Bears vs. Lions preview

Chicago (4-1) is in first place in the NFC North and can create even more breathing room with a win over Detroit (2-3) on Monday Night Football.

Sitting atop the NFC North, the Chicago Bears appear anything but satisfied with plenty of football still to come.

Having pulled out a much-needed win last weekend, the last-place Detroit Lions are hoping to take another step in the right direction Monday night.

Looking to pick up where they left off before their bye, the Bears try to continue their recent domination of the Lions as these division rivals square off in what could be another intense showdown at Soldier Field.

Chicago (4-1) has had its way with Detroit (2-3) of late, taking seven of eight in the series - including a 37-13 home win Nov. 13. The teams got into a sideline-clearing fight in that game after Matthew Stafford ripped off D.J. Moore's helmet during Tim Jennings' interception return.

"There's always going to be bad blood," Jennings told the team's official website. "Just the fact that we're Chicago and they're Detroit, and they're in our division and we know we have to go through one another to get to that championship that we need to get to, there's always going to be bad blood with them."

The Lions figure to have trouble ending their woes in this series if the Bears' recent efforts are any indication. Chicago outscored Jacksonville 38-0 in the second half of a 41-3 road win Oct. 7, extending its winning streak to three behind another superb defensive display.

Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs became the first teammates to each return interceptions for touchdowns in consecutive weeks, giving the Bears a league-high 13 picks on the season.

"I just know that we need to keep it going. Guys realize ... taking the ball away is a part of a good defensive game for us," said coach Lovie Smith, whose team is allowing an NFL-low 14.2 points per contest. "We can't wait for them to turn the ball over. We have to go and get it. I think the last couple weeks or so, I think defensively we have scored about as many as the defense has given up. I think it's just a mindset. We have guys that have been around here a long time."

The Bears, who moved into sole possession of first place with Minnesota's 38-26 loss at Washington, sit one-half game ahead of the Vikings and two in front of the Lions.

"Our division took a step up," Smith said. "But as I told the team ... none of that really matters for us. We like the position we're in. Any week you have to be ready to go to play your best football. That's what I saw from (last) weekend. Teams that played 60 minutes or more end up winning the football game.

"Detroit, this week ... I'm sure they've been waiting for this game for a long time."

Coming off their bye, the Lions - trailing by 10 with just over five minutes remaining in regulation - appeared headed for a fourth consecutive loss before clawing their way back to win 26-23 in overtime at Philadelphia last Sunday. Jason Hanson connected on the game-winning field goal in OT, his fourth of the afternoon.

The Lions overcame 16 penalties, becoming the first team to win with that many since Cincinnati's 17 in a 37-8 win over Minnesota on Sept. 18, 2005.

"I think it was a big step for us as a team, playing team football today and it was a lot of spirit and guys picking each other up," coach Jim Schwartz told the team's official website. "I think that's a good sign of things to come for this team."

Stafford threw for 311 yards with a touchdown and an interception while safety Louis Delmas - making his season debut following knee surgery - had one of the Lions' two picks.

Detroit didn't pick off a pass in its first four games.

"Turnover ratio is well-documented as being part of success," Schwartz said. "But I think we need to worry about executing schemes, making plays, those kind of things. And when you do, you'll take care of the football and also you'll have a chance to get the football."

While Detroit is allowing 3.7 yards per carry - 10th in the league - it could have its hands full with Matt Forte. The Pro Bowl back has given the Lions fits over the last eight games in this series, compiling 975 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns.

Jay Cutler, meanwhile, has thrown 10 touchdowns and one interception while posting a 105.4 rating in his six games against the Lions in a Bears uniform.

Chicago, 8-2 on Monday night under Smith, has outscored Detroit by an average of 14.3 points during a four-game home winning streak.


Bear Report: The only publication exclusively dedicated to your Chicago Bears.

BearReport.com Recommended Stories


  • Peyton Manning emerged alone atop yet another category in the NFL record book tonight vs the Niners, as he tossed touchdown #509 under the national spotlight of Sunday Night Football (NBC). (Photo…

  • Former USC and NFL running back LenDale White added tons of drama to what was a relatively quiet Homecoming weekend for the Trojans.

  • Here’s a way to watch football and improve your golf swing at the same time. In your living room (or on the range), practice the one-minute golf swing, as shown in this video. Set the timer on your…

  • Dr. Roto, like many others, can't believe Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (pictured above) passed for over 300 yards and rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. First time that's ever happened…

  • As soon as those winds fall off, get into the stand! I always tell people you can't kill them if you aren't out, but if you want to try and pick an opportune time – this is it.