Bears vs. Lions: 5 things to watch in Week 4 matchup

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The Chicago Bears will host the Detroit Lions on Sunday, where they’ll be looking to rebound following a disastrous offensive outing against the Cleveland Browns in Justin Fields’ first NFL start.

From a game-time decision at quarterback to Eddie Goldman’s return, here are five things to watch in the Bears’ Week 4 matchup — and a final prediction!

Who starts at quarterback for Bears?

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The media circus involving Matt Nagy reached a fever pitch Friday when he told the media that the starting quarterback would be a game-time decision. If Andy Dalton is healthy, he’ll be the guy. If not, it’ll be Justin Fields. While Nagy isn’t revealing his starting quarterback until game time, Nagy and the coaching staff know exactly who their starting QB will be against the Lions. This is a matter of gamesmanship and trying to get an upper hand against the Lions, of all opponents. Given Fields has been a full participant at practice and Dalton limited all week, all indications are that Fields will be the guy come Sunday. Although, it would be nice if his head coach actually put his faith in his young QB.

Who's calling plays on offense?

Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Nagy has come under fire this week for his game plan for Fields, which looked identical to the one used for Dalton this season. Nagy basically threw Fields to the wolves with a game plan that failed to utilize his strengths, including his mobility, which resulted in a disastrous first NFL start for Fields. Nagy said “everything is on the table” in regards to play calling, although he failed to acknowledge who would be calling plays. This is something we won’t get a direct answer about, but it won’t be hard to see after a couple of series whether Nagy retained play-calling duties or handed them over to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.

How will Eddie Goldman look in his return?

Kena Krutsinger-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since the 2019 season finale, nose tackle Eddie Goldman will play in a regular season game for the Bears. After opting out last year, Goldman was sidelined with a knee injury through the first three games of the season. After two full days of practice, Goldman is poised to return to the starting lineup on one of the NFL’s best defensive lines. Chicago’s defensive front has been doing a solid job this season, and they’ll only be helped by the return of Goldman, who thrives in stopping the run and bringing interior pass rush.

Will Bears pass rush continue to flourish?

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Bears rank third in the NFL in sacks, averaging 3.7 per game. While Chicago struggled to get after Matthew Stafford in Week 1, they’ve recorded four sacks on Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow and five sacks on Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield. While the Lions have a good offensive line, the opportunities for getting after quarterback Jared Goff will be there. And if Chicago’s defense wants to limit this Detroit offense, they need to bring the pressure on Goff and limit him from targeting some weaknesses in the secondary. All eyes will be on Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, who are both off to impressive starts this season. Quinn leads the team with 3.5 sacks — where he’s recorded at least 0.5 sack in each game — and Mack has 3.0 sacks.

Can Bears continue success vs. Lions?

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears have been pretty successful against the Lions under Nagy, where they won five straight games before losing their first under Nagy last December. It was a known fact that quarterback Mitchell Trubisky played his best against the Lions, which makes you believe this could be an opportunity for Fields to have a bounce-back game following his brutal first NFL start. That is, if he’s starting. The Bears have averaged 26 points against the Lions, which is a far cry from their 13.3 points they’ve averaged through three weeks. This game couldn’t have come at a better time. But it’s still far from a guaranteed win. But Chicago has a chance for a nice rebound game against Detroit at home on Sunday.

Prediction: Bears 20, Lions 17

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

This game couldn’t have come at a better time for the Bears. Following a brutal offensive showing against the Browns, Chicago’s offense needs a spark this week. As of Friday, the Bears didn’t name a starting quarterback, but it’ll likely be Justin Fields as Andy Dalton recovers from his knee injury. If that’s the case, the hope is that Bill Lazor will be the one calling plays, where he’ll look to design a game plan that caters to Fields’ strengths, the opposite of what Matt Nagy did last week against the Browns. Chicago should establish a balanced attack with David Montgomery to get things going and look to get Fields outside the pocket to help jumpstart a downfield passing attack that’s been the worst in the NFL.

While there are questions on offense, the Bears defense still has some of the juice left over from that 2018 season, as evidenced by how they were able to keep them in the game as long as they did last week, despite seeing the field for 40 minutes. Khalil Mack and the defense have made things difficult on Jared Goff in the past, and this feels like one of those games where Chicago’s defense will rise up and secure a victory.

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