* Anthony Thomas, Bears running back The A-Train missed the last game against the Lions, but should be at full strength this week. Thomas has went for over 100 yards in three of his last four starts and should be able to open up the game for the passing attack.
* Earl Holmes, Lions middle linebacker
Detroit's leading tackler has quite a task to deal with in Thomas, who continues to run through defenses like swiss cheese. A bad foot seems to be healed as Thomas rumbles over opponents and century marks each Sunday.
Another key matchup
* Marty Booker, Bears receiver Booker is getting healthy quick after seeing the emergence of rookies Justin Gage and Bobby Wade the past few weeks. But Booker is the Pro Bowler and the team's best receiver. He could have a big game in his return to the lineup.
* Otis Smith, Lions cornerback
Booker won't be the only receiver Smith and Bly will be worried about. But Booker is back after missing three weeks with an ankle injury. The Lions will be geared on stopping the A-Train, so Booker could be the answer down the field.
* Bears: Todd McMillon (hand) and RB Adrian Peterson (ankle) are out; WR Marty Booker (ankle) and S Mike Green (groin) are probable; C Olin Kreutz (ankle), DT Keith Traylor (knee) and S Cameron Worrell (ankle) are questionable.
* Lions: WR Eddie Drummond (ankle/knee), WR Charles Rogers (collarbone) are out; CB Roderick Babers (shoulder), CB Dre' Bly (leg), DE Robert Porcher (hip), WR Bill Schroeder (leg), CB Jimmy Wyrick (chest) are questionable; LB Barrett Green (toe), QB Joey Harrington (finger) are probable.
Bad on both sides
Detroit's offense enters the game having averaged 261.5 yards per game, which is 32nd or last in the NFL. To break that down, the Lions are averaging 173.8 yards through the air and just 87.7 on the ground. QB Joey Harrington has thrown 13 interceptions to nine touchdowns and the team's top draft pick, Charles Rogers, is out until mid-November with a broken collarbone. Detroit's defense, on the other hand, has given up 336.8 yards per contest, which is 24th in the league.
The Lions' run defense ranks 19th and allows an average of 117.4 yards on the ground. The pass defense is giving up 219.4 through the air each week.
Rebuilding the wall
The Bears have permitted just 166 total rushing yards during their last two games against Detroit and San Diego, an average of 83 yards per game. During the 2001 season when Chicago set a new club mark for allowing the fewest rushing yards in a 16-game season (1,313), the Bears ranked second in the NFL by holding their opponents to 82.1 rushing yards per game. While the Bears' run defense currently ranks unfavorably in the NFL at 29th (135.5 yards per game) after eight contests, the unit has steadily lowered its average allowance since peaking at a season-high 32nd (183.7 yards) following the Week 4 loss to Green Bay.
That's a lot of 'Ws'
With the victory over Detroit on Oct. 26, the Bears became the first NFL franchise to reach the 650-win plateau. Chicago now has an all-time record of 651-473-42 with 83 wins coming at the expense of the Lions. The highest amount against any opponent is the 84 wins the Bears have against the Green Bay Packers.
* This will be the 148th meeting between the two teams.
* The Bears hold a 83-59-5 lead in the series.
* The Bears have won two in a row and five of the last six in the series.
* The Bears will attempt to sweep the series for the 25th time since the series began in 1930.
* The Bears last swept the Lions during the 2001 season.
The Bears have lost 11 straight games on the road.