TV: FOX, Ron Pitts, Tim Ryan
SERIES: 152nd meeting. Bears lead the Lions 84-62-5, including a 38-6 romp in Week Two. The Lions won both meetings in 2004, including a disputed 19-13 victory at Ford Field in which an apparent TD pass from Chad Hutchinson to Bernard Berrian with 1:33 remaining was disallowed even after the replay official challenged the call on the field. Bears players still insist that Berrian had both feet down inbounds and possession of the ball, and replays seem to indicate the same.
2005 RANKINGS: Bears: offense 28th (11th rush, 30th pass); defense 3rd (4th rush, 9th pass). Lions: offense 27th (21st rush, 27th pass); defense 9th (13th rush, 12th pass)
KEYS TO THE GAME: The health of Lions DT Shaun Rogers could be critical considering Bears RB Thomas Jones rushed for 139 yards in the first meeting against a far healthier Detroit defense. The Lions will also be without CB Dre Bly, but don't expect Chicago to attempt too many shots downfield against a defense with 13 interceptions unless the Lions are able to stuff the running game.
The teams are playing for first place in the NFC North, and a loud home environment could give the Lions a leg up against rookie Bears QB Kyle Orton. The key for Detroit is sustaining drives against one of the league's best young defenses. However, RB Kevin Jones is averaging just 55.3 rushing yards per game and 2.6 yards per carry at home this season.
FAST FACTS: Seek to become first franchise with 650 regular season victories. Lions: K Jason Hanson has converted his last six field-goal attempts from 50 yards or longer. ... Have a three-game home winning streak in series.
BY THE NUMBERS: The defense accomplished something last Sunday that the Bears haven't achieved in more than 18 years, when it held a second straight opponent without a touchdown. The last time that happened was Sept. 20 and Oct. 4, 1987, against the Bucs and Eagles, during an 11-4 season.
Opponents have scored just 1 touchdown on 13 opportunities from inside the Bears' 20-yard line, an 8.3 percent success rate, which makes the Bears' red-zone defense the best in the NFL by a huge margin. The Cowboys are second, having allowed 6 touchdowns on 17 possessions for a 35.3 percentage.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It would be hard for anyone to convince those guys that someone is better than them. When we started the season, we talked about having the best defense in the league, and that's what they'll say when you talk to them. That's the type of standard that we've set." -- Bears coach Lovie Smith on the defense.