Regardless of what the won-loss records show and where they are in the standings, the Detroit Lions have a crucial matchup with the Chicago Bears Sunday at Ford Field.
The Lions, who have a 7-2 record, want to continue their march to the NFC North title with a win.
The Bears, at 3-7 and on course for a second straight last-place finish, have won three of their last six games and would like to finish strong.
Head coach Dan Campbell is not taking the Bears lightly.
"This is a physical, tough team," Campbell said at his press conference Wednesday. "They play hard. They finish. They've got weapons."
The Lions play hard and physical too. And they finish – with victories.
They've also dominated the North of late – a 5-1 record last season and a win over the Packers in their only division game to date.
"If you aspire to win the division you have to win your division games," Campbell said. "That's the bottom line. We've got one under our belt, and this is number two.
"It's as simple as that."
Bears facing Lions' offense: Head coach Matt Eberflus sees the Bears facing a balanced offense that can attack from all directions with a variety of players.
It shows the depth the Bears have to face Sunday at Ford Field, as other opponents have had to do all season.
"I would say balance, the ability to distribute the ball," Eberflus said at a press conference earlier this week.
Eberflus gave a quick rundown of the positions where the Lions are strong. Not surprisingly, it happened to be all of them – starting with the running backs.
"If you look at their production and where it comes from," Eberflus said. "The backs are a big part of what they do."
Eberflus started with Jahmyr Gibbs, the Lions' first-round draft pick.
"The addition of the new back that they have, obviously an explosive player," Eberflus said. "With (David) Montgomery I think that's really a yin and a yang type of situation, and really good for them.
"Obviously, the rising of their tight end (rookie Sam LaPorta). He does a really good job in that offense.
"And then their receiving corps. You got (Amon-Ra) St. Brown, who's a big part of their production as well. Those guys being able to distribute the ball to those guys equally that's what makes it so hard to defend."
Asked about Gibbs' value in the offense, Eberflus said: "Just the explosiveness – the same thing we saw when he was coming out (in the draft)."
Nobody asked about the offensive line – the Lions' strongest unit – or quarterback Jared Goff.
That might have drawn a penalty for piling on.
View photos of the starters for the Chicago Bears.
Offense: Protect the ball. No turnovers. The Chargers had the only turnover in last week's game, and the interception proved to be the difference in the Lions' 41-38 win.
Defense: Indications are that Justin Fields starts at QB for the Bears. Put the pressure on him, but don't let him scramble out of the pocket. That's where he's most effective and dangerous.
Overall: Take nothing for granted. The Bears are in last place in the North with a 3-7 record, but they're 3-3 in their last six games. They'd love to make the Lions' playoff run tougher.
No matter who the Lions play, there's something at stake with every game. The pressure's on, so deal with it.
The Lions are favored by nine points.
Prediction: Lions 33, Bears 19. Who ya got?