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O'HARA'S WEEK 10 CHECKLIST: Lions at Bears

The NFL is a copy-cat league, and it isn't only offensive innovations and trick plays that coaching staffs look at and try to make their own.

Chicago Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara saw the 10 sacks the Minnesota Vikings got in last week's victory over the Detroit Lions, and he expects the Bears' pass rushers to try to do the same in Sunday's game against the Lions at Soldier Field.

Amukamara was generally complimentary about Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and his receivers when he spoke to reporters at the Bears' facility.

Not so when asked why the Lions' offense has been inconsistent. Amukamara referred to the Vikings' sackfest, and the overall impact the Vikings' defense had on the Lions.

"Last week, with the pressure that the Vikings put on them ... 10 sacks," Amukamara said. "I know our guys here are licking their chops and watching that film. I would say pressure, and their defensive backs (meaning the opponents) have really been sticky in coverage with them."

It's the nature of the offensive line that as a unit it toils in anonymity until something goes wrong. And when it goes as wrong as it did last week, that performance is going to be a reference point for the rest of the season, with replays of Stafford getting sacks or scrambling away from pressure.

The only way to change it is to play better, and the Lions have to do that starting Sunday. Otherwise, it's going to be another week of chaos for the offense – and more scrutiny for the offensive line.

For perspective, the 10 sacks allowed were an aberration for the Lions. And it would be the same if the Bears come close to matching that total, despite how well their defense has played in the first eight games.

The Lions allowed only 13 sacks in the first seven games, with a high of three in three games.

The Bears have 24 sacks, tied with the Lions and Cardinals for third most among teams that have played eight games.

The Bears have gotten their sacks in bunches, with a season-high of six against the Seahawks and four in three other games.

Series record: The Lions have a three-game winning streak and are 9-1 vs. the Bears in the last 10 games. Overall, the Bears have a 97-74 lead with five ties in a series that began in 1930.

Speaking up: The Lions' offensive line has gotten heavy criticism for last week's performance, one that starting center Graham Glasgow called "embarrassing."

Head coach Matt Patricia came to its defense this week.

"I like this line a lot," Patricia said. "If you look at the overall picture of what we're talking about, this group has been one of the groups of our team that has gotten much better in the course of a year. Look ... no one likes a game like we had on Sunday. There's a lot of contributing factors to something like that."

Bears' O, rising QB: Mitchell Trubisky is a long way from being the finished product, but he is growing into the role of franchise quarterback.

Trubisky has started 20 straight games since taking over in Game 5 last year, and his improvement is obvious in his stats and the little things that don't appear in the box score.

The stats are obvious: Seven TD passes and seven interceptions in 12 games last year; 16 TD passes and seven interceptions in eight games this year.

It isn't just what he does with his arm and legs that show his increased comfort level and football maturity. He's surer of himself in running the huddle, which makes for an overall smoother offensive operation.

"I feel like I have more command of the offense, command of the huddle," Trubisky said this week. "I feel like I'm a good leader for this offense. There are still some areas that I have to improve in my game.

"Seeing things post-snap, it's all starting to slow down."

Offensive left tackle Charles Leno Jr. sees how Trubisky's maturity has helped the entire unit.

"From game one to now, he's gotten better, taking on that leadership role – keep pushing the guys," Leno said. "It makes everybody's role smoother. We can get the calls faster. We don't have to worry about the clock running down."

Prediction: The Lions have beaten the Bears three straight and are 9-1 in the last 10 games. The Lions were not dominant in either win last year – 27-24 at Soldier Field, and 20-10 in Week 15. Trubisky is better now. So is the rest of Chicago's team. At this stage of the season, the same can't be said about the Lions.

Bears 23, Lions 20.

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