Sunday Snapshot: Lions vs. Bears

The Scout.com NFL experts chip in with everything you need to know just before Sunday's showdown between the suddenly-confident Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Week 4. Keys to the game, injury reports, fast facts, personnel news and a whole lot more.

SUNDAY SNAPSHOT
Kickoff: 12:00 p.m. Central
Surface: Grass
Television: FOX – Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick, Charissa Thompson
Series: 159th meeting. Bears lead series 89-64-5 and have won six of the last eight games.

KEYS TO THE GAME
The Lions' improving ground game has been instrumental in the team becoming increasingly competitive. But with RB Kevin Smith dealing with a shoulder injury, Maurice Morris and rookie Aaron Brown might need to shoulder the load. Detroit must run the ball to help rookie QB Matthew Stafford avoid turnovers, and it has to stop the run defensively to help out its poor pass defense. Chicago has rushed the ball 75 times this season but for just 2.8 yards per pop. QB Jay Cutler has improved his passer rating each game, however, and much of it is due to quick throws. The Lions' 30th-ranked pass defense must tackle well to prevent back-breaking plays after the catch.

FAST FACTS
Bears defensive line coach Rod Marinelli was the Lions' head coach from 2006-08. ... Cutler's teams are 12-0 when he has a passer rating of at least 100.


LB Jamar Williams
Getty Images: Jonathan Daniel

PERSONNEL NEWS
Bears:
LB Lance Briggs (toe) was limited at practice Thursday but is expected to play Sunday. ... TE Desmond Clark (rib) participated fully in practice, but with the bye week coming up, the Bears will probably be cautious and sit him for another week. ... LB Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee) has not practiced all week and will not play Sunday but is expected back after the bye, when the Bears play the Falcons in Atlanta on Oct. 18. ... LB Hunter Hillenmeyer (ribs) did not practice and will probably not play on Sunday. ... LB Nick Roach will start somewhere on Sunday. If Hillenmeyer is out, Roach will be in the middle and Jamar Williams will be on the strong side. If Hillenmeyer plays, which is not expected, Roach will be on the strong side. ... Williams will start on the strong side Sunday if Hillenmeyer does not play and Roach has to move from the strong side to the middle.

Lions: DT Sammie Hill did not practice Wednesday and Thursday because of an ankle injury. Considering the Lions felt the need to sign veteran DT Chuck Darby, it seems unlikely Hill will play. ... S Kalvin Pearson did not practice Wednesday or Thursday because of a quad injury, though he did some running on the side Thursday. He seems unlikely to play. ... DE Dewayne White did not practice Wednesday or Thursday because of a hamstring injury. He seems unlikely to play. ... DE Cliff Avril was listed as limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday. He seems likely to return after missing two weeks with a hamstring injury. ... CB Eric King was listed as limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday. He seems likely to return after missing a game with a shoulder injury. ... LB Ernie Sims was listed as limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday. He seems likely to return after missing a game with a shoulder injury. He said he begged the coaches to let him play Sunday against Washington but they held him out, snapping his streak of 50 straight starts. ... DT Grady Jackson was listed as limited Wednesday and did not practice Thursday. But that has been the routine for the 36-year-old veteran, who had knee surgery in the offseason.

PREDICTION
Bears 28, Lions 17.


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