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Lions-Bears matchup of the day: Tuesday

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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By Dan Parr

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

Lions WR Calvin Johnson vs. Bears' coverage

Johnson gained 130 yards - the most he's had in a game this season - vs. the Bears in Week Five, and more than half of those yards came on a 73-yard touchdown catch. It was one of his five grabs in that game.

That Monday night win for the Lions had consequences for the safeties that were supposed to be in position to keep Johnson from breaking loose for that long TD. Chris Harris and Brandon Meriweather were demoted in favor of Major Wright and Chris Conte, who will be charged with keeping one of the league's most talented players from making big plays in Week 10.

Chicago mixed in a lot of man coverage against the Eagles' receivers Monday night, and it worked well, but it would be no surprise if they stayed with a zone more often against Johnson, who has a league-high 11 TD receptions. He has a rare combination of size, speed, power and body control, and the Bears will need to have a safety over the top as the last line of defense.

The Bears know what the result will be if they make the same mistake twice and fail to contain him.

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