Lions need win over Bears to keep hopes alive for playoffs
CHICAGO (3-12) at DETROIT (7-8)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, FOX
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Lions by 5 1/2.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Bears 5-9-1; Lions 10-4-1.
SERIES RECORD: Bears lead 104-76-5.
LAST MEETING: Lions beat Bears 31-30 on Nov. 13 at Chicago.
LAST WEEK: Bears lost 35-13 to Bills; Lions lost to 37-23 to Panthers.
BEARS OFFENSE: OVERALL (26), RUSH (1), PASS (32), SCORING (22T).
BEARS DEFENSE: OVERALL (24), RUSH (30), PASS (12), SCORING (31).
LIONS OFFENSE: OVERALL (4), RUSH (16), PASS (8), SCORING (5T).
LIONS DEFENSE: OVERALL (32), RUSH (28T), PASS (30), SCORING (32).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Bears even; Lions plus-4.
BEARS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Justin Fields. Coach Matt Eberflus has no plans to shut down the dynamic and banged-up player for the final two games even though the team is relegated to playing for pride. Fields was hobbling at the end of last week’s game after his foot was stepped on and his non-throwing, left shoulder was separated six weeks ago.
LIONS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Jared Goff. In December, he had three 300-yard passing games, threw nine TD passes and did not have an INT. Goff has thrown two-plus TD passes in four of his past five games. He’s the only NFL QB with 25-plus TD passes and seven or fewer INTs. Goff is 41 yards passing away from reaching the 4,000-yard mark for the third time in his career.
KEY MATCHUP: Fields on the ground against Detroit’s defense. Fields, Lamar Jackson and Michael Vick are the three QBs in NFL history with 1,000-plus yards rushing in a season. With 1,011 yards rushing, Fields has a chance to break Jackson’s single-season QB rushing record of 1,206 yards set by Baltimore’s star in 2019. Fields was held to a season-low 11 yards rushing by Buffalo. The Lions let Fields run for 147 yards and two scores, including a 67-yard sprint in which he was untouched, in the previous meeting. Carolina ran for a franchise-record 320 yards in last week’s win over Detroit.
KEY INJURIES: Bears RG Teven Jenkins (neck) was a full participant in practice Wednesday while LG Cody Whitehair (knee) was limited after missing last week’s game. ... WR Chase Claypool (knee) has missed the past two games. ... WR Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion) missed last week’s game. ... Lions RB Jamaal Williams practiced Wednesday after he had a leg injury at Carolina. ... S DeShon Elliott (shoulder) did not practice Wednesday after being inactive last week. ... S Kerby Joseph (back) and WR Josh Reynolds (illness) also were held out of practice Wednesday.
SERIES NOTES: Detroit beat Chicago in the previous matchup after scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter to rally from a 14-point deficit. ... Before blowing the big lead at home, the Bears had won seven of eight in the series.
STATS AND STUFF: Last week, the Bears lost an eighth straight game to match the 1978 and 2002 teams for the franchise record. ... Only Houston (2-12-1) has fewer wins in the NFL. ... Chicago gave up a season-high 8.2 yards per rushing attempt and allowed Buffalo to run for 254 yards. ... The Bears have 2,696 yards rushing and have a shot at the franchise record of 2,974 in 1984. ... Chicago had just 80 yards rushing against the Bills. ... Fields ranks seventh overall in rushing and second to Jackson in yards per attempt at 6.7. ... Rookie CB Kyler Gordon has three INTs, one in each of the past two games after missing the previous two games with a concussion. ... Detroit has won six of its past eight games to contend for a wild-card berth. ... The Lions, Buffalo and Kansas City lead the league with six 30-plus point games. ... Detroit has turned the ball over 15 times, tied with the Los Angeles Chargers for the fewest in the NFL. ... TE Shane Zylstra had three TD receptions last week. ... Lions TEs have scored 10 times, one shy of the team’s single-season record. ... WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Michael Thomas and Odell Beckham are the three players in NFL history to have 90-plus catches in each of their first two seasons.
FANTASY TIP: Goff threw for 355 yards with three TDs last week and didn’t throw an INT for the seventh straight game. In his past three home games, he’s averaging 300-plus yards passing with a total of seven TDs.
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