Thin Secondary Could Haunt Chicago Bears in Week 17
In the upcoming regular-season finale, the Chicago Bears will do what ever they can to defeat the Detroit Lions and keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Everything includes finding a way to fill a hole in their recently hampered secondary.
Starting free safety Chris Conte injured his hamstring in the Bears’ victory last week. In addition, backup safety Craig Steltz was placed on the injured/reserved list earlier this month with a chest injury.
Currently, Chicago has just Major Wright and Anthony Walters as the only healthy safeties on the roster.
Today, the Bears signed safety Troy Nolan, a four-year veteran who was waived by the Houston Texans in November.
The lack of depth and inexperience in the secondary could leave Chicago vulnerable in the passing game, especially going up against Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. In Week 7, the Bears held Johnson to just three receptions for 34 yards, but over the past eight games Johnson has surpassed the 100-yard mark receiving (with two of those games being over 200 yards).
On top of that, Johnson just broke the all-time single-season record for receiving yards in a season last week, and is 108 yards away from being the first receiver in league history to have 2,000 receiving yards in a season.
Even though the Lions have nothing to play for as far as the postseason goes in this final game, they probably will want to play spoiler to their division rival by knocking them out of playoff contention. Along with killing the Bears’ playoff dream, the will love to get Johnson to make more history as the season ends.
Bears cornerback Charles Tillman will be a huge factor in Chicago’s pass defense this coming week, as well as the Bears’ pass rush. Both Tillman and the front four will be of great help to their safeties in trying to keep Megatron from busting open the top of their defense.
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