Containing Reggie Bush will be the key to a Chicago Bears victory this Sunday at Ford Field. Bears fans might remember Bush from his days as a New Orleans Saint, especially in the 2006 Playoffs when the speedster caught seven balls for 132 yards and a score, despite a loss in the divisional round. This past offseason, the Detroit Lions brought Bush in to serve as a hybrid rusher/receiver in hopes of alleviating some of the pressure on All-World wideout Calvin Johnson.
Bush is coming off a knee injury that sidelined him for Week 3, but he appears ready to go full-tilt against a Chicago defensive unit that has undergone considerable change since 2012. Gone is head coach Lovie Smith, architect of the Bears’ ‘Tampa-2, Brian Urlacher now serves as an analyst for Fox Sports and, most recently, the Bears lost stud tackle Henry Melton to an ACL tear.
The Lions will look to capitalize on the Bears’ overhaul by getting Bush in space, where he has always been most dangerous. Urlacher’s successor, D.J. Williams, will have spy responsibilities on Bush. Williams might not possess the speed he once displayed as a young man, but he’s a savvy veteran who has seen numerous offensive schemes throughout his NFL tenure. The Bears might take a “bend-don’t-break” approach defensively this week. Put more simply, the Bears can let the Lions move the ball as much as they please between either 20 yard line, so long as touchdown chances are limited.
Allowing Bush to scoot for 150-plus yards really isn’t the worst thing in the world, so long as the Bears can keep Detroit from scoring three or more touchdowns. The highly-potent Lions O struggles with red-zone efficiency, so look for the game to hinge on the field goal unit. The last thing the Bears want to do is allow Bush to repeatedly break off huge plays. They will, however, find success by allowing Bush to move the ball so long as he doesn’t score. Williams might even be able to force a Bush turnover or two given the running back’s propensity to tote the football like a loaf of bread.
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