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Mismatches for Bears to Win Against Detroit Lions

With losing streak at five, Bears need their best to step up to find a victory for first time since October

The Bears disappointed greatly when they opened their pandemic season at Detroit in an empty Ford Field.

No one seemed to remember this as they escaped with a miraculous comeback and moved on to beat the New York Giants.

The Lions faced numerous mismatches in the game and found ways to make up for most while also overcoming the absence of wide receiver Kenny Golladay.

After 10 more games, it's possible they could still be without Golladay in a year when he's been hampered by injuries.

The mismatches still remain in their first game with a different coach, Darrell Bevell. They exist on both sides of the ball, but the Bears' advantages have gone unpressed in many other games this year.

The Lions' 29th ranking on defense showed up in their last game, when they allowed 41 points to Houston on Thanksgiving. Their inability to score a point against Carolina two games ago put their offensive problems on display.

The Bears are desperate and have to press these advantages where they exist, or put themselves in a spot where they're the longest of shots for a playoff berth.

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Here are three mismatches the Bears need to win as they try to end a five-game losing streak and reset their bid for a playoff berth.

Bears OLB Khalil Mack vs. Lions RT Tyrell Crosby

Crosby has gone through a difficult season. However, it's one which included keeping Mack from making a sack in the opener. It was his first time ever facing Mack and his eighth career start. Since then it's been a mediocre year for Crosby. He has a Pro Football Focus rating of 64.8 overall, which is a below-average mark for a tacle. He has allowed five sacks. On PFF's ledgers, this is the sixth most allowed by a tackle. Crosby isn't the ideal right tackle size, at 310 pounds. He's not a mauler and is built more like a left tackle. Mack has to use hs upper body strength and bull rush to overtake Crosby. Mack has gone three straight games without a sack since he hit the 6.5 mark for he the season. He was particularly disgusted with his effort against the Green Bay Packers. Without Akiem Hicks playing last week, it was easier for the Packers to double-team Mack the way teams did last year. Robert Quinn on the other side hasn't been much help all year at taking pressure off Mack and hasn't been a finisher on plays. So it's on Mack to show why he's the highest-paid Bears player and win this battle to keep the heat on Matthew Stafford.

Bears LG Cody Whitehair vs. Lions DT Nick Williams

Whitehair moved back to left guard against Green Bay and most likely will remain there the rest of the season because the Bears like the way Sam Mustipher played at center. Whitehair's better position is center, no doubt. Through last season he had a 68.1 PFF grade playing guard but 79.8 at center. At least in this one Whitehair won't be up against a physical mismatch. He has generally been regarded as the best Bears blocker, all around. The Bears know all about Williams, of course. He played for them in 2018 and 2019 before the Lions gave him $10 million over two years as a free agent. What they got was a backup defensive lineman who they turned into a starter but plays like a backup. Williams just made his first sack in the loss to Houston. He has two tackles for loss on the year. Although he has started eight times and played nine games, he has just 18 tackles. He makes a tackle on 5% of his snaps in Detroit compared to 7% with the Bears. In the first Bears game, Williams had two tackles going against James Daniels.

Bears WR Allen Robinson vs. Lions CB Jeff Okudah

This matchup never materialized in the opener because of an Okudah injury. The Ohio State rookie has been somewhat short of being a sensation. He had struggled in training camp, then had injury troubles. Now that he's starting, he has allowed 77.4% completions when targeted, and a passer rating of 118.9. Okudah has made one interception. Pro Football Focus has given him a very low 41.8 rating to date. Okudah this week is battling a shoulder injury and missed Wednesday's practice. Robinson found his way into the end zone twice last week, his first multiple-touchdown game since Dec. 5 of last season. Maybe the Bears have finally realized they need to throw it more to Robinson, who has gone 15 games without a dropped pass. Mitchell Trubisky's ability is often questioned, but Robinson should be happy to see him at quarterback more than anyone because he targeted Robinson 29% of his throws in the first three games and then 13 times on Sunday while Nick Foles had targeted him on 22%. The 13 targets for Robinson against Green Bay were the most for him since the Bears beat Tampa Bay. This mismatch is more about experience than it is physical skills because Okudah at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds is one cornerback able to stand his ground with the 6-2, 220-pound Robinson.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven

The Bears disappointed greatly when they opened their pandemic season at Detroit in an empty Ford Field.

No one seemed to remember this as they escaped with a miraculous comeback and moved on to beat the New York Giants.

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