The undefeated Detroit Lions are six-point favorites to beat the Chicago Bears in their first home Monday Night Football game since 2001, but linebacker Bobby Carpenter said the Lions aren't buying into the hype.
"Inside the locker room we know the type of team we have, we know what we can do, and we know we're going to come in and work every day," Carpenter said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "And that's all that really matters.
"The things that go on outside, you really have no control about, whether it's people saying you're garbage or you're the greatest team now in the NFL. Somewhere in the middle reality is. And you've got to find a way to capture that every week, come out and work hard, prepare because every team in this league as you can see has a chance to beat any other team on any given day. The Chicago Bears are a tremendous football team, ran the ball with great success last week [against the Carolina Panthers] and have been able to throw the ball with great success over the past few games, so we're going to have our hands full on defense."
But the players' reality check has not stopped the city from enjoying the Lions' success -- including a dramatic come-from-behind win in Dallas on Sunday -- and the Detroit Tigers playing in the ALDS against the New York Yankees.
"[Detroit fans] have been beaten around a lot for the last decade and a half or so, we wanted to make sure we went to Dallas and played a good game so we'd have people coming back here and being excited and have that place rocking, and I think that's happened," Carpenter said. "There's a great buzz around the city. Rightfully so with the Tigers and the way we're playing as well.
"This is a great sports town, and we have tremendous fans."
The Bears are coming off a 34-29 win over the Panthers, which featured a career-high 205 yards rushing by Matt Forte. Chicago attempted just 17 passes compared to 17 passes against Carolina.
That didn't give Carpenter much of a chance to scout Cutler, but he's liked what he's seen.
"I'll be honest with you, I watched the Carolina game last week and I didn't get a chance to see a whole lot of Cutler," Carpenter said. "They ran it 17 out of the first 18 plays or something with a tremendous amount of success, so I can't really blame them.
"But watching him in the Green Bay game the week before, they threw the ball a lot. He threw the ball very well. He has a tremendous arm, nobody questions that. And his receiver did a good job. They like to push the ball down the field, and he's the type of guy who can make those throws so you have to take away that."