Bears to pressure Matthew Stafford

  • ESPNChicago.com | December 27, 2012

Chicago Bears safety Major Wright said the Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford is a good quarterback who can make any throw on the field but "kinda folds" when he faces a little pressure.

The Bears will try to get to Stafford on Sunday at Ford Field, as they need to beat Detroit and have the Green Bay Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings to secure a playoff spot.

"You put a little pressure on him, you close the pocket on him, and he hesitates," Wright told Detroit reporters on Wednesday, according to the Detroit News. "He doesn't make that perfect throw."

Stafford was 28-of-46 for 263 yards with a touchdown and interception in a 13-7 loss to the Bears on Oct. 22. He was sacked three times in that loss, and the Bears registered six quarterback hits.

"You've got Matthew Stafford, he's definitely having an OK season," Wright said. "He can make any throw on that field, so you have to be aware of putting pressure on him because you put a little pressure on him, he kinda folds."

The Bears have 40 sacks, ranking seventh in the league. But the Bears started the season 7-1 and then beat the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday because they lead the league in takeaways with 40 and have converted eight into touchdowns.

The Lions have nothing to play for Sunday except a chance to keep one of their rivals out of the playoffs. Calvin Johnson, who already owns the single-season receiving record with 1,892 yards, will try to get to 2,000.

"You don't want to sit back and let him pick you apart because he's a good quarterback, and if he has time he can complete any throw," Wright said of Stafford. "We definitely want to get in his face and kind of bother him."

It might be a stretch to label Wright's words as trash talk, but teammate Henry Melton took care of that earlier Wednesday when he called the Lions a "dirty" team. The defensive tackle suggested Sunday's game could get ugly because of what's at stake for the Bears.

As far as Bears coach Lovie Smith is concerned, he told the Detroit reporters that facing Stafford and the Lions will be a challenge.

"He's a great player," Smith said, according to the News. "We'll have our hands full this week. We were able to make a couple plays the last time, but it's always hard going against Detroit and an offense like that."

ESPNChicago.com's Michael C. Wright contributed to this report.

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