Thayer: Bears Must Respect Winless But ‘Extremely Hungry’ Lions

CHICAGO (CBS) — Riding a two-game winning streak, the Bears face the winless Lions in Detroit on Sunday, but Bears radio analyst Tom Thayer said Chicago can’t afford to underestimate an “extremely hungry” division opponent striving for its first victory.

Thayer told WBBM 780’s Josh Liss the Bears must respect the Lions just as they would the Packers, and they can’t afford to worry about what’s going on in Detroit, even after starting quarterback Matthew Stafford was benched last week.

“They’re a divisional opponent, they’re extremely hungry, their backs are up against the wall, and they have a quarterback who I believe that, even though he was pulled last week, should play this week, and I think the fan base and the players and the organization really want to support Matthew Stafford,” he said. “So, there’s a lot of scary elements leading into the game, and it’s about making sure that you’re prepared. Don’t worry about what’s going on in Detroit.”

With starting linebacker Shea McClellin likely out Sunday, the Bears are likely to have Christian Jones calling plays on defense and backup LaRoy Reynolds taking over McClellin’s position. Thayer said Reynolds did a nice job against the Chiefs when McClellin went down and should benefit from having a full week to prepare as a starter.

“Vic Fangio, the defensive coordinator, has always done a tremendous job of investigating the opponent, trying to determine their weaknesses and how to put your defensive players in the best positions,” Thayer said.

So does Thayer think the Bears will win a third straight game to reach a 3-3 record on the season?

“I don’t know if I’ve had expectations of winning the game up until this week, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a scary thing, but I expect the Bears to go into Detroit and have a really successful Sunday afternoon,” he said.

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