Kickoff: Sunday, 12:00 CT
Television: FOX – Dick Stockton, Brian Baldinger, Jennifer Hammond
Series: 155th meeting. Bears lead 87-62-5. The Bears have won the last four meetings, winning at Ford Field by six points in 2005 and by five last season. At Soldier Field, they won by 27 last year and 32 in '05.
KEYS TO THE GAME
The Bears aren't looking for new starting QB Brian Griese to light up the scoreboard. They're more concerned with him managing an offense that has a league-high 11 giveaways. But to expose Detroit, Griese will have to go downfield because while the Lions can be horrendous in coverage, they are usually solid against the run. ... Detroit is averaging 345 passing yards per game, and QB Jon Kitna will push the issue with both starting corners for the Bears battling injuries. Chicago has been vulnerable to tight ends, but that's one area the Lions' offense doesn't match up well following the season-ending injury to Dan Campbell.
Bears: CBs Nathan Vasher (groin) and Charles Tillman (ankle) could be sidelined, as could DT Tommie Harris (knee) and OLB Lance Briggs (groin). All have been limited at best in practice.
Lions: WR Calvin Johnson (back) will certainly be less than 100 percent. LT Jeff Backus (ribs) and RG Damien Woody (ribs) hope to play.
The Bears have won the past four meetings by an average of 17.5 points. ... The Lions have won just eight games against NFC North teams since 2001.
CB Ricky Manning Jr.
Jeff Roberson/AP Images
Bears: Vasher (groin) will not play Sunday. ... Tillman (ankle) is not expected to play. ... CB Ricky Manning Jr., normally the nickelback, will start in place of Vasher. ... CB Trumaine McBride, a seventh-round pick from Mississippi, will likely be in the starting lineup because of the injury to Tillman. ... CB Corey Graham, a fifth-round rookie from New Hampshire, would be forced into the lineup in passing situations if, as expected, Tillman doesn't play. And against the Lions, almost every down is a passing play. ... Harris (knee) isn't expected to play. ... Briggs (groin) isn't expected to play.
Lions: Johnson, who has a bruised lower back, did some running Thursday. Coach Rod Marinelli said he thought Johnson would be fine, but he couldn't say for sure Johnson would play Sunday. ... Backus, who has a strained muscle in his side, practiced with the second team Thursday. Marinelli said he hoped that indicated Backus would be able to play. ... Woody (ribs) did not practice, so the Lions are in wait-and-see mode with him. ... DE Kalimba Edwards (ankle) did not practice and probably will be a game-time decision. ... LB Alex Lewis (hamstring) did not practice and probably won't play. ... RB T.J. Duckett (ankle) said he felt better, was running straight ahead and would try some cutting. But he did not practice and won't play. ... LB Anthony Cannon (thigh) did not practice and won't play.
Bears 16, Lions 10.