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Week 14 game preview: Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

The Bears face the Lions for the second time in just under a month. Will this one go differently from the first meeting?

NFL: NOV 23 Packers at Lions Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Chicago Bears are coming off their bye week and facing the Detroit Lions.

If that feels very familiar, it is, they played the Lions for the first time just two games before their bye week.

Let’s not talk about how that one ended and instead focus on this week.

Detroit Lions

SB Nation site: Pride of Detroit

Record: 9-3, first in the NFC North

Last week: 33-28 win over the Saints

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

Spread: According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Chicago Bears are 3-point underdogs to the Lions. The total is set at 43.5 points.

Bears all-time record against: 104-78-5

Historical meetings: In week 14 of the 1997 season, the Bears traveled to the Silverdome with a 2-10 record to face the 6-5 Lions.

The Lions came to play that day, while the Dave Wannstedt Bears were less equipped.

The Bears played a good first half, with Raymont Harris scoring, a couple of Jeff Jaegar field goals and a 78-yard Ricky Prohel touchdown giving the Bears a slim 20-17 halftime lead.

But alas, the game was a tale of two halves and the Bears offense did not score again. The Lions, on the other hand, scored 38 points. Barry Sanders rushed for 167 yards and three scores. Johnnie Morton had 120 yards receiving.

The Bears lost four fumbles, one of which was returned by the Lions for their final touchdown, capping off a 55-20 Lions win.

Last meeting: Just three weeks ago, in week 11, the Bears went to Detroit and played a fantastic three quarters.

With 4:15 left in the game, the Bears took a 26-14 lead. The Lions scored quickly and efficiently and took a 29-26 lead with 29 seconds left.

On the first play of the ensuing drive, Justin Fields lost a fumble that got kicked out of the back of the endzone for a safety as the Lions won 31-26.

Injury report: The Lions listed two players on their Wednesday injury report.

Limited

  • LB Malcolm Rodriguez (ankle)

Did not participate

  • C Frank Ragnow (knee/back/toe)

Offense: The Lions offense enters week 14 ranked sixth in points and second in yards.

Detroit’s passing offense ranks fourth and their rushing offense ranks fourth.

Jared Goff (67.7 pct cmp/3,288 yds/20 TD/8 INT) had a couple of rough games but is still playing strong football.

With his supporting cast though, he has a lot of help. Amon-Ra St. Brown (84 rec/1,042 yds./6 TD) is balling out, rookie TE Sam LaPorta (64/679/6) is putting together a tight end rookie season for the ages, while Josh Reynolds (28/450/4) and Kalif Raymond (26/372/1) are also contributing.

Second-year receiver Jameson Williams (13/195/2) scored last week on a jet sweep (1 att/19 yds/1 TD).

Their main rushing attack though flows through David Montgomery (151 att./704 yds/10 TD) and is spelled by rookie Jahmyr Gibbs (117/626/5). Gibbs (42 rec./272/0) is also a receiving threat.

Defense: On defense, the Lions rank 23rd in points and 14th in yards allowed.

Their passing defense ranks 21st, while their rushing defense ranks sixth.

Aiden Hutchinson (5.5 sk/6 TFL/16 QB hits/2 FF/1 INT), LB Alex Anzalone (3 sk/87 tkl/5 PD/9 QB hits) and Jerry Jacobs (3 INT/7 PD/53 tkl) are the leaders at the three different levels of defense.

They are also getting production from Derrick Barnes (61 tkl/1 sk/1 FF), Brian Branch (2 INT/7 PD/58 tkl) and Alim McNeill (5 sk/31 tkl/9 QB hits/6 TFL). McNeill is on injured reserve, though.

New addition Bruce Irvin (1 sk) has played just one game but was added to bolster their pass rush.

Key match-ups: It’s pretty well-known what the Lions are at this point in the season. They’re a very good offense with a flawed defense.

The Bears did well moving the ball against the Bears in their first meeting and DJ Moore had a good day. Get Moore involved again early and often and let Justin Fields run. In the first game that was a difference-maker as Fields had his best game of the year on the ground.

For the defense, also try to pick up where you left off. The defense generated four turnovers. The turnovers have been coming to the Bears and this is a great game for that to continue.

They only sacked Goff twice times in the first game, but had seven QB hits, which went a long way in generating those takeaways.

Key stats

  • After allowing 100-team rushing yards once in their first 9 games, the Lions have allowed over 100-team rushing yards in three straight games, including a season-high 183 yards to the Bears in their first meeting.
  • The Lions defense ranks 30th in redzone defense. Opponents are scoring on 71.8 percent of their redzone trips.
  • The Lions rank first in the league in hurry percentage and rank eighth in pressure percentage.
  • Opposing quarterbacks are averaging 229.3 yards per game against Detroit and have a rating of 92.5 against them.
  • The Bears are the only team with consecutive games of forcing at least four turnovers this season. The Jets, Bills, Broncos and 49ers are the only other teams to force four or more opponent turnovers more than once this year.
  • Justin Fields is 0-5 all-time in December.
  • With wind and rain possibly in the forecast, it is worth noting that both teams are top-5 rush defenses and bottom-10 pass defenses. They are also the third and fourth-best rushing offenses.

Can the Bears capitalize on what they missed out on three weeks ago and finish off a win? What will it take for the Bears to get a win this week?