Chicago Sun-Times

Bears brace for Megatron, aka Calvin Johnson

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I can guarantee this: a Bears coach won't make the same mistake Rob Ryan did last week.

The bold and brash Cowboys defensive coordinator -- brother of New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan -- proclaimed that Calvin Johnson would be the third-best receiver in Dallas.

It's not a ludicrous assertion, since the Cowboys do have Miles Austin and Dez Bryant.

But the quiet Johnson keyed the Lions remarkable comeback Sunday at Cowboys Stadium, scoring a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, in his fourth consecutive game, and catching eight passes for 96 yards.

One of the touchdowns was classic Johnson, as he leaped over two defenders and snatched the high pass out of the air, like an NBA center hauling in a rebound over two 6-footers.

Johnson didn't have much to say about Ryan's comments, but his head coach, Jim Schwartz, couldn't resist a chance to "indulge."

"I am just glad the third best receiver on their team was on our team," Schwartz said.

What will the Bears do to defend Johnson? Who knows, since the Cowboys once fielded 12 players, and Johnson still scored a touchdown.

But Bears cornerback Charles Tillman gushed about Johnson during a press conference on Monday.

"He's probably the top receiver in the league right now, as far as throwing the ball up and letting him go up and get it," Tillman said. "He's the Goliath of receivers right now, as they say. So we as a secondary will definitely have our hands full, of trying to contain him."

Tillman likened Johnson to former Minnesota Vikings receiver Randy Moss -- only stronger.

"He's in his own (league)," Tillman said of Johnson. "To be that strong, that fast, his vertical...it's very impressive. No, he's in a league of his own."

The Bears have fared well against Johnson in the past.

In seven career games, Johnson has 33 catches for 484 yards and three touchdowns, an average of four catches for 69.1 yards per game.

He's topped 100 yards receiving only once against them.

But, then again, Johnson looks like a different player this season.

He's tied for seventh in the NFL with 24 catches. But he leads the league with eight touchdowns, two more than the next closest player.

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26 Comments

The game is gonna be played in Detroit, this gives the Bears a chance since most of the Auto-bots are GM vehicles (except Prime), they can run down to the dealership and look for help.

How Are They Gonna Stop.. Errr.. "Contain".. Calvin Johnson?

Humm.. A Quick Thought... Don't Kill Me For Jumpin' In... I'm Just Kinda Throwin' It Out There For Conversation.. But..

How's 'Bout Someone On The Staff, (Consisting Of At Least 4 Guys That Actually Have Head Coaching/Leadership Ability On Their Resumes) Bring Forth The Request To The Highly Paid Defensive Front Four.. To Maybe? Just For This One Game? Supply The Team With A Small Dose Of Nice, Physical, PASS RUSH?

.. Ya Know.. Just For The Sake'o Change?

Dude I have no clue what you are trying to say, but hey my sense of humor sometimes is a little bent too.

I look for the Bears to play a lot better against Detroit than they did against Carolina, but this could be an interesting game with lots of undercurrents:

The Lions will be favored because:

1) The story is about Calvin Johnson. The Bears have kept him pretty much under control, but I dunno about this year. He seems to have taken another step and looks to be an elite receiver now. You have to believe that CJ is coming out with a chip on his shoulder after costing the Lions a game because he started hotdogging before he finished catching the game winning touchdown.

2) The Lions last hosted a Monday nite game like a generation ago. The whold town is gonna be pumped.

3) Detroit is 4-0 and on a roll. Chicago is 2-2 and has been showing a lot of issues on both sides of the ball.

4) The last time the Bears played in a dome, they really sucked.

It will be a good game because:

5) The Bears O-line is starting to play better.

6) Detroit is vulnerable to the pass, and I think the Bears passing game is going to click in Detroit because:

6a) The Bears have been getting pretty inconsistent play out of their wide receivers but, if Roy Williams has an ounce of professional pride this is the game where he shows up.

6b) You gotta believe Mike Martz has this game circled on his calendar too.

7) The Bears veteran defense has been playing inconsistent, but look for them to show up too. If Martz has this game on his calendar, you don't even have to ask Marinelli. I'm pretty sure the defense is going to be ready to play

8) Stafford might be a bit nervous after last year.

Why would Martz and/ Or Marinelli have this one circled as they have already played them since leaving?

The guy made some incredible catches in traffic. One can only hope that that was his best performance of the season and that the Bears start his decline on Monday.The Bear defense has to be at peak level on Monday, and the Bear offense had better put a bundle of points on the scoreboard. I suppose one could call this a seminal game because 5-0 versus 2-3 is not easy to overcome. Then there are the Packers to consider. I hope Atlanta is ready to roll and can keep their big leads for a change against them. A 3-2 record versus two 4-1 records looks a lot easier to cope with than 5-0's.

The best way for the bears so combat Johnson is for one have Chris Harris back would be a start. Then the front four is going to have to have a great game. Next sometimes the best defense is a good offense.

They shown they can run the ball now they are going to have to do it against a stronger Detroit front 7. Forte is going to be big and WR have to convert 3rd downs.

What's all this guy-love over Johnson? It's a bit embarrassing to see it in a column dedicated to the Chicago Bears.

Fair question I guess. My personal convictions would say you are right and that both Martz and Marienelli are experienced enough in life to know the healthy thing to do is to forgive and move on.

However my knowledge of the sports world would tell me that they have forgiven, but will never forget. For example, do you think last week was just another game for Ron Rivera?

In my opinion the very best solution for limiting Johnson (coolest nickname in the NFL right now in my opinion) is to control the clock and keep him on the sidelines, limiting his touches--a healthy running game does that. I would attack the "strength of the Detroit D-line and run it up the middle, followed by some end arounds to make the big boys run. Get them gassed and on the sidelines and their D-lilne is a notch less than it can be. If Martz tries to be smarter than everyone in football and go pass happy, Cutler will be killed--especially if Suh and Co can pin their ears back and only pass rush.

It is only a dream but some no-huddle and even shotgun would be a nice changeup; make the Detroit defense work and give Cutler a tick more time to see the pressure.

Follow all that up with a healthy D-line rotation to keep it fresh, and try and push Stafford into mistakes. He is injury prone and likely not a fan of getting crunched, so as many knockdowns of him and even Johnson would be a good start.

II always have and always will be a Bears fan but everyone needs to get real, this team just isn't that talented. They have holes everywhere. The Bears history of poor play on Monday night alone would make one reason this one's going in the loss column. Bear's O-line isn't very good against a very good Detroit D-line, Cutler will no doubt be running for his life if he even finishes the game. The Bears WRs just plain suck, except Bennett. Not sure what games everyone is watching. This one might get ugly.

Calvin Johnson is on a record pace right now, if he keeps on pace, 2 touchdown catches a game, he'll end the season with 32! Thats crazy! I don't think he'll hit 32, but I'm thinking he's gonna break Randy Moss's record of 23 touchdown catches. I bet Johnson hits between 25-27? Not bad for a guy in a contract season, wow is Detroit gonna have to pay CJ, especially if he hits the record.

Chicago has played Johnson pretty good in the past, and getting safety Chris Harris back will help. But the difference between CJ of then and now is Matthew Stafford coming on, and tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who like Stafford, is coming into his own. Pettigrew is a stud tight end who is quietly becoming one of the leagues best. In a nutshell, Detroit is loaded with weapons unlike in the past. Both Stafford and Pettigrew are better than they were in the past.

The key this week is getting safety Chris Harris back, Charles Tillman, and free safety Brandon Meriweather not being out of place so much. All three of these guys need to bring their A game, should be interesting GO BEARS!!

My bad, Calvin Johnson isn't a free agent untile 2013 but you get my point Detroit is gonna have to pay the guy especially if he hits the touchdown record. Oh well, GO BEARS!!

Well Johnson is really good, and why he is having such a big TD year is simple. Stafford learned that if he throws the ball up, Johnson will probably come down with it. That's the big change, Stafford took a step forward, Johnson has always been an elite reciever.

The game sets up pretty well for the Bears. The Lions are not all that different from last year except of course for Stafford being healthy. There O-Line is pretty solid in pass protection but still sucks at run blocking Also they have some match up problems with the Bears, Backus looks taylor made for Peppers to have a big game, and Peterman who will line up against Melton should retire, injuries have killed his career he is done. The Detroit line can't run block and Detroit does not look like it can run the ball, there is a reaso nthe Bears are saying they expect the run defense to improve, this is not the Raiders, the Lions can't run. This means the Bears can drop 7 and that is a good thing because Tillman has lost a step in pass coverage and I don't want to think about Jennings trying to cover Johnson.

The Bears O-Line can't pass block, they can't do it they are horrible at it. Plus who is playing RT? And you don't want to make the worst pass blocking team in the NFL go against a D-line that excells at rushing the Passer. However what that D-Line does not do well is Run defend, Suh can be great against the run when he wants but usually he just wants to kill the QB and ignores his gap defense. Vanden Bosch is an animal, an out of control animal another guy that ignores his assignments against the run, maintain contain, not this guy. Williams has never been great against the run, but he is decent, Avril is the one guy will try to do his job and is pretty good at it.

I think if you want to beat Detroit you run at them, Vanden Bosch is vulnerable to reverses and end arounds, two things Martz likes to run. You get the run going and you can beat this team with the pass, but you gotta mix it up none of this one or the other BS that Martz seems to be doing. Soften them up and knock them out, Spivey and Wright can be beat all day, and their LB's are not very good in coverage for the most part. You won't see the same gains you did against the worst run defense in the nfl, but should not have a problem getting 5 yards when you need it.

I don't think the Bears are very good at run blocking, they had bad run defending team that was beaat up with iunjuries at home on a silver platter. But Detroit who is better than them is not good they are way to over aggressive, you can make them pay for that with the run.

On offense they can pass block pretty well, they will use jumbo packages, and they have two TE's who can catch. They can't run so they screen a lot, bears are still good sideline to sideline thanks to Briggs and Urlacher, and they use the check down basically the same way the Bears do with Forte and Best is a pretty good reciver for a back and can be dangerous in space. Bears have been vulnerable to the TE, and Johnson will get a lot of attention, Burleson is decent. Without a doubt they are a better passing offense than Carolina, but Carolina had a better line and much better backs.

Bears need to play smart disaplined football, use the run to set up the pass, and use the run to shut the crowd up. Take them out of the game early. On defense get to the QB and exploit the vulnerable spots on the line like Peterman.

Don't get me wrong Detroit is good(you may remember I mentioned this last year and you all laughed) but they are not that good, they are not the Packers. They can be beat by this Bears team, if the Bears play smart controlled football, Detorit will make mistakes, they lack disapline on defense, and no run game on offense. You can soften this team up with the run, quick drops, and misdirection, then you go for that 7 step knockout punch. I here there new Punter is pretty good, lets see how smart he is.

I would not bet on this game, sure Detroit could blow them out at home and probably does win and it seems like it is setting up for that. But on paper this is very much an any given Monday(get it) game.

Last thought, watch out for the number 3 reciever Titus young, the Lions have 4 legit recieving threats they can put on the field at once, Young is a rookie who will be in the slot, he has great Hands, runs nice routs and has very good body control. He explodes off the line, this kid a Martz style reciever, the kid can cut glass out of his breaks. If he is gonna score it will be on a big play, not in the red. Then again you have Johnson in the Red.

By the way Ford Field does worry me, I hate that surface. Running on concrete is one thing, get getting tackled on it is another.

Well that's all I got on the Lions.

I think the BEARS need to be able to make the LIONS kick FG's to win, as they will be able to drive the ball against the Bear defense,with their offense.But if we play a fieild position game, and make them have to move the ball down the field to score we'll have a chance. This will give the d-line time to apply pressure and force Stafford into some mistakes, he will be either nervous or sky high for the game, he never seems to finish when we play them.

I also think Bowman gets some run this week at corner, the Lions have tall receivers and Lions will try ti isolate Jennings with a tall receiver if possible during the game. Bowman can get himself back into the rotation if he comes in and plays the ball when passes are thrown his way, Stafford will put some up in the air but can the Bears come down with it. Shut down the run and make them one dimensional and we have a chance ,but this is the big stage for them, and I expect Lions to play well, Bears will have to WIN the game the Lions won't lose it!.....Go BEARS

As a Lions fan my apologies to the Bears fans for sneaking up in your thread. I must say that I am very impressed with the objective analysis that has been shown here. You guys are better and more objective than the talking heads on TV.

I can never hate on Chicago teams and usually root for you guys as long as you are not playing Detroit.

It will be a very good game and Chicago like the 4 teams before them will give Detroit everything they've got.

Here is why Detroit is more dangerous this year than last. I agree that they are (talent) wise no better this year than they were last (save Stafford). Last year they were figuring out how to win... This year they have figured it out.

I said all last year had Calvin Johnson not showboated in the endzone with you guys the season would have been totally different and they probably would have gone 10-6.

The reason why Detroit looks vulnerable every game is that every team is bringing them their A-Game and are throwing the kitchen sink at them. They are playing them like they are the Patriots or the Pacs. Each game they have to weather this "kitchen sink" storm, make adjustments, and then come out blasting themselves.

The key is that Detroit is very good at making in-game adjustments. They will become a great team when they figure out that the key is to take it to the other team first and don't let them execute their plan on you.

I wish both teams the best of luck on Monday night. You know who I am rooting for... GO LIONS!!!

I have the most simple analysis for all of you guys:

Monday night....

In Detroit...

Megatron...

Stafford...

Suh....

Last monday night in Detroit (i can't even remember).

I don't care what Chicago brings, the Lions are going to show the entire nation and all the speculators, they are for real.

Calvin Johnson is going to go crazy all over the bears secondary. Mark my words, the Lions will plan to embarass the Bears because this is their chance to give the one finger salute to the NFC North and the NFL. In essence they want everyone to bring it, because they have learned how to win and they will get better every single game. For those that are forgetting...the lions have won 8 straight regular season games now (4 from last year and 4 from this year). The New york giants were not a strong team a few years back but they went on a run...any team in the NFL that gets hot and goes on a run can beat any team. That's why we say "Any given Sunday".

Sebass | October 5, 2011 8:43 AM | Reply

"The New york giants were not a strong team a few years back but they went on a run...any team in the NFL that gets hot and goes on a run can beat any team. That's why we say "Any given Sunday"."

Actually, and I understand that your from Detroit and winning football is new to you, but "any given sunday just means any team can win on Sunday" it has nothing to do with being hot or going on a run, it's a play on "any given time" "any given place" and "you never know" etc... So basically you have the exact wrong idea of what it means. It means a red hot team can be beat at home by a struggling team.

Oh, and it's Seabass, you must be from Detroit if I am correcting your spelling. I also think Seabass is a great name for you a really wonderful character from "Dumb and Dumber" soooo rape any guys in the bathroom recently? How's that working out for you? Was that your favorite part of the movie? Looks like it was.

Sean I don't know if you have been keeping tabs, but the power house Lions have beat the Vikings, yes the Vikings, by three whole points. And last week Tony Romo did a great job for the Lions, leading them to yet another comeback win. It sure was not Stafford.(Sarcasim, and lots of it.

Honestly they are a hard team to guage, so are the Bears. I have no clue who will win all I know is the Lions are not as good as they think they are and the Bears are not as bad as most think they are. It feels a lot like one of those changing of thte guard type games, they young hungry team against the older veteran team. They will try and run the ball about 25 times even if it is not working. I agree Bears need to keep their offense off the field. I hope it is a good game.

Chances are the Bears get handled, this is only the Lions second home game, and they are going to fired up. But I hope that makes them even more over aggressive, and I hope the Bears can weather the storm be patient and wait for a young team that makes a lot of mistakes, to make a lot of mistakes.

Some good news for the Bears, have you seen the schedule? Denver, KC , Seattle, and two against the Vikings. All they Bears have to do is beat the Chargers at home, the Eagles on the Road(which does not look so hard right now), and Tampa Bay in England(so pumped about this game.)And that would get them to 10 wins. Yes it sucks having to rely on beating bad teams to make the playoffs, but look how happy beating bad teams has made Lions fans.

Also nobody is really saying it, cause everyone has debated, weather Forte or Hester one last weeks game. But my hat is actually off to Toub, best special teams coach in the nfl, and every time are defense and offense are struggling, special teams has always stepped in with big plays. That is not coincedence, Hester had his blockers on those two big returns, and no team blocks more kicks that the Bears. They also gave the Bears great field position all day. Without all that great play from all the players on special teams, Bears lose at home to the Panthers. I think Toub has done more for Lovie than any coach he has ever had on his staff, in fact without Toub, Lovie is probably not here anymore.(Thanks Toub, thanks so much)

I wanted to ask you what is up with Louis? Are they going to try him at tackle? It seems his athletic ability would be better suited on the edge, he clearly does not look like a mauler inside. I figure he has never played tackle, is too small for tackle, and guard, and is still a hure upgrade over Omiyale by the simple fact that he is breathing. Also how is Carimi?

Carimi is a few weeks out still I believe, and Louis is suppposed to play even with his broken hand last i heard on Monday Night. With any luck Omiyale is given the wrong gate for the flight to Detroit and then told they are playing in Oakland (seriously--is he paid bonuses for each false start?).

I agree with you on special teams---it is the reason the Bears had success last year, and if Lovie was smart (I know, big "IF" there) he would keep Hester ONLY on returns. Short field for the offense is more than enough of a contribution and we have Knox to stretch the field anyway. And Toub is a genius at his current position and the best in the biz---too bad the other coaches (Tice, Martz & Marinelli) aren't all on performances clause-based contracts and made to have their guys performing as well as special teams. Yes, having Hester makes a big difference, but Knox and Manning both have had success for a reason, and it starts with Toub.

Louis didn't break his hand Spencer did and is slated to start again. Louis is riding the bench but looked better than Omiyale in his brief apperance at tackle, I would have no problem giving him a shot till Carimi returns. Anyone but Omiyale, never thought I would long for the days of Drive Killer Miller. Spencer graded out as the Bears best run blocker, but once again even though the Bears only passed 17 times all the linmen got a negative grade in pass protection according to PFF.

I was hoping Carimi would be back sooner rather than later, Omiyale is so bad and does not belong in the league how he is the Bears primary tackle backup is beyond me.

Note on Forte of his 205 rushing yards only 38 came between the tackles, that's not a knock on Forte but the interior.

I would not have a problem with Lovie as a DC, even though I am not a fan of his style of defense, but you can live with him, I don;t blame Tice for the line, he was not given anything to work with and his stud rookie is injured. Martz is doing more damage to the QB than the line and Martz zs putting the line in bad spots. You have a decent corps with Tice and Toub, Lovie is not a head coach to me, the reason being he really has nothing to do with the offense, but I was proud of him for calling a timeout and stopping a stupid 4th down attempt by the offense. But for the most part he is offensive retarded. That bugs me because Bill Belichick is a defensive guy in his first 11 years with the Pats his defense has been in the top 10 in points allowed 8 Times, top 5 five times and we all know about the offense top 10 nine times number 1 twice. And Bill B has his hands deep in that offense. Lovie just hands out the jobs and lets these guys do wha tthey want. He should have known better than to bring Martz here, everyone else did. He is just not a head coach to me.

I feel bad for Jay I bet he would love to play for a Head coach like John Harbaugh, loook at Alex Smith his passer rating is 97, Alex damn Smith. and he doesn't have half the talent of Cutler. Harbaugh looks like the goods, he has balanced offense and the defense is clicking. An offensive guy and his defense is really good. It's so wierd, its crazy for a Bears fan, yes you can be good in all three phases of the game. This must be a strange fluke around the league, you have to be like the Bears and say you are a defensive oriented team and build everything around that defense, and focus on drafting defensive linmen even though you need offensive linmen. and treat the offense as second class citizens. Toub is lucky Lovie knows that's the goose that lays the golden eggs. Which leads me to this in his eight years as a head coach his vaunted defense has been ranked in the top 10 3 times, and his offense has been in the top 10 zero times. Top 20 1 time and top 25 twice. Just because you are defense oriented does not mean you ignore the offense, it does not help to do that.

I would love to see what Lovie would look like without Toub.

have you even watched a lions game?

The Lions are 4-0 and I do agree with Creighton that the teams they have played do not compare to the Teams the Bears have played thus far. Tampa Bay (big win away) KC has no offense and defense suspect this year, Minnesota no passing game and has problems on defense, Dallas, no running game.

The Bears have had a really tough schedule 3 of 4 weeks.
Atlanta had the best record in the NFL last year and the Bears did dominate that game.
New Orleans is a damn good team, the Bears were in it until 4th quarter and could have won this one. Bears O line was clueless in this one. Cutler did not help himself or the team in this one.
Green Bay sucks and I hate them but they are good and Rodgers, was nearly perfect, Cutler was not.
Carolina is an OK team and the Bears defense did not show up particularly the Safeties and d line. Forte awesome and O line good against a bad Carolina rush defense.

So comparing Detroit against the Bears is this simple, Bears defense will make Stafford struggle, there will be a pass rush and the defense will play better on Monday night football. The O line will struggle against rush of Detroit D line but the Bears could win this one, particularly if Cutler shows up and makes good decisions when passing the ball.

Bears win 27 - 17

Enough of them to know what I'm talking about !

So what do you bring to the party rojo?

Tommy-I AM MEGATRON!!! I CAN NOT BE DEALT WITH!!! If you think you can defeat me, grab some cleats and a mouthpiece.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on October 3, 2011 3:04 PM.

Lovie: Bears working hard to improve 24th-ranked run 'D' was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears taking a look at LB Pisa Tinoisamoa is the next entry in this blog.

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