Nate Burleson: Lions will be better

Detroit Lions receiver Nate Burleson tried his best Tuesday to be as diplomatic as possible about facing the Chicago Bears on Sunday, but Burleson had to be masking some optimism after posting his best game of the season last year against the Bears.

While playing for the Seattle Seahawks, Burleson had season-highs with nine catches for 109 yards, but the Bears pulled out a 25-19 victory after two Olindo Mare missed field goals.

Burleson said he's "100 percent sure" that the Lions will improve on their 2-14 record from last season, and he believes a 3-1 preseason record shouldn't be discounted.

"Everybody talks about how preseason is not that big of a deal, but for us to win three games is a huge deal for us," Burleson told "The Afternoon Saloon" on ESPN 1000. "There's definitely a buzz, not just in the organization. The city is buzzing.

"I can honestly say we're going to be better than we were, that's 100 percent sure."

It may not exactly be going out on a limb to predict more than two wins, but considering the Bears went 0-4 in the preseason and have major question marks, especially on the offensive line, Burleson's optimism may not go in vain.

The Bears have maintained they didn't show anything with their defensive sets during the preseason, but Burleson -- a former Minnesota Vikings receiver -- said the Lions will be prepared.

"From what I saw on film, they've shown the familiar Bears defense," he said. "We know they didn't show us everything. And we're pretty sure they may have seen a few things in the preseason that could have worked on us a few plays, and implemented that into their defensive strategy, but we're going to be prepared for that.

"We know consistently what the Bears like to do on the defensive side of the football, and we're going to game plan for that. And everything else they do is going to be coach vs. coach, and us being able to adjust at halftime."

Burleson went on to praise the Bears' defense as one of the better units when healthy.