The 4-0 Lions are arguably the hottest team in the NFL, and they are no doubt becoming the media darling that everyone expected them to be.
Defensively, the Lions are anchored by last year's rookie of the year Ndamukong Suh, who leads an aggressive group of play-makers out to battle.
The Bears are coming into the matchup at 2-2 and need this game to stay relevant in the competitive NFC North topped by the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.
Quarterback Jay Cutler has been pushed around, but he undoubtedly has the skill-set to come into Detroit and light up the scoreboard.
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
When: Monday Oct. 10. 8:30 p.m. EST
Watch: ESPN- Monday Night Football, NFL Redzone
Listen: Sirius XM Radio: 93; AM WBBM NewsRadio 780 Chicago; FM 97.1 The Ticket Detroit
Stream: NFL.com Audio Pass
Betting Line (Bodog.com): Detroit Lions -6
What's At Stake:
It's rather obvious that this is probably one of the biggest games in the history of the Detroit Lions franchise. Coming into it at 4-0 with the opportunity to go 5-0 on national television is going to really have this team pumped up. Ford Field is going to be a madhouse, so if the Bears can't silence the crowd early they are going to be in for a very long night. The NFC North is powerful this year, so every win or loss can make a huge impact.
Chicago Bears Injury Report: Wide receiver Earl Bennett doubtful, Devin Hester (shoulder), Chris Spencer (broken hand).
Detroit Lions Injury Report: Linebacker Justin Durant minor practice participation (concussion), linebacker Stephen Tulloch DNP, offensive tackle Jason Fox DNP (foot), wide receiver Rashied Davis DNP (foot), safety Erik Coleman DNP.
Fantasy Start 'Em, Sit 'Em and Sleeper:
Start: There is no doubt that Calvin Johnson is the No.1 fantasy option in this game. With two touchdowns in every game so far in 2011 he is setting himself apart as the best receiver in the NFL. I expect another huge game out of him.
Sit: Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is often known for his inconsistency, especially under pressure. If there is one thing the Lions defense can do, it's put pressure on the quarterback. Cutler would be a safe sit, especially on Monday night when the pressure is on.
Sleeper: Lions rookie wide receiver Titus Young is a great sleeper pick. When he's on the field he is becoming more and more of a reliable option. I expect him to break off a big one soon enough.
What They're Saying: The Chicago Tribune reports on Bears general manager Jerry Angelo's thoughts on the defense. The Bears got lit up by Cam Newton and the Panthers 29 points and 543 yards, but Angelo attributes it more to the play-making ability of Newton than problems on his defense.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes about Lions rookie draft pick No. 13 overall Nick Fairley and his return to practice since fracturing his foot in training camp. His status for Monday night is still unknown, at least to the public.
Bears Player To Watch:
Keep an eye on defensive end Julius Peppers, who is bound to play a huge role in this game. The Lions have had some trouble protecting the quarterback, so I expect that Peppers will be all over Matthew Stafford trying to force the Lions offense out of rhythm.
Lions Player To Watch:
Lions running back Jahvid Best is going to be an important factor for Detroit. They've really struggled rushing the ball, but if they want to protect Stafford from the Bears pass rush they are going to have to try to keep them honest with the run.
Julius Peppers will most likely be squaring off with Lions tackle Jeff Backus for most of the game. Backus has been taking a ton of heat for his performances in the past few weeks. If Peppers can overpower him he has a great chance to change the complexion of Detroit's offense.
On the Hotseat:
Believe it or not, I think the Lions are on the hot seat. This is their chance to prove that they are indeed a force to be reckoned with. The whole country will be watching, so we will see how they respond to the pressure.
I expect this to be a hard-fought, defensive-minded game. I've picked against Detroit every week so far and they've continued to prove me wrong. I think home field advantage gives them the edge in this one.
Detroit Lions: 28 Chicago Bears: 24
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