In Week 7, the Chicago Bears (4-1) will meet the Detroit Lions (2-3) for the 165th time in their history with the Bears holding a 94-65-5 advantage. The Bears are 53-24-4 and have won six of the last seven games at Soldier Field against the Lions. This will be the first time that these two teams meet on Monday night at Soldier Field.
This rivalry has turned ugly over the past few years, with on-field fights and lots of penalties (26 for 198 yards last year when the teams met on Monday night). You can expect much of the same this week. The Lions are known for playing dirty and the Bears could fall into their style of play again if they aren’t careful.
The Lions have underachieved all season long, losing three games by eight points or less and needing a fourth quarter comeback in both of their wins. The Bears defense has been playing out of its mind recently, scoring five touchdowns in their last three games and ranking in the top five in the league in sacks (18, 5th), opponents yards per game (291.2, 3rd), opponents points per game (14.2, 1st), and interceptions (13, 1st). Let’s see how the numbers shape up for this primetime slugfest.
5-1: The Bears record against the Lions with Jim Schwartz as their head coach. Also, the Bears record in the game following a bye week since 2006.
7: Number of times that one team swept the season series between the Bears-Lions since Lovie Smith began coaching in 2004. Bears swept the Lions five times (’05, ’06, ’08, ’09, ‘10). Lions swept the Bears two times (’04, ‘07). Series split in 2011.
1: Number of times that the Lions have picked off Jay Cutler in seven career games (182 pass attempts). Also, number of touchdowns by Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson at Soldier Field in five career games.
7, 3: Number of sacks and forced fumbles on Cutler by Lions defensive end Cliff Avril in six career games.
10, 5: Number of sacks and forced fumbles by Julius Peppers in 10 career games against the Lions.
6: Interceptions thrown by Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford against the Bears in four career games.
12-1: Bears record when Forte rushes for 100+ yards in a game (only loss was to Detroit last season).
7: Receiving (2), kick return (3) and punt return (2) touchdowns by Devin Hester in 10 Monday Night Football games.
5.0: Matt Forte’s average yards per carry against the Lions in eight career games (135 attempts, 678 rushing yards).
4: Plays of 40+ yards from scrimmage by Forte against the Lions.
8: Touchdowns of 60+ yards scored against the Lions this season.
115: Passing yards needed by Cutler (10,468) to pass Erik Kramer (10,582) for fourth place all-time in Bears franchise history.
0: Points scored by Bears opponents on their first drive of the first and second half this season.
14.2: Bears average points per game allowed this season, first in the NFL.
14.7: Lions average points per game scored at Soldier Field since 2005.
118.4: Cutler’s fourth quarter QB rating this season, which ranks first in the NFL.
4: Touchdowns scored in the second half by the Bears defense this season.
12: Total touchdowns scored in the second half by the Bears this season.
3: Touchdowns scored in the second half by Bears opponents this season.
65: Second half/overtime points scored by the Lions in three road games this season.
Primetime games for the Bears are always interesting. Cutler is going to have to keep his eye on Avril and Stafford is going to have to watch out for Peppers. Hester has been known to shine on Monday night, so we will have to see if the Lions even give him a chance at a return. It is going to come down to whose defense can stop the other team’s offense late in the game. No lead will be safe come Monday night. Who knows, with the way things have been going for the Bears, we may even see the game end on a Charles Tillman or Lance Briggs pick-six in OT, Mike Brown style.