Sunday Snapshot: Bears vs. Lions

The NFL experts at chime in with everything you need to know ahead of Sunday afternoon's matchup between the Bears and Lions at Soldier Field in Chicago. Keys to the game, injury updates, fast facts, personnel news, and a whole lot more.

Kickoff: Sunday, Noon CT
Surface: Grass
Television: FOX – Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan
Series: 156th meeting. Bears lead series, 87-63-5. The Lions won 37-27 on Sept. 30 but only after scoring an NFL-record 34 points in the fourth quarter, and that was at home. The Lions have been blown out in their last two visits to Soldier Field – 34-7 last year and 38-6 the year before.

The Lions like to air it out which often leads to a few turnovers from QB Jon Kitna, but he was 20-of-24 with two touchdowns and no interceptions in the first meeting. Now he has RB Kevin Jones closer to 100 percent for the rematch. If the offensive line can hold up in front of Kitna, there are plenty of yards to be had with Chicago giving up 224.9 per game through the air. ... While QB Brian Griese continues to put up increasingly impressive passing numbers, RB Cedric Benson continues to flatline as the Bears' featured back. Benson is averaging 3.1 yards per carry and has not topped 67 rushing yards since his lone 100-yard game in Week 2. Griese can move the ball against the Lions' secondary all day, but the Bears need Benson to improve their red-zone offense (seven TDs, seven FGs in 16 possessions).

Bears: CB Nathan Vasher (groin) is out; DT Darwin Walker (knee) is expected to return after missing two games.

Lions: S Idrees Bashir (ribs) and S Gerald Alexander are concerns because of the lack of depth in the secondary; DE Kalimba Edwards (knee) is uncertain.

Kitna has thrown just one interception in 145 career pass attempts against Chicago. ... The Bears have scored 54 fourth-quarter points in four games under Griese after scoring zero through three games with Rex Grossman.

OT Fred Miller
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Bears: Vasher (groin) did some individual work on the side Thursday but did not participate in practice and will not play Sunday for the fifth straight week. He is expected back after next week's bye. ... Benson has averaged 3.3 yards per carry in five of seven games and more than 4.0 just once, when he averaged 4.2 in his only 100-yard game in Week 2 against the Chiefs (101 yards on 24 carries). ... DE Alex Brown missed Thursday's practice with a back injury, but he is expected to play Sunday. ... OT Fred Miller (ankle) returned to practice Thursday after sitting out Wednesday and is expected to start Sunday. ... DT Tommie Harris (hamstring) participated fully in Thursday's practice after sitting out Wednesday.

Lions: Edwards said he wasn't sure if he would play Sunday at Chicago because of a knee injury. ... Alexander said his thigh was fine and he would be ready to play Sunday. ... TE Sean McHugh, who broke a bone in his left hand, isn't wearing a cast off the field anymore and is practicing fully with a small protective cast on the hand. ... RB Tatum Bell might be inactive Sunday because Jones and T.J. Duckett are healthy and Aveion Cason has special-teams value while Bell has none. Bell got few reps in practice Thursday. ... LT Jeff Backus, who struggled with a strained muscle in his side for three weeks before the bye, said the injury no longer affected his performance but it affected his sleep. He cannot lie on his left side.

Bears 30, Lions 20.

  • Comparing Urlacher to Butkus and Singletary
  • "New" Soldier Field vs. "Old" Soldier Field
  • Reliving the 61-7 win over Green Bay in 1980
  • An excerpt from Cindi Dammann's Tailgating Tales
  • Getting to know LB Jamar Williams

All of that plus much more in the latest issue of ...

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