It seems like a year since these two teams had their first game in Week 1, but weeks have been flying by this football season. After what was the one of the most devastating way to lose a game, the Detroit Lions (2-9) are looking for a homefield victory over the surging Chicago Bears (8-3).
But this is a totally different Bears team. The good Cutler is suddenly outshining the bad Cutler, and their running game is surging. In the past four games, Matt Forte is averaging 4.2 yards per carry, and that might be because of the offense's focus on running the ball early on in the game.
Drew Stanton is coming back after Shaun Hill suffered a finger injury Thanksgiving Day, and leads a yard-gathering offense that ranks 15th in the league. Stanton is their third-string quarterback, and will likely look to Calvin Johnson and the running game.
The Lions' passing offense is sixth in the NFL, but the running game is a miserable 28th, averaging 84.9 yards per game. With the Bears second-ranked rush defense allowing 80.5 yards per game, the Lions are going to have to rely on Calvin Johnson and their defensive line if they are going to win this game.
Ndamukong Suh is leading all rookies with eight sacks, but faces a somewhat different offensive line than what he saw in Week 1. The only addition to the line has been J'Marcus Webb, but the rest have been moved around.
The Bears look like rejuvenated team. The sacks are down. Cutler is beginning to find his way in the Martz system. Te defense is looking just as good, if not better than the 2006 Super Bowl season.
Who will win this game?
The offense isn't putting up huge numbers, but they're playing more effective football. With a defense that only allows 15.6 points a game and ranks fourth in total defense, allowing only 300.2 total yards per game, the Lions 15th-ranked offense that is down to its third-string QB will have its hands full getting points on the scoreboard.
The Bears can't afford to lose to a team like the Lions if they want to make the postseason and keep this momentum.
Even though this game is in Detroit, the Bears have shown they are the real deal.
Bears win 24-10.