The Darrell Bevell coaching era in Detroit begins today in Chicago as the Lions try to snap a two-game losing streak and give their interim head coach his first career victory against a familiar NFC foe.
Here's a look at five things to watch today in Chicago:
As both Bevell and defensive coordinator Cory Undlin said this week, it's hard to make wholesale changes to offensive and defensive schemes in one week, but we should expect a few new wrinkles from the Lions this week as Bevell and Undlin put their stamp on both sides of the ball after the Lions relieved Matt Patricia of his head coaching duties last Saturday.
Lions defensive end Romeo Okwara said Thursday we can "definitely" expect some changes on defense. Bevell said he wants to put more explosive plays back in the offense.
What potential new wrinkles will we see from Detroit's offense and defense today?
JOHNSON AND PETERSON
Running back D’Andre Swift was downgraded from questionable to doubtful on Saturday due to an illness, meaning the Lions will likely feature Kerryon Johnson and Adrian Peterson in their backfield today in Chicago.
Johnson and Peterson combined for 101 yards rushing in the Thanksgiving Day loss to Houston. Johnson also chipped in 52 receiving yards on four receptions. Johnson was a nice dual-threat against the Texans, and we can probably expect a similar role today with Peterson taking early-down and goal line reps. Can the veteran pair be a productive duo again this week against a very tough Bears defense?
The Bears starting quarterback today has had a lot of success against the Lions the last few years.
Trubisky has won his last four starts against the Lions dating back to 2018. Over that stretch he's completed 69.3 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns, one interception and a 124.4 passer rating. His 14 touchdowns are the most by any player vs. the Lions since 2017.
Trubisky threw three fourth-quarter touchdowns in the come-from-behind win over Detroit Week 1. The Bears are averaging 24.8 points per game with Trubisky as starter. They averaged 16.7 points per game with Nick Foles starting, per NFL Media Research.
Chicago's defense has been among the best in the NFL this season, but last Sunday's 41-25 loss to Green Bay was not their best effort. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had touchdown passes on Green Bay's first three possessions to cap 75-plus-yard drives. The Bears gave up five touchdowns on seven Green Bay possessions, not counting two drives at the end of the first half and end of the game. Chicago didn't record a takeaway or a sack, and the Packers gashed them for 182 rushing yards.
Bears defenders said this week they were extremely motivated to have a bounce-back performance against the Lions as Chicago tries to snap a five-game losing streak.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has thrown one or fewer touchdown passes in five of his last seven games. That after throwing multiple touchdown passes in three of his first four games.
The Lions' offense is at its best when they're getting explosive plays in the run game, using their play-action passing game off of it and Stafford's distributing the ball around to all their skill-position weapons. Bevell wants the big plays back in the offense. We'll see if Stafford and his skill weapons can deliver them today against a very good Chicago defense. Stafford is listed as questionable to play today with his right thumb injury.