Here is a look at hypothetical propositional wagers between the Bears and Lions.
First team to score
Bears. At home on Monday night with two weeks of preparation behind them. I say the Bears come out crisp with a strong focus and put points on the board first.
First Bears player to score
Robbie Gould. The Lions may be struggling this season, but they’re not going to be a pushover in this division rivalry game. The Bears offense should be able to move the ball but my guess is that the Lions clamp down as the ball nears the red zone.
More touchdowns or field goals for the Bears
Field Goals. Detroit has the No. 9 ranked defense in the league and they’ve spoken about an increased intensity and nastiness that they’d like to play with leading up to this game. The Bears may lead the league in net points, but they’re facing a different beast in this one.
Number of catches by Brandon Marshall
8. The Lions secondary can be exploited. It’s injury-riddled and the Lions are signing players off the scrap heap. No single defender can shut down Brandon Marshall by himself, let alone one from a secondary like this. It’ll take a team effort but Marshall will get his touches.
More touchdown passes or interceptions by Jay Cutler
Touchdowns. The Lions have intercepted the fourth-fewest amount of passes in the NFL with just two. Cutler, while having his struggles in prime time games, has been quite good on Monday night and in home games. I’m thinking we’ll see a 2-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Jay Cutler sacks
3. The Lions have a pretty solid front seven and an even more impressive front four. With Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch coming off the edges and Ndamukong Suh collapsing the middle, Cutler could face strong pressure all night.
More passing yards – Jay Cutler or Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford. Stafford ought to out-pass Cutler mostly out of necessity. The Bears have the No. 1-ranked run defense in the NFL and I predict the Lions will be trailing in the second half and will have to increase the amount of pass plays they run.
More rushing yards – Bears or Lions
Bears. As previously mentioned, the Bears run defense is top ranked and the Lions have struggled running the ball this season. The two-back approach with Matt Forte and Michael Bush should outperform their counterparts.
Total rushing yards for Bears
95. I’m not expecting either team to run the ball as much as they could. The Bears should have the edge, but I don’t know if they’ll top 100 yards unless they break off a few long ones.
Bears run-to-pass ratio
28 run-to-34 pass. I expect the Lions to be able to move the ball through the air with some success in this one and sustain some drives that keeps the Bears offense off the field. There should be less offensive plays for the Bears and they might not have the success running the ball that they find ideal, which will force them to pass more.
Team to win the turnover battle
Bears. Why would I pick any other team than the Bears right now? Their defense, while it’ll probably not score two defensive touchdowns for the third straight game, is playing as well as any unit in the NFL and leads the league with 13 interceptions. Further stressing this point, head coach Lovie Smith is pleased with that statistic but is imploring his defense to record more forced fumbles.
Total points scored
43. This ought to be a closer game than one might think and I expect there to be a decent amount of scoring between two solid passing offenses.