(Too) Bold Predictions: Hicks is back, and a rookie has a big day originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Too Bold Predictions aims to take nuanced, well-researched information and use it to make wildly improbable predictions. Analysis!
1. Tarik Cohen will lead the Bears in receptions and receiving yards.
The debut of the new-look (as in: good) Bears tight ends will have a massive benefit to Cohen, who last year wasn't afforded many mismatches as a receiver thanks to an awful group of tight ends. The Lions will have to account for Jimmy Graham, Cole Kmet and Demetrius Harris – perhaps at the same time – allowing Cohen more opportunities to get favorable matchups in the slot. Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller should have productive games, too, but I think Cohen has at least eight catches and at least 100 yards on Sunday.
2. Akiem Hicks has 2 sacks and 4 TFLs.
Welcome to the NFL, Jonah Jackson: Your first assignment is blocking Akiem Hicks. Good luck! Also, the 2020 third-round pick won’t have Halapoulivaati Vaitai playing next to him, so backup tackle Tyrell Crosby will have his hands full with Khalil Mack. The Lions drafted D’Andre Swift and signed Adrian Peterson to improve their running game, but are going to find it difficult to establish anything on the ground with Hicks constantly in the backfield. Hicks also flattens Matthew Stafford twice for good measure.
1. Jaylon Johnson will get his first career interception before halftime.
The good news for Johnson is that he probably won't have to line up against Kenny Golladay, who's listed as doubtful for Sunday's game with a hamstring injury. Still – there are plenty of options on Detroit's offense, and it's not like Matt Stafford's going to go at Kyle Fuller all game. Johnson's going to be around the ball a lot on Sunday, so he'll get his chances to show people why the Bears feel comfortable starting a rookie cornerback who didn't even go through a full training camp. There may be a few rookie blunders in Johnson's immediate future, but I think he grabs one against Detroit.
2. Allen Robinson will score the first touchdown of the year and the subtweet will be glorious.
In theory I guess it's possible that These Uncertain Times just made it too difficult for the Bears to get an extension done, except for the fact that like half of the teams in the NFL still found a way. Robinson sure sounds like he's not thinking about it anymore, whether that's actually true or not. He's a Detroit native, and Trubisky's favorite target, and scoring the first touchdown would be the perfect cherry on top of this deliciously-subtweeted saga.