The NFC North-leading Chicago Bears come off their bye week to take on the last place Detroit Lions.
Chicago is first in the division, even though Minnesota has one more win than them, due to having one less loss. The Bears can remain in first place with a win, while Detroit can win consecutive games for the first time this season with a win of their own.
The Lions are currently sitting at 2-3, which puts them in last in the tough NFC North.
They ended their three-game losing streak last week with a win over the Eagles, which came in overtime. It came after their bye week and was their first win since the season opener against St. Louis.
Last week’s win over the Eagles helped prevent Detroit’s season from falling apart, as a record of 1-4 would have put them three back in the division. Four games back is still a possibility after tonight’s game though, so the Lions need this victory.
The win over the Eagles gives the Lions some momentum coming into this week, which was lacking during Weeks 2-4 when they dropped three games in a row. They were down 23-13 with 5:18 remaining in the Eagles game, and Matt Stafford led them on a quick touchdown drive to make it 23-20. They added on a field goal at the end of regulation and won in overtime with another field goal by Jason Hanson, who was a perfect 4/4 on the day.
Interceptions have not been a problem for Stafford this season, as he only has five, with three coming in the Week 1 win over the Rams. The issue has simply been getting the ball in the endzone. Stafford has only thrown four touchdowns on the season, while Mikel Leshoure and Kevin Smith have only combined for two. Calvin Johnson has only caught one, which is a direct effect of Stafford’s decreased production.
Scoring touchdowns is, of course, essential for winning, and the Lions simply have not been able to be consistent scorers all year.
Ever since their Week 2 loss on Thursday Night Football against Green Bay, the Bears have been playing like one of the best teams in the league.
Chicago has won three games in a row, and they are rested coming off a bye last week. They have outscored their last three opponents, Rams, Cowboys and Jaguars, by a combined score of 98-27, which included a 41-3 destruction of the Jaguars.
The scores in these past three games show how great the Bears are on both sides of the football this season. The defense has the top-ranked run defense in the league, as they allow just 65.8 yards a game. Their pass offense is also in the top half of the league, which makes them tough to gameplan against.
The offense has been equally effective, as the production is coming from multiple sources.
Jay Cutler has meshed with Brandon Marshall this season, as Marshall has caught 35 of Cutler’s 90 completed passes, which is 21 more than Alshon Jeffery, who is the next closest with 14. At the same time, Michael Bush and Matt Forte each have 58 carries on the season, for a combined 476 yards and four touchdowns.
The Lions did end their losing streak with a win over the Eagles last week, but the Bears will be strong coming off of their bye week.
This game will be won by Chicago.
Bears 31 | Lions 23
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
- Lions-Bears Date: Monday, October 22
- Lions-Bears Kickoff Time: 8:30 PM
- Lions-Bears TV Network: ESPN
- Lions-Bears Point Spread: Bears -6
- Lions-Bears Over-Under Odds: 47.5