Bears 13

(2-3, 0-2 away)

Lions 24

(5-0, 2-0 home)

Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

8:30 PM ET, October 10, 2011

Ford Field, Detroit, MI 

1 2 3 4 T
CHI 0 10 0 313
DET 0 7 14 324

Top Performers

Passing: J. Cutler (CHI) - 249 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: J. Best (DET) - 12 CAR, 163 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: C. Johnson (DET) - 5 REC, 130 YDS, 1 TD

Bears-Lions Preview


In the latter stages of yet another losing season, the Detroit Lions suffered a close defeat at home to the Chicago Bears.

The Lions haven't lost since that game -- despite trailing by 20 or more points in each of the past two weeks -- and will try to add to their spectacular turnaround as the Bears visit Ford Field again Monday night.

Detroit was 2-9 and had dropped 46 of its previous 51 games when it welcomed Chicago on Dec. 5. The Lions led by three entering the fourth quarter of that game, but the Bears rallied to win on a touchdown pass by Jay Cutler.

Detroit bounced back from that 24-20 defeat by topping eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay to start its current eight-game win streak, the NFL's longest active run. The Lions (4-0) are also enjoying their best start since 1956 thanks in large part to a pair of incredible comebacks.

Detroit was behind 20-0 at halftime in Minnesota on Sept. 25 before pulling out a 26-23 overtime win and trailed 27-3 in Dallas early in the third quarter of last week's 34-30 victory.

Bobby Carpenter and Chris Houston returned interceptions for touchdowns to help their team match the largest comeback on the road in league history. Calvin Johnson tied another NFL mark by catching two TD passes for the fourth straight game, and Jason Hanson added a 51-yard field goal as the Lions became the first team to rally from 20-plus point deficits in two consecutive victories.

"We played good in the second half to come back and steal it. We have to play better in the first half; we know that. We have to come out and improve next week," quarterback Matthew Stafford said.

The Lions get a chance to showcase that improvement during their first Monday night game in a decade and will try to improve to 5-0 for the first time since winning their first six games in 1956, the year before the franchise's most recent NFL championship. They're also seeking their first nine-game win streak since Nov. 7, 1953-Oct. 16, 1954.

They are facing a Bears team that snapped a two-game skid while not playing its best during a 34-29 home win over Carolina.

Chicago (2-2) gave up 543 yards to the Panthers -- the most since yielding a franchise-worst 583 in a win over the Los Angeles Rams in 1982 -- and might not have prevailed without D.J. Moore's interception return for a touchdown and Devin Hester's NFL-record 11th punt return for a score.

"We definitely have to play defense way better if we expect to win in Detroit because they're playing unbelievable right now," cornerback Charles Tillman told the team's website. "They're on fire. They're 4-0, and in order for us to win against a team like that, we definitely have to bring our 'A' game in all three phases."

Matt Forte, though, joined Walter Payton and Gale Sayers as the franchise's only players to top 200 rushing yards in a game, finishing with 205 and a touchdown on 25 carries. The Bears' 224 yards on the ground -- their most in a game since 1988 -- may have signaled their problems with relying too much on the pass are behind them.

Chicago rushed the ball 31 times, and Cutler attempted only 17 passes in the victory. The Bears threw the ball 82 times and ran the ball 24 times in their back-to-back defeats.

"We knew as an offense that we can run the ball and we just had to establish that first and then continue to do it the rest of the game," Forte said.

Chicago has averaged 31.8 passing plays and 28.7 running plays during its six-game win streak over Detroit, and has topped 100 yards on the ground in each of the last five matchups.

Forte, though, was held to less than 65 rushing yards in both games last year but had a career-best 151 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a 19-14 season-opening win over the Lions on Sept. 12, 2010. Cutler also threw for 372 yards, his most since joining the Bears before the 2009 season.

That game, however, was remembered more for a controversial incompletion. Johnson appeared to score the winning touchdown for Detroit with 24 seconds left, but officials ruled he didn't maintain possession of the ball after landing in the end zone.

The Lions also lost Stafford to an injured right shoulder in the first half of that loss, and the former No. 1 draft pick played only two other games in 2010. He missed the rematch at Ford Field in December.


Passing Leaders

J. Cutler64.436592111
J. Clausen57.518401
M. Stafford67.242623213
D. Orlovsky55.020111

Rushing Leaders

M. Forte2188984.14
J. Langford1485373.66
A. Abdullah1435974.22
J. Bell903113.54

Receiving Leaders

A. Jeffery5480714.94
M. Wilson2846416.61
C. Johnson88121413.89
G. Tate908139.06

Team Averages & NFL Ranks

Total YardsCHI
Yards PassingCHI
Yards RushingCHI
Yards AllowedCHI
Pass Yds AllowedCHI
Rush Yds AllowedCHI

Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)

Chicago leads 15-7
Dec 5, 2010CHI 24, @DET 20
Sep 12, 2010CHI 19, DET 14
Jan 3, 2010CHI 37, @DET 23
Oct 4, 2009CHI 48, DET 24
Nov 2, 2008CHI 27, DET 23
Oct 5, 2008CHI 34, @DET 7
Oct 28, 2007CHI 7, DET 16
Sep 30, 2007CHI 27, @DET 37
Dec 24, 2006CHI 26, @DET 21
Sep 17, 2006CHI 34, DET 7
Oct 30, 2005CHI 19, @DET 13
Sep 18, 2005CHI 38, DET 6
Dec 26, 2004CHI 13, @DET 19
Sep 12, 2004CHI 16, DET 20
Nov 9, 2003CHI 10, @DET 12
Oct 26, 2003CHI 24, DET 16
Nov 24, 2002CHI 20, DET 17
Oct 20, 2002CHI 20, @DET 23
Dec 30, 2001CHI 24, @DET 0
Dec 2, 2001CHI 13, DET 10

Research Notes

Since the Lions last played on Monday Night Football in Week 4 of the 2001 season, the Packers and Eagles have each appeared a whopping 22 times! The next most frequent MNF participants since are the Patriots and Broncos with 17 games apiece.

ESPN Stats & Information