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Week 13 Game Preview: Bears-Lions

Is this the week the Bears get it together and get off the schneid?

NFL: Houston Texans at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The only thing you can say about this game is that it’s the Bears’ best chance for a win in a month.

Bears fans are an angry bunch these days, what with the team continuing to lose, the very good possibility of yet another franchise reboot with a new coach and general manager, and the still unending search for a franchise quarterback.

While the Bears have their problems, about the only franchise we can clown on is the Detroit Lions.

But really is there much of a difference between these two teams?

The Lions have their franchise quarterback, sure, but they’ve wasted his career and wasted the career of every transcendent talent they’ve had in the last 60 years. The Bears haven’t had a quarterback, but also have wasted some careers.

The Bears have been in the playoffs more frequently and have a couple more playoff victories, but really it doesn’t matter much because neither team has won a Super Bowl in the last 35 years.

Detroit Lions

SB Nation site: Pride of Detroit

Record: 4-7, last in the NFC North

Last week: 41-25 loss on Thanksgiving that led to their coach getting fired

Game day, time, TV: Sunday, noon CT, FOX

Bears all-time record against: 102-74-5

Historical meetings: The last time the Bears played the Lions and an interim coach was way back in 2000 in week 17.

Dick Jauron faced off against Gary Moeller, who was the interim coach after Bobby Ross resigned.

The game featured four quarterbacks taking snaps as Stoney Case (12/21, 89 yards, 1 INT) and Charlie Batch (7/15, 81 yards, 1 TD) played for Detroit and Shane Matthews (14/18, 123 yards) and Cade McNown (5/11, 60 yards, 1 TD) played for Chicago.

It was a seesaw game between two bad teams as they traded the lead three times before the game was tied at 20 late. Paul Edinger hit a 54-yard field goal with two seconds left to give the Bears a final game win.

Last meeting: Back in week one the Bears needed a wild 21-point fourth quarter and a dropped D’Andre Swift pass to win a 27-23 game.

The future seemed so bright back then, as Mitchell Trubisky threw three touchdowns to Jimmy Graham, Javon Wims and Anthony Miller.

Injury report: The Lions listed nine players on their Wednesday injury report as either limited or out.

Limited: WR Danny Amendola (hip), DE Austin Bryant (thigh), QB Matt Stafford (thumb), RB D’Andre Swift (concussion)

Did not participate: WR Quintez Cephus (not injury related), WR Kenny Golladay (hip), DL Da’Shawn Hand (groin), LB Christian Jones (knee), CB Jeff Okudah (shoulder)

Detroit Offense:

  • The Lions offense ranks 22nd in points and 21st in yards.
  • Their passing offense ranks 13th, while their rushing offense ranks 27th.
  • Matthew Stafford (63.2 pct. cmp./2,876 yds./18 TD/8 INT) is playing at his usual level.
  • Many of his weapons have been banged up this year, but one who has been consistent is TE T.J. Hockenson (45 rec./530 yds./5 TD), but then there’s WR Marvin Jones (43/503/5), D’Andre Swift (31/275/2), who might return and WR Danny Amendola (28/411/0), who might be back as well.
  • It appears Kenny Golladay (20/338/2) will have to have a big step up in practice availability in order to play.
  • On the ground, if Swift (70 att./331 yds./4 TD) can clear protocol he should be the starter but Adrian Peterson (119/444/4) is still getting carries and Kerryon Johnson (47/175/1) is around.

Detroit Defense:

  • The Lions defense is 31st in points allowed and 29th in yards allowed.
  • Their passing defense ranks 26th and their rushing defense ranks 28th.
  • The cure-all Bears offense comes to town, to make them look like the 2000 Ravens.
  • The unit is led by Jamie Collins (82 tkl/1 sk/3 FF/1 INT), Duron Harmon (44 tkl/2 INT/4 PD), Romeo Okwara (6 sk/7 TFL/14 QB hits), Trey Flowers (2 sk/3 TFL/3 QB hits/2 FF) and Jeff Okudah (1 INT/2 PD/4 TFL).
  • The defense may be a bit of a wild card with the dismissal of Matt Patricia. Could they actually mix up coverages and try and confuse Trubisky?

Key match ups:

  • Mitch Trubisky vs. the Lions secondary. He’s roasted them before and played well against the Lions, but now that Patricia is gone, could this be a new-look Lions defense that actually tries to disguise what it’s doing and try to mix up coverages?
  • Bears OL against the Lions DL is going to go a long way in this one too. The Lions are awful against the run and don’t really have a ton of sacks either, so if the Bears can establish the run (when has that ever happened under Nagy?) and get success early with David Montgomery, then it would go a long way to making this game easier for Chicago.
  • For the defense, I think the DL against the Lions OL could decide this one. The defense laid down a week ago and needs to come out on fire. Matt Stafford is going to be down some weapons, but he may get at least Amendola back and possibly Swift.
  • The Bears’ front seven should be able to dictate the game to Detroit if it wants, but if it doesn’t then Stafford could have time to find whatever receivers are playing and Swift is a good running back who could reel off big runs if the opportunities are there.

Key stats:

  • The Lions defense is allowing opponents 4.4 yards per rushing attempt. The Bears are averaging 3.9 YPC.
  • The Bears have won five straight games in the series, going back to 2017
  • Stafford had his second-worst QB rating of the season in week one against the Bears.
  • Stafford has been sacked nine times over the last two games. The Bears defense has one sack in their last two games.
  • The Lions had a season high in offensive yards against the Bears in week one. Their defense had their second-best game in terms of yards allowed against Chicago in week one

Who takes the battle for last place in the division? Which bad team can beat the other Sunday?