but this unit has not played as well as it did in the first half of the season. Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher has been out with a calf injury but he may be able to return for this game. Lance Briggs is the heart and soul of this unit and is an outstanding tackler. Look for defensive end Julius Peppers to excel in this game.
The Lions have plenty of talent on defense, but they rarely play up to it. The Lions rank 12th overall on defense and a respectable 13th against the pass, but they are not the kind of team that can stop opponents when the game is on the line. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has harassed Cutler in the past and middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch is a solid tackler.
Special Teams
Winner Devin Hester has had a disappointing year as a returner. The Bears’ inability to mount a consistent offense means that they have needed production from their superstar returner, but he has slumped this season. The Bears are going with backup kicker Olindo Mare since Robbie Gould is on injured reserve.
The Lions punt and kickoff coverage teams have been poor all season. They lack organization and the effort has often been a problem. Placekicker Jason Hanson has not been slowed by age, making 31-of-35 FG attempts. Returner Stefan Logan has made one bonehead decision after another this season.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Divisional Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v Chicago Bears Detroit Lions v Oakland Raiders

The Lions have little to play for, but they are trying to get Johnson his 2,000 receiving yards. That could be enough to motivate them to end the season with a win against a team that it would love to beat.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants breaks a tackle by Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins in the second half at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against Everson Griffen #97 and Tom Johnson #92 of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st half during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Minnesota Vikings

    The Vikings defense has annihilated every opponent so far. Can they do it to the explosive Giants offense this week?

  2. KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Center Mitch Morse #61 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball to Alex Smith #11 at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against  Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Chiefs and Steelers battle it out in a match-up of AFC playoff contenders.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At San Francisco 49ers

    The Cowboys have been rolling with rookie QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. They look to continue that momentum this week.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Bringing You The Best in Sports Talk Radio
New Podcast Network
Learn How

Listen Live