Window of Opportunity

With six games to go the Bears chances of winning another game this season are dwindling. In the midst of an eight-game losing streak the 3-7 Lions represent the Bears best chance to at a win.

A loss to Detroit would send the Bears to their ninth straight defeat and set a new record for futility. Admittedly the Bears have had several chances to win games during their current losing steak, but have failed to come up with one final play to seal a victory.

Two games have been lost in overtime including one to the Lions, while to leads of at least 20-ponts have been squandered. Another loss at home to the helpless Lions would be the first time Detroit has swept a season series from the Bears since 1997 when Chicago finished the year 4-12 after starting 0-7.

The Bears are favored to win the game, but can't take the Lions for granted. In the first meeting of the year James Stewart rushed for 172 yards and two touchdowns, while in his first start for the Bears Chris Chandler was sacked five times.

In three starts Chandler has been sacked 17 times. Part of the blame has to go on Chandler because he holds the ball trying to look downfield, but obviously the rest of the offense can share in the lack of protection for the quarterback.

"The quarterback's got to get the ball out of his hands some, we've got to block them better some, we've got to get open," said offensive coordinator John Shoop. "There's things people refer to coverage sacks, those are legitimate things sometimes. Nothing builds morale quite like protecting the quarterback, but protecting the quarterback simply isn't the five guys up front's job. It's everybody's job: the wideouts, the quarterbacks, the play selection, the setting up of the play selection, the running game, all those things go into it."

Despite the team's poor play Chandler contests that the team is improving as the weeks go on, but admits the team needs a win.

"You don't want this slide to continue," Chandler said. "Every Sunday will bring new wrinkles to a game. We need to spot those changes in the other teams and react accordingly, make some big plays. That's how we'll turn this thing around. Half of the battle is in your attitude. You always want to go into a game with the feeling that you are going to win. What would be the point if you didn't feel that way? We are still positive as a team heading into the game with Detroit. We'll get plenty of wins from here on. Now would be an excellent time start doing just that."

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