Sunday, November 10, 2013
Three halftime thoughts from Lions-Bears
By Michael Rothstein
Some thoughts from the first half of the Detroit Lions-Chicago Bears game, which is 7-7 at halftime.
Rough day for Slay: Darius Slay talked a decent amount this week about his improvement and that things were slowing down for him when he was on the field. Thus far, that has not helped him against the Bears. Jay Cutler picked on Slay throughout the first half when the Lions were in nickel, consistently going at him when he was matched up on Alshon Jeffery or Brandon Marshall on the outside. They especially went at Slay on third downs, including two straight third-down conversions late in the second quarter. Detroit might not have thought it would miss the injured Bill Bentley, but the Lions need him today.
More touches for Calvin Johnson: Matthew Stafford tried to get the ball to his top receiver at certain points Sunday, but the Bears did a good job on Johnson, holding him to two catches for 32 yards in the first half, with both of the catches coming in the first quarter. Chicago’s focus on Johnson left tight end Brandon Pettigrew wide open somewhat often, and he had four catches for 64 yards in the first half.
Big plays by Levy: DeAndre Levy made the play of the first half for Detroit, intercepting a Cutler pass in the end zone, his fifth interception of the season. The play, though, was really made by defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who tipped the pass just beyond the line of scrimmage, allowing for Levy to make the grab. Levy had four tackles in the first half, also reading Chicago’s short passing game pretty well.