When the Bears take on the Lions at Soldier Field on Sunday, keep an eye on these key matchups.
Golladay has emerged as one of the league's top deep threats. The Chicago native has a big frame, excellent hands and the ability to pick up speed on deep routes. Over the last four games, Golladay has nine receptions of 20 yards or longer, including a 59-yard touchdown against the Oakland Raiders last week.
The Bears' coaching staff is aware of how dangerous Golladay could be when he returns to his hometown on Sunday.
"He's a competitive, competitive guy," said defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano. "He's playing with a ton of confidence. He's big, long; he's physical. You try to get up and press him, and he's good at the line of scrimmage, he can separate, he's always open. It doesn't matter if he has guys draped all over him. The catch he made against Oakland in the end zone, I mean, it's just phenomenal the things he does."
Jackson has said for weeks that the Bears need to find a way to create turnovers. Jackson himself, a ball hawk during his first two seasons in Chicago, has had a quiet first half of the season. With the Lions' disposition to throw deep and in the middle of the field, the All-Pro may have a chance to make his most significant impact on the season to date.
With Golladay's significant size advantage, Jackson will need to find a way to play the ball when Golladay charges into his territory.
Bears receiver Allen Robinson II vs. Lions cornerback Darius Slay
Robinson has been essential to the Bears offense. His two most quiet games, against the Denver Broncos in Week 2 and the Philadelphia Eagles last week, have been the Bears' most anemic offensive performances, with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky passing for 120 and 125 yards, respectively.
If the pattern holds, the Lions will keep Slay, a Pro Bowler in each of the past two seasons, on Robinson as much as possible. Opposing teams have keyed into Trubisky's reliance on the veteran receiver.
"First of all, he's really talented," said coach Matt Nagy, speaking of Slay. "Really talented. He's got good ball skills. He's experienced. And I just think when you have a corner or a DB that can play man coverage like he can -- he's sticky, you know? And he presents challenges in a lot of ways."
The chances are good that Slay will play with a chip on his shoulder. He's expressed frustration about his team's defensive play in the first half of the season. Slay only has one interception this season after collecting 11 total in 2017 and 2018.
Bears defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris vs. Lions tackle Taylor Decker
Injuries, first Bilal Nichols, then Akiem Hicks, have pushed Robertson-Harris into a more prominent role this season than in either of his first two professional seasons. At 6-5, 292 pounds, Robertson-Harris has the ideal size to replace some of the line-of-scrimmage menace that the Bears lost when Hicks when down in London with an elbow injury.
After starting the year strong, collecting 2.5 sacks in the first four games, Robertson-Harris has been relatively quiet during the Bears’ four-game losing streak.
This week, Robertson-Harris will face off against Decker, a former first-round pick who has anchored the line in Detroit in each of his first four seasons. Decker, standing 6-7, 318 pounds, is massive, even by left tackle standards.
Matthew Stafford is nursing injuries and has been sacked 15 times in the last five games, which speaks to potential weakness in the offensive line and a preference for late developing plays. If Jackson somewhat mitigates the deep throw, Robertson-Harris can take it away entirely by creating pressure from someone other than Khalil Mack.
The Bears fought the cold weather outside of Halas Hall for practice as they prepare for the Detroit Lions.