Week 8 Nuts & Bolts: Bears vs. Lions
CHICAGO BEARS vs. DETROIT LIONSWhen: 7:30 p.m. Monday | TV: ESPN, locally: WCIU-TV
RADIO: 780 AM, WBBM & 105.9 FM; WLEY (107.9 FM)
CHICAGO BEARS (4-1)
Coach: Lovie Smith | Record including playoffs: 75-58
Career record (including playoffs) vs. Jim Schwartz: | 5-1 Career record vs. Lions:11-5
Last week: Idle
Key stat: The Bears have scored five touchdowns on returns in 2012, including four TDs in the past two games. But the last time they faced the Lions, the Bears put points on the board with all three phases with a Devin Hester 82-yard punt return, two defensive touchdowns (not to mention six takeaways) and offense.
Offense rank: 20th (346.2 ypg) | Defense rank: third (291.2 ypg).
Offensive leader: Receiver Brandon Marshall averages seven catches per game and 99.2 yards receiving, which ranks as the highest average in franchise history. If Marshall keeps up the pace, he'll shatter the single-season franchise receiving record while recording a career-high 1,587 yards. With three 100-yard receiving games, Marshall is already tied for ninth in franchise history.
Defensive leader: Defensive end Julius Peppers has been a sheer terror to the Lions and averages more than a sack per outing against them. In eight games against the Lions, Peppers has posted 10 sacks while forcing five fumbles. In the 2010 opener, Peppers knocked Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford out of the game with a shoulder injury.
Jay Cutler remains undefeated (24-0) when he finishes a game with a passer rating of 100 or better.
If Marshall gains 85 receiving yards against the Lions, he'll have the most yards through the first six games in franchise history.
Matt Forte needs one more 100-yard rushing performance to tie Neal Anderson (14) for the third most in franchise history.
Lance Briggs needs one more INT return for a TD to move into a tie with Bobby Bell and Derrick Brooks for the most in NFL history by a linebacker.
DETROIT LIONS (2-3)
Coach: Jim Schwartz | Record: 20-34
Career head-to-head record vs. Smith: 1-5 | Career record vs. Bears: 1-5
Last week: Defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 26-23 in overtime.
Key stat: The Lions entered Week 6 as one of just three teams to hold top-10 rankings in offense and defense. In three of five games, Detroit has held offenses to fewer than 80 yards rushing, and the Lions have given up just eight total touchdowns, with one coming on the ground and seven through the air.
Offense rank: Second (419.6 ypg) | Defense rank: Ninth (324 ypg).
Offensive leader: Stafford ranked in the top five of all six major passing categories in 2011, joining Drew Brees and Tom Brady as the only other quarterbacks to accomplish that feat last season. In a contest in which he tossed his franchise-record third game-winning touchdown pass against the Eagles, Stafford posted a 106.3 passer rating in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Defensive leader: Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has generated just 2½ sacks this season, but he's been a disruptive force teamed with DE Cliff Avril, DT Nick Fairley and DE Kyle Vanden Bosch. Suh is tied for the most sacks by a defensive tackles over the past three years (16½).
Detroit's 73 fourth-quarter points ranks as the second most in the NFL. The Lions lead the league in total offense in the fourth quarter (947 yards), passing yards (790), completions and is also tied for the most passing touchdowns (6).
Calvin Johnson needs 69 yards receiving to tie Johnnie Morton (6,499 yards) for second in franchise history.
OT Jeff Backus has started 181 consecutive regular season games, and his streak for starts ranks No. 3 among active players and sixth since 1970 among linemen.