The Lions finish out their 2015 season with a road matchup against division rival Chicago. Detroit is coming off a 32-17 win vs. San Francisco. Chicago beat Tampa Bay, 26-21, last week. The Lions won the previous matchup between these two teams this season, 37-34, in overtime Week 6. Detroit and Chicago have met 171 times in the regular season, with Chicago holding the all-time series edge, 96-70-5.
BY THE NUMBERS
150 & 100: Linebacker Stephen Tulloch is playing in his 150th career game and safety Glover Quin is staring his 100th straight contest.
166: Calvin Johnson had a season-high 166 yards and a touchdown on six catches in the first game. He has totaled 498 yards and five touchdowns in Detroit's past four games vs. Chicago.
14 & 1: Matthew Stafford's touchdown-to-interceptions ration over the last six games.
Adjust to the cold
The Lions have avoided cold-weather games this season. It was in the mid-50's back in mid-November when the Lions played at Green Bay and won. Their last six games have all been played indoors.
The advance forecast for Sunday calls for partly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 30's in Chicago.
"It's kind of always been a thing that we knew we would have to adjust and always had to adjust to," head coach Caldwell said. "This is my second run with a dome team (Indianapolis), so I understand that you have to get acclimated somewhat to the weather and so we'll adjust accordingly."
Caldwell let the cold Michigan air into the indoor facility on Wednesday and the team practiced outdoors Thursday and Friday.
Being cold is just a state of mind, right?
The Bears have three players with at least six sacks this season. Their ability to get after the passer is a big reason they rank in the Top 5 in the NFL in pass defense this season.
The Bears have recorded 16 sacks over their last six games and have nine multiple-sack games since Week 3.
Linebacker Willie Young has at least one sack in five straight games and 6.5 on the year to lead them. Linebackers Pernell McPhee and Lamarr Houston have 6.0 sacks each.
The Lions have allowed 40 sacks on the year, which ranks among the 10 most in the NFL.
Force Cutler into mistakes
Cutler has completed 294-of-460 passes for 3,414 yards with 19 touchdowns and only eight interceptions for a career-high 92.8 passer rating this season.
His 1.7 interception percentage is a career low. That percentage is currently second best in single season franchise history.
Cutler has averaged 300 yards passing in his last four matchups vs. Detroit, but has seven interceptions to six touchdowns in those contests. The Lions have won all four games.
When Cutler makes mistakes, the Lions typically win.
Contain Forte & Langford
The Bears' skill positions have been devastated by injury this season. Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White and Martellus Bennett are all on injured reserve.
Running back Matt Forte is one of the lone big-play threats left for the Bears offense. He and Jeremy Langford have had to carry much more of the load with all the injuries.
Forte has 822 rushing yards and 355 receiving, becoming the fifth player in NFL history with at least eight seasons with 800 rushing yards and 300 receiving. He's averaging nearly 100 scrimmage yards per game this season.
Langford has a rushing touchdown in four straight games and 802 yards from scrimmage (523 rushing & 279 receiving). He has an 83-yard reception this season, so he can make big plays, too.
This season hasn't gone anything like the Lions had hoped and it cost the team president, general manager and three offensive coaches their jobs along the way.
They're trying to go 6-2 after a 1-7 start. There's no trophies or playoff invitations for moral victories like a good second half, but it says a lot about this team and this coaching staff to finish strong after a disastrous start.
"I think it's very important in all aspects, actually, and particularly with the way our guys have been playing as of late, this is very important to just continue to show some improvements," Caldwell said. "You only have 16 opportunities to do so, so it's pretty valuable."
A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
|2015 regular season stats|
|Points per game||22.3 (18)||21.0 (22)|
|Total yards per game||346.5 (18)||344.8 (20)|
|Rushing yards||84.5 (31)||116.2 (12)|
|Passing yards||262.0 (9)||228.6 (23)|
|3rd down offense %||36.8 (23t)||41.5 (10)|
|Points allowed||25.3 (25)||24.9 (20)|
|Total yards allowed||350.1 (17)||345.2 (27)|
|Rushing yards allowed||112.6 (19)||124.5 (27)|
|Passing yards allowed||237.0 (14)||220.7 (4)|
|3rd down defense %||39.9 (18)||44.5 (29)|
|Turnover ratio||-9 (29)||-1 (19)|
5 KEY MATCHUPS
Take a look at the five key matchups for the Lions-Bears game on Sunday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: LIONS
Matthew Stafford, QB
Stafford aims for sixth consecutive wins over the Bears. He passed for 405 yards and four touchdowns in a Week 6 win over Chicago. He needs 36 yards to reach 4,000 for a fifth consecutive season.
Calvin Johnson, WR
Megatron has six touchdowns in his last five meetings vs. the Bears. In his past three against Chicago, he's caught 23 passes for 415 yards (138.3 per game) and three touchdowns.
Devin Taylor, DE
Taylor has come on strong of late, recording three sacks in his last four games. He's now second on the team behind Ziggy Ansah (13.5) with 6.5 sacks this season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: BEARS
Matt Forte, RB
Forte has 1,607 scrimmage yards (107.1 per game) and 11 touchdowns in 15 career meetings against Detroit. The Lions held him to under 100 total yards in Week 6.
Zach Miller, TE
Miller has become the main target for Cutler at the TE position since Bennett was lost for the season. Miller has five touchdown receptions in his past eight games.
LB Shea McClellin
McClellin seems to have found a home at inside linebacker in the Bears' 3-4 defense. He leads the team with 81 tackles.