July 12, 2024

ALLEN PARK — Throughout this season, the Detroit Lions have grappled consistently with the challenge posed by mobile quarterbacks or those adept at eluding pressure in the pocket. Contending with the likes of Patrick Mahomes from Kansas City, Geno Smith from Seattle, Lamar Jackson from Baltimore, and most recently, Justin Herbert from the Los Angeles Chargers, the Lions’ defensive unit has struggled to apply effective pressure, securing just one sack in these matchups.

The upcoming game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on Sunday presents an opportunity for the Lions to reverse this trend. Justin Fields, who missed the last four games due to a dislocated thumb, returns to action to face the Lions, a team that has been a source of frustration for him in the past two seasons.

Over the last two seasons, the Bears have a 1-2 record in games where Fields was the starting quarterback, clinching their lone victory during Week 4 of his rookie season. Despite losing both games against the Lions last season, Fields left a significant impact on the defensive side, accumulating 23 carries for 279 yards and two touchdowns, boasting an impressive average of 12.1 yards per carry. Fields concluded the previous season with a total of 1,143 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.

Lions cornerback Jerry Jacobs acknowledges Fields’ versatility, emphasizing his ability to excel both in the pocket and on the run. Jacobs stresses the importance of containing Fields, following the game plan set by defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and executing it effectively.

Recognizing the challenge posed by Fields, Lions safety Tracy Walker III underscores the need for tight coverage and emphasizes the importance of the front seven in containing the quarterback while maintaining gap integrity. The prevailing sentiment in the locker room is that each player must execute their responsibilities to counter Fields effectively.

While Jacobs and Walker are closely monitoring Fields, they also recognize other threats in the Bears’ arsenal. Walker points to the trio of wide receivers, including Darnell Mooney, DJ Moore, and Cole Kmet, as well as running back D’Onta Foreman, highlighting the Bears’ multifaceted offensive approach.

Walker stresses that the Bears’ offense is not solely dependent on one player, making it challenging for the Lions to focus solely on Fields. Despite the Bears’ 3-7 record, Walker emphasizes the need to approach the game with respect, viewing it as an opportunity to play as a hungry team striving for success, aiming to defeat the division leaders.

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