Having guaranteed a victory over the Bears on Sunday, Williams looks to help the Lions make good on his boast when the teams meet at Soldier Field.
Chicago won the NFC North last season behind the top defense in the NFL, and with 11 defensive starters returning this season, the Bears picked up last week where they left off. Chicago shut down Brett Favre and Green Bay en route to a 26-0 victory, the first shutout of the three-time MVP’s 16-year career.
The Bears allowed only seven yards on nine plays in the first quarter, and recorded three sacks and two interceptions in the game.
“The tone is set, we set our goals high,” linebacker Lance Briggs said. “A lot of people think we talk a lot, a lot about who we are as a team, but it’s about what we believe in.”
While the Bears may talk a lot, Williams has outdone them this week.
“We will win this game,” Williams said Monday, one day after Detroit lost 9-6 to Seattle and failed to score a touchdown. “Y’all can take that as a guarantee or whatnot, but we will win this game.
“I’m just saying that when we play the way we are supposed to play, there’s not a defense in the NFL that is going to stop us. If we play that way against the Bears, and we should, we’ll win. It was stupid how close we were to putting 40 points on the board.”
Detroit was a mere 34 points shy of that number against the Seahawks, rushing for only 38 yards and passing for 229.
Williams caught three passes for 36 yards and had an illegal-motion penalty that negated a long run by Kevin Jones.
Williams’ guarantee seems all the more brash considering the recent history between these teams. The Bears have won seven of their last 11 over the Lions, including both meetings last season, and four of the last five at home.
The Bears beat the Lions 38-6 on Sept. 18 at Soldier Field and 19-13 in overtime at Ford Field on Oct. 30.
Chicago went 7-1 at Soldier Field last season, allowing 37 total points in the wins.
The Bears had one of the worst offenses in the league last season, but the unit looked rejuvenated with Rex Grossman at quarterback last week.
The oft-injured Grossman struggled in the preseason, causing many fans to call for new backup Brian Griese, but he connected on a 49-yard pass with wide receiver Bernard Berrian on the sixth play of the game.
Grossman finished 18-of-26 for a career-high 262 yards, and directed four drives that ended in Robbie Gould field goals.
“We were able to move the ball up and down the field, but I’d still like to finish up some of those drives,” Grossman said. “That’s going to be key in the coming weeks, because eventually the other team will score.”
Last season, Jones finished with 1,335 rushing yards to join Walter Payton as the only Bears to gain 1,300 yards on the ground. Jones totaled 139 yards and 72 yards rushing in the two games against the Lions.
Chicago scored more than 26 points only twice last season.
Detroit’s Kevin Jones rushed for only 35 yards on 14 carries. He had 88 total yards on 26 attempts against Chicago last season.
“We will be fine on offense,” Kitna said. “We’ll score and hold up our end.”
Despite its offensive struggles against the Seahawks, Detroit held the defending NFC champions to 264 yards and blocked two field goals.
“We were close Sunday. We got a good effort. I don’t care about any of that,” Lions first-year coach Rod Marinelli said. “It’s all about winning in the NFL. I’m not throwing any bouquets for playing hard. We should always play hard.
“There’s no way anyone should feel good about this game.”
The Lions have not started 0-2 since dropping the first three games of 2002.