Lions, Bears Meet Again After Detroit's Wild Rally For Win 3 Weeks Ago

Detroit Lions tight end Sam LaPorta (87) catches a pass as New Orleans Saints cornerback Paulson Adebo (29) and linebacker Demario Davis (56) defend during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Detroit Lions tight end Sam LaPorta (87) catches a pass as New Orleans Saints cornerback Paulson Adebo (29) and linebacker Demario Davis (56) defend during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
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DETROIT (9-3) at CHICAGO (4-8)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, FOX.

OPENING LINE: Lions by 4½, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Lions 8-4; Bears 5-6-1.

SERIES RECORD: Bears lead 104-78-5.

LAST MEETING: Lions beat Bears 31-26 on Nov. 19 in Detroit.

LAST WEEK: Lions beat Saints 33-28; Bears had bye, beat Vikings 12-10 on Nov. 27.

LIONS OFFENSE: OVERALL (2), RUSH (4), PASS (4), SCORING (T-5).

LIONS DEFENSE: OVERALL (14), RUSH (T-5), PASS (21), SCORING (23).

BEARS OFFENSE: OVERALL (20), RUSH (3), PASS (25), SCORING (21).

BEARS DEFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (T-1), PASS (25), SCORING (T-27).

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Lions minus-3; Bears minus-4.

LIONS PLAYER TO WATCH: Sam LaPorta. The rookie is the NFL’s first tight end with 60-plus catches, 600 yards receiving and six touchdowns in the first 12 games of his career. Five WRs did it: Justin Jefferson, Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr., Marques Colston and Anquan Boldin. LaPorta is the first rookie TE with 140 yards receiving and a TD in a game since Pete Mitchell for Jacksonville in 1995. It's been done six times by a rookie TE, starting with Bears great Mike Ditka in 1961.

BEARS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Justin Fields. The final five games could go a long way toward determining Fields' future with decisions looming for the Bears on his fifth-year option for the 2025 season and whether to draft a quarterback next spring. Chicago has two first-round picks — its own and Carolina's. Fields returned from a four-game absence because of a dislocated right thumb at Detroit in Week 11 and helped put the Bears in position to win before they blew a 12-point lead in the final 2:59. He was showing growth as a passer prior to the injury. In the win over the Vikings, Fields bounced back from two fourth-quarter fumbles to lead the winning field-goal drive.

KEY MATCHUP: Detroit's run game against Chicago's run defense. The Lions had 115 yards rushing against the Bears in Week 11, with David Montgomery doing most of the damage against the team that allowed him to leave as a free agent. The former Bear ran for 76 yards on 12 attempts and a go-ahead touchdown in the closing minute.

KEY INJURIES: Detroit DT Alim McNeill went on IR with a knee injury on Tuesday. ... C Frank Ragnow left last week’s game with a knee injury after being listed with back and toe ailments this season. ... LB Alex Anzalone was cleared to practice Wednesday after missing a game with a hand injury. ... Malcolm Rodriguez, who plays LB, FB and on special teams, has an ankle injury. ... The Bears have all their key players healthy.

SERIES NOTES: Detroit has won three straight against Chicago after dropping seven of eight. In Week 11, the Lions scored 17 points in the final 2:59.

STATS AND STUFF: The Lions are 9-3 for the first time since 1962, when they won 11 of their first 13 games. ... Detroit has clinched a winning record in two straight years for the first time since the 2016 and 2017 seasons. ... The Lions are averaging 400 yards and trail only the league-leading Miami Dolphins. They are the only teams that rank among the top five in passing and rushing. ... Detroit has had at least 325 yards in a single-season, team-record 12 straight games — doubling the second-longest active streak in the NFL. ... The Lions lead the league with 64 plays that have gained at least 20 yards. ... WR Amon-Ra St. Brown has 40-plus yards receiving in 22 straight games, eight more than the next-longest active streak in the NFL. ... Rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs has joined Najee Harris, Saquon Barkley, Marcus Allen and Joe Cribbs as the only players in league history to run for 600 yards and five TDs and catch 40-plus catches through the first 10 games of a career. ... Bruce Irvin, a 36-year-old edge rusher, had a sack in his Lions debut last week. ... DE Aidan Hutchinson has only one sack in seven games since getting 4 1/2 sacks over the first five games. ... The Bears are trying to win back-to-back games for the first time since beating Seattle and the New York Giants in Weeks 16 and 17 of the 2021 season. ... Chicago stopped a 12-game losing streak against division opponents with the win at Minnesota. ... The Bears have lost nine in a row following byes since a Week 9 win at Green Bay in 2013. ... Fields (1,963) has a chance to join Bobby Douglass (2,470) as the only Bears quarterbacks with 2,000 yards rushing. ... WR DJ Moore had a career-high 11 catches for 114 yards in the win against Minnesota, giving him 1,003 yards. It's his fourth 1,000-yard season. He also had seven catches for 96 yards against Detroit three weeks ago. ... DE Montez Sweat has a career-high-tying nine sacks — 2 1/2 in four games since a trade from Washington. ... CB Jaylon Johnson has a personal-best three interceptions this season.

FANTASY TIP: Montgomery, who played his first four seasons in Chicago, might have a little extra motivation in his return to Soldier Field.

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