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5 things to watch: Lions vs. Bears

The Lions are back home looking to extend their winning streak to five games today against division foe Chicago.

The Lions have lost just two games since the calendar flipped to October, but one of those was to the Bears in Chicago, Oct. 2.

Detroit will be looking to keep their comfortable lead in the NFC North with a win, while at the same time exacting a little payback on the Bears.

Here are five things to watch out for today:



Quarterback Matthew Stafford was good again last week in Detroit's 28-13 win over New Orleans, tossing two scores and not turning the ball over.

Stafford's completed 68 percent of his passes for 14 touchdowns and just one interception over his last eight games for a 104.2 rating. The Lions are 7-1 over that stretch.

His last sub-par outing was Week 4 against this Bears defense. He was just 23-of-36 passing for 213 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in that game. It's the only time this season Stafford's had a multi-interception game. His passer rating that day was a season-low 56.8.


First-round pick Leonard Floyd is having a terrific first season as an edge rusher in Chicago's 3-4 scheme. He's recorded 29 tackles, seven sacks, a safety and has forced a fumble and returned a fumble for a touchdown. His seven sacks lead all rookies, and it should be noted he missed two games with a calf injury.

Jordan Howard, the Bears' fifth-round pick, has emerged as a terrific weapon in their backfield. He has 883 rushing yards (4.9 average) and five touchdowns. He's also chipped in another 22 receptions for 242 yards and a score. He's one of three rookies in Bears history to run for at least 100 yards in five different contests, and is currently second behind only Dallas' Ezekiel Elliott (1,285) for rushing yards by a rookie.

Howard rushed for 111 yards on 23 carries (4.8) in Chicago's Week 4, 17-14 win over the Lions.



The Bears may be 3-9 in the standings, but their defense is much better than their record would indicate. They rank in the top seven in the NFL in total defense (326.8) and passing defense (220.3).

DT Akiem Hicks (6 sacks), NT Eddie Goldman, and OLBs Willie Young (7.5) and Floyd (7.0) are all playing very well right now. Really, their entire front seven has been good of late.

Detroit's defense hasn't allowed a team to score more than 20 points in any of their last six games. It's the first time they've done that since the final six weeks of the 1991 season.

Third downs and turnovers are going to be big keys today. The Bears won both the turnover battle and were better on third down in the first matchup.


Will Detroit have their full complement of weapons on offense?

Running back Theo Riddick (wrist) missed practice time this week and was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.

Center Travis Swanson (concussion) won't play after missing practice all week. He was ruled out on Friday.

Backup running back Dwayne Washington was also listed as questionable on the injury report with an ankle injury.

Zach Zenner, who ran well last week in New Orleans, and newly signed Joique Bell, could play big roles if Riddick or Washington are inactive or limited in any way today.

Rookie Graham Glasgow will likely step in for Swanson at center, with second-year guard Laken Tomlinson inserted back into the starting lineup at guard.

Receiver Marvin Jones Jr. missed last week's game with a thigh injury, and is also questionable after being limited all week.

Inactives will be released at 11:30 a.m. this morning.


Ever since linebacker DeAndre Levy returned to practice the week before the Jacksonville game, there's been speculation as to when he might return to game action.

Levy's been inactive in all three games – Jaguars, Vikings and Saints – since returning to practice.

He looked to be more involved in the open portion of practice, but was still listed as limited all week. He was questionable coming in.

Well know in a few hours if he'll return to action for the first time today since Week 1.

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