Take a quick glance at the tale of the tape for Monday night’s showdown between the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears.
The Lions are coming off a 26-23 overtime triumph in Philadelphia. Detroit scored 10 points in the final 3:32 of regulation and Jason Hanson kicked his fourth field goal of the game from 45 yards out to complete the comeback. Quarterback Matthew Stafford is seeking his third consecutive game with 300 yards passing after racking up 311 yards in the air last week. Joique Bell is second among NFC running backs with 178 yards receiving.
Quarterback Jay Cutler is 5-1 as a Bears starter against the Lions and has a career 105.0 passer rating against them in seven starts overall - his best passer rating against any opponent with a minimum of four starts. Offensive coordinator Mike Tice has gone on the record saying the team plans to pick up the tempo, with its own version of a no-huddle offense this week against Detroit. Chicago has outscored its opponents 98-27 over its last three contests.
Lions S Louis Delmas and CB Chris Houston each had an interception in last week's victory - Detroit’s first two picks of the season. The Lions are allowing 3.7 yards per carry - 10th in the league – and may have their hands full with Matt Forte. The Pro Bowl back has ran all over the Lions in his last eight games in the series, compiling 975 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns.
The Bears are the first team in NFL history to return an interception for a touchdown five times in their first five games. CB Charles Tillman and LB Lance Briggs have both brought back an interception for a score in each of Chicago's last two contests. The Bears have returned an interception for a score in a franchise-high three consecutive contests and DE Julius Peppers has registered 10 sacks in his last eight meetings with the Lions.
Detroit K Jason Hanson was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after nailing all four of his field goals, including the game-winner, in last Sunday's victory over Philadelphia. The 42-year-old has made 16 of 17 field goals, including his last 12 attempts this year. The Lions have struggled to cover the opposition on special teams this season. Opponents are averaging 19.6 yards per punt return and 30.3 per kickoff returns.
The Bears have listed their top special teams tackler, CB Sherrick McManis, as questionable for Monday night due to a hip strain he suffered in the team's Week 5 win over the Jaguars. Return man Devin Hester (quad) and LB Blake Costanzo (thumb) are listed as probable on the official injury report, which is great news for Chicago.
Word on the street
"I think teams are doing everything they can to take him away. Anytime we get inside about the 10-yard line, they’re ... rolling guys over the top -- whatever they’re doing to try and keep him out of the end zone. We just have to do a better job of finding other guys and other guys making plays, and me putting it on other guys to get sevens.” – Lions QB Matthew Stafford on how opposing defenses are attempting to contain WR Calvin Johnson and how he needs to adjust.
“We didn’t spend our bye week working on Monday night’s game. We didn’t start that until this week. We spent our time working on things that we feel like we need to improve on, looked at some things that we’d want to try to get to but we haven’t gotten to yet and then talked about things we need to throw out because we weren’t doing very well. Most teams do that during the bye week, I think.” – Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice on the how the team used their practice time during the bye week.