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Bears-Lions matchup of the day: Sunday

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Oct. 09, 2011 @ 6:55 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Monday night's battle between the Bears and Lions.

Bears ORT Frank Omiyale vs. Lions DLE Cliff Avril

The Bears haven't been thrilled with Omiyale's play, but he's expected to make his third consecutive start Monday night vs. the Lions. The first-string right tackle, rookie Gabe Carimi, is expected to miss his third game in a row with a subluxation of his right kneecap.

It's true that the Bears went all the way to the NFC championship game with Omiyale starting at left tackle last season, but he struggles against speed rushers and is jittery at times — his false-start penalties are an issue. There is likely to be a raucous crowd at Ford Field Monday night, and the noise won't be very helpful as Omiyale tries to settle in.

Avril has been credited with only one QB hit this season — a strip-sack against Donovan McNabb in Week Three. He should have plenty of one-on-one opportunities against Omiyale on Monday, though, with the Bears' interior O-linemen focusing on trying to keep DT Ndamukong Suh out of the backfield. Avril has the quickness to come off the edge and get after QB Jay Cutler. Omiyale has long arms, which should help him lock out rushers, but he doesn't always utilize them to the fullest.

Avril, who had 8½ sacks last season, is far from the biggest name or best player on the Lions' D-line, but he could have a big impact Monday night.

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