Lions vs. Bears 2013 game preview: Detroit, Chicago battle for NFC North lead

The Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears will face off in an important NFC North matchup.

The Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears are set for an important NFC North showdown in Week 10. There is a three-way tie for the lead in the division, with the Bears besting the Green Bay Packers in Week 9. Detroit is trying to shrug off a string of alternating wins and losses by building on their Week 8 victory over the Dallas Cowboys (they had a bye week last week), while Chicago is riding high after a win over Green Bay without Jay Cutler.

Detroit won the first meeting between these two teams in Week 4, 40-32. That game was in Detroit as well, so the Bears have a lot to prove on Sunday. It should be plenty interesting.

We'll take a look at both teams below, starting with the home team, Chicago:

Meet the Bears

The Bears made it through the game against Green Bay without Jay Cutler at the helm, which is huge. Josh McCown started in his place and performed well, but the Lions will be a tough task as well. McCown now has more film for Detroit to study, though Cutler could still return.

Either way, the Bears are well-rounded on offense. They boast the No. 14 passing attack in the NFL with 256.9  passing yards per game, and the No. 13 rushing attack with 120.1 rushing yards per game. Unfortunately, their defense isn't quite as balanced. The pass defense has been abysmal in comparison to recent years. It's taken a definitive step backward.

Against Matthew Stafford and the Lions' offense, that just won't do. They can't allow the Lions to put up 40 points again, or they'll surely lose.

Meet the Lions

As usual, the Lions throw the ball an awful lot. As such, Stafford leads the No. 2 passing offense in the NFL, at 317.9 passing yards per game. The rushing attack isn't awful, but it's nothing to write home about at 98.1 rushing yards per game.

Calvin Johnson is the guy to watch for, as is the case every single week for the Lions. They bank on teams not being able to cover him, though the Bears did well enough in the first meeting. Johnson had four receptions for 44 yards, including a touchdown, in that first game. Reggie Bush was the hero in that one, rushing for 139 yards and a touchdown off of 18 carries.

Last time these two teams met, the trends flipped. However, either way you approach the teams,  the Lions just look like a better squad right now, especially if Cutler doesn't play. It will be interesting to see if the Lions come out running as they did in the first game.

Follow the Fun

Be sure to check out SB Nation's team blogs, Windy City Gridiron and Pride of Detroit, for more analysis and highlights from the game.

Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:

@WindyCGridiron

@PrideOfDetroit

Prediction

SB Nation's NFL experts were divided on this game. Four of the six experts picked the Lions to win this one, with Ryan Van Bibber and David Fucillo being the dissenters who picked Chicago.

Odds

Detroit opened up as 3.5-point favorites, according to OddsShark. The line narrowed throughout the week, however, with home-field advantage definitely playing a factor. Some sites had the Lions favored by as few as 1.5 points.

Next Week

Chicago will remain home to host the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 17. The Lions will continue their road trip to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on the same day.

More from SB Nation NFL

Vikings win but lose Ponder | RG3 shines in Washington's loss

Keepers: How to replace Aaron Rodgers, Jamaal Charles and more

NFL Week 10 picks: Hazing your way to victory

Celebrity Hot Tub: The road to 0-16 | Uffsides: Week 10 previews

Breaking Madden: One team, 46 guys named Johnson | More

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.