You guys and gals wore me out during Tuesday's SportsNation chat on the rapidly-escalating topic of whether the Chicago Bears or Detroit Lions project as a better team in 2012. A sampling of our exchanges:
I want to thank the Bears for becoming the media favorite this year. I was worried how the Lions would deal with expectations after the success of last year. Although we won't be stealth bombers, we can at least fly under the radar. Under promise, over deliver.
Kevin Seifert (2:03 PM)
Good point. But it's legit and not just hype. The Bears have a chance to be really, really good.
Bears won't be Packer good this year. No way.
Kevin Seifert (2:06 PM)
If by "Packer good" you mean 15-1, then yes, I agree.
chaz (traverse city)
why does everyone think the bears are that much better than the lions? they only added a few pieces and their defense is getting old
Kevin Seifert (2:07 PM)
They added some significant pieces and, frankly, they were better than the Lions last year until the Cutler injury.
Do you have Bears Fever?
Kevin Seifert (2:32 PM)
A mild case at the moment. But they're my first stop in the 2012 training camp tour, so we'll be able to ratchet up the hype if and when necessary.
Bryan (Eastern Market)
Do you agree that the main problem with the Lions maligned secondary was one of depth (heck, they had WR Rashied Davis taking snaps at CB at one point) not one of star power - and that the problem of depth HAS been addressed by the Lions with the drafting of 3 third round and later CB's? (If the Bears were clearly better than the Lions last year they didn't show it in that first game)
Kevin Seifert (2:33 PM)
On the parenthetical first: You're right, the Lions were the better team in that first game. But when Cutler was hurt, the Bears had just trounced the Lions at Soldier Field and were a game ahead of them in the standings. We'll never know for sure, but they sure looked to be on the way to the playoffs.
So Cutler gets an injury excuse but [Matthew] Stafford was hurt for game 2 in Soldier Field and that doesn't matter? That factors into that game big time. Two pick 6s and a 3 and out that led to a Hester punt return don't happen if Stafford is hurt. Wake up Kevin. Lions are clearly the better team last year and this year
Kevin Seifert (2:39 PM)
Clearly? Unfortunately, we'll never know for sure. But the Bears were playing as well as anyone in the NFL at the time of Cutler's injury. They were playing better than the Lions ended up playing at the end of the year after Stafford's finger healed, too.
I have to take issue with your contention that the Bears are number two in the division. Their line is suspect and you gotta look at Brandon Marshall. He has been with three teams so far. As far as the rest of the receivers, color me unimpressed. Throw in the aging defense and lack of Forte', where does the hype come from?
Kevin Seifert (2:41 PM)
The idea that Cutler is in a better scheme for his skills, mostly. But I understand. There are two sides to every debate. We'll know soon enough.
The Bears were playing better then the lions were at the end of the season? Really?? did you not see the absolute beat down of the Chargers in Detroit? Let me guess, they didn't have a winning record so it doesn't matter? The Bears did not play one complete game even close to that performance the Lions had that day!
Kevin Seifert (2:43 PM)
How about the Lions losing to the Packers' B team in Week 17? We could go round and round all day.