Meanwhile, Lions RB Kevin Jones has had a strong second half to his rookie season. It wasn't translating into points until QB Joey Harrington finally decided to be more aggressive attacking downfield and threw for 361 yards last Sunday. The Lions need to continue that offensive balance against a strong Bears defense. Chicago will be without MLB Brian Urlacher again, but Harrington will have trouble beating the Bears' solid secondary unless Jones is able to set up the play-action pass on early downs.
The Lions hosted the Bears for the inaugural Thanksgiving Day game on November 29, 1934. The game, played in front of a then-record 26,000 fans at the University of Detroit Stadium, was won by the Bears, 19-16, giving the Bears the Western Division championship. NBC Radio Network broadcast the game coast-to-coast and a Thanksgiving tradition was born.
The Bears have not won at Detroit since a 24-0 win in the final road game of the 2001 season, the last shutout recorded by Chicago, and the second-to-last game ever at the Pontiac Silverdome. That shutout stands as the only game out of the last nine in the series to be decided by more than eight points with an average point differential of 6.3 points during that span. The Bears have lost in their previous two trips to Ford Field.
K Paul Edinger has hit just 56.1 percent of his past 41 field-goal attempts. The league average this season is 81.8. ... Defense is allowing just 30.3 percent of third downs to be converted, second-best in the NFL.
WR Roy Williams has set team rookie records with seven touchdown receptions and 722 receiving yards. ... Kevin Jones needs to average 31 rushing yards the final two games to reach 1,000 for the season.
Bears: offense 32nd (25th rush, 32nd pass); defense 18th (25th rush, 14th pass). Lions: offense 27th (21st rush, 27th pass); defense 23rd (18th rush, 22nd pass).
SERIES: 150th meeting.
The Chicago Bears lead the series 83-61-5, but the Lions have won the last two overall and the last two at Ford Field.