What are the Bears' players and coaches talking about ahead of Sunday's Week 10 matchup against the Detroit Lions in Chicago? Let's find out:
1. Sunday's matchup will feature two reigning NFC Players of the Week in Bears quarterback Justin Fields and Lions safety Kerby Joseph, who were named the NFC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week on Wednesday.
The Lions will have their hands full with Fields, who is playing some good ball right now. Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy seems to be learning every week what he's got in Fields. Over his last five games, Fields has completed 63.3 percent of his passes, averaged 170.2 yards passing and thrown eight touchdown passes vs. two interceptions for a 99.7 passer rating.
Field ran for 178 yards last week in a close loss to Miami, the most by any quarterback in a regular season game. Fields had more yards rushing (424) in the first eight games this season than he had all of last season.
"It's really a joy to see him mature and get better, and him wanting to improve each week," Bears coach Matt Eberflus told the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday. "And this week will be no different."
View photos of the starters for the Chicago Bears.
2. Allowing Fields to be a bigger part of the running game has really unlocked something special for the Bears' offense. Chicago is the first team since 1976 to rush for at least 225 yards in four straight games. The Bears have averaged 24.6 points per game over their last five after scoring just 16 points per game over the first four.
Detroit ranks 31st in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing on average 148.8 yards per game to opponents on the ground. That will be a key matchup this weekend.
3. New Bears wide receiver Chase Claypool had a quiet debut Sunday with two catches for 13 yards against the Dolphins, but his role should grow moving forward. Claypool arrived in Chicago last Wednesday after the Bears traded a second-round pick to the Steelers for him. Claypool played just 26 snaps against the Dolphins. Expect that to tick up significantly this week as he get more comfortable with the playbook.
"Just keep building more and more and more, and what he can handle in the game plan, we're gonna give it to him," Eberflus said of Claypool on Monday. "He's an exciting guy for our future here, and we're excited for where he is."
4. The Bears are finding creative ways to get talented tight end Cole Kmet the football, including a direct snap on a third-and-one Sunday. It's something the Lions have to prepare for this week in short-yardage situations. Kmet is 6-6, 260 pounds.
"It's fun," Kmet told chicagobears.com. "Now I realize what Justin goes through on those sneaks. You get popped on those things. So anytime you can take some hits off Justin in those situations, that's a good thing, as well."
Kmet had a season-high five catches for 41 yards and two touchdowns last week. He has 19 catches for 200 yards and three touchdowns on the year.
5. There is a level of concern from Eberflus about how his defense has played recently, and now they're without two of their leaders on that side of the ball in linebacker Roquan Smith and edge rusher Robert Quinn, who were traded away ahead of the deadline last week.
Eberflus said there's been a lack of execution defensively.
"We have to be better," he said of his defense.
The Bears enter Sunday ranked 21st in points allowed and 18th in total defense.
6. Third down success on both sides of the ball is such an important statistic week in and week out in the NFL. The Bears were 28th in the NFL converting on third down in the first five weeks of the season (36.1 percent), per the Sun-Times. In the last four weeks, they've improved to fourth in the league at 53.0 percent.
The Lions are last in the league in third-down defense (51.0 percent).
7. "Offense is playing lights out right now. Defense, we've got to get it together," Bears defensive end Trevis Gipson said Monday. "It starts with me personally. It starts with everyone being accountable and that's what we practice and preach around this facility."
For years the Bears' defense had to play really well for them to win games and carry the offense. Now they appear to have an offense that's figured some things out and can score points. Gipson said the defense has to execute better, do their part and keep fighting the fight, starting Sunday against the Lions.