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Lions vs. Bears 2016 live stream: Start time, TV schedule and how to watch online

Detroit's playoff chances take a huge hit with a loss on Sunday, but Chicago's basically disappear into the ether if the Bears can't get past their divisional rival.

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It's only Week 4, but a showdown between the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears may just be a must-win situation for two teams at the bottom of the NFC North pecking order.

The 1-2 Lions will head south to face the 0-3 Bears in a contest sure to put the loser behind the eight ball in the NFC playoff race. Since 1990, only 24 teams out of 300 have made it to the playoffs after a 1-3 start. Only one team -- the 1992 San Diego Chargers -- has qualified for the postseason after going winless in its first four games.

If the first three weeks of the season are any indication, expect Detroit to make this game a nail-biter. Each of the Lions' games this year have been decided by seven points or fewer. Matthew Stafford threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns to lead his team to a shootout victory against Indianapolis in its season opener, then fell agonizingly short in one-possession losses to Tennessee and Green Bay. Now, redemption comes in the form of a divisional showdown against a hobbled Chicago team that's been anything but threatening in 2016.

The Bears will likely be without injured quarterback Jay Cutler, but head coach John Fox hasn't committed to giving the veteran his job back even if healthy. If Cutler sits, they'll turn to journeyman Brian Hoyer, who was solid in his first start of the season last week against Dallas. Hoyer, who is playing for his fifth team in seven seasons, threw for 317 yards and a pair of touchdowns but was unable to rally his team to a win. With just 45 points scored this fall, the Chicago offense has been one of the league's most anemic.

The passing game isn't the Bears' biggest problem on offense. Without venerable veteran Matt Forte holding down the backfield, the team's tailbacks have gained just 71 yards per game on the ground. That mark stands 30th in the league and will put the pressure squarely on the team's embattled quarterbacks against a solid Detroit pass rush.

Jeremy Langford won't play Sunday due to an ankle injury, so rookie Jordan Howard will take over the team's primary responsibilities at tailback. Chicago also added former Lion Joique Bell to bolster its shelled-out position for Week 4.

Detroit has its own question marks at running back. The team lost starting back Ameer Abdullah to a foot injury in Week 2, and he won't be eligible to return to the team until mid-November. Without him, Dwayne Washington and Theo Riddick picked up 20 carries but gained just 47 yards as last week's comeback effort against Green Bay fell short. While Marvin Jones (202 receiving yards in week three) has been a bright spot, the team's offense has been incomplete after its explosive performance against the Colts.

The Lions have recent history on its side when these two teams meet at Soldier Field. Detroit hasn't lost to its divisional rival since 2012; a victory Sunday would be its seventh in a row. Stafford will be looking to extend a personal streak of excellence against Chicago as well. He sliced up the Bears to the tune of 703 yards and seven passing touchdowns in the two games these teams played in 2015.

How to watch Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears

When: 1 p.m. ET

Where: Soldier Field, Chicago


Announcers: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin

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