There is no question that the game between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions will be a game that features two dynamic offenses. It is very possible that the team that wins this game on Sunday will be the last team that has the ball on offense.
The difference in this game between the Bears and Lions will likely be on special teams.
Whatever special teams unit is able to get their team’s offense better field position will likely give their team the advantage in the game.
Through three weeks of the regular season, the Lions’ special teams unit has a DVOA percentage of -9.8%. The only teams worse than the Lions are the New York Giants (-13.2), and Houston Texans (-13.8). By comparison, the Bears are ranked within the top 10 with a special teams DVOA percentage of 3.0%.
One of the reasons why the Lions special teams unit has such a low percentage is because of kicker David Akers. Of his 6 field goal attempts this season, Akers has made 4 of them. That gives the Lions’ kicker a field goal percentage of 66.7%.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears special teams unit has not missed a beat after losing coordinator Dave Toub in the off-season. Devin Hester has proven this season that he is still capable of impacting games, while kicker Robbie Gould is off to a stellar start to the season.
Gould has made all four of his field goal attempts this season including his career-long 58-yard attempt. In addition, of his 18 kickoffs, 12 have gone for a touchback. Opposing returners are averaging 33 yards per kickoff return against the Bears’ special teams unit this season. That is where the concern comes in as 33-yards per kickoff return is the second-highest mark in the NFL. Second only to the Minnesota Vikings who opposing returners are averaging 41.3 yards per kickoff return.
In any event, look for special teams to play a role in Sunday’s game between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.