Khalil Mack and the Bears look to take down Matt Stafford and the Lions for the second time this season. Photo credit: Sports Interaction

Mike Santarelli

Sports Editor

Thursday’s festivities begin at 11:30 CST on CBS with the Bears heading to Detroit for their second matchup of the year. Both teams are coming off big wins. With just three division matchups left there is no room for error.

The teams faced off in Chicago just two weeks ago when the Bears beat the Lions 34-22 at Soldier Field. The Bears were in control throughout the game and are the favorites heading into week 12.

With a win for the Bears, they would extend their lead in the NFC North while getting their eighth win for the first time since 2013, under Marc Trestman. At 7-3, the Bears are likely to reach the playoffs with six games left to be played, but another win against the Lions would increase their chances of winning the division and getting home-field advantage in a playoff game.

The Bears have not taken both games against the Lions since 2012. Since then, the Lions have swept the Bears four times and have won nine of the last 11 matchups, including a Thanksgiving game in 2014, where the Lions won 34-17.

The highly touted Bears defense enters the game with 18 interceptions (most in the NFL), as they look to stop Matthew Stafford and Chicago native, Kenny Golladay, who has emerged as the Lions lead receiver since the club traded Golden Tate prior to the deadline. Golladay notched six catches for 78 yards and a touchdown against the Bears on November 11th.

The Bears enter the game fourth in point differential and look to continue their dominance against a struggling Detroit Lions. Coming off the biggest win of the season, there are high hopes for quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the rest of the Bears’ team. Trubisky threw for 355 yards against the Lions in week 10– a career high.

Keys to the Game

  • Running the football

The Bears rushed for just 54 yards against the Lions defense that ranks 24th in the league in week 10. Last week, both Bears’ running backs were held under four yards per carry against the Vikings. Establishing the running game will not only be vital to ensuing a win against the Lions, but will be vital for a team that is looking to make a playoff push.

  • Limiting mistakes

There is no doubt that this Bears team is much better than the Lions on paper. The Bears are the best in the league against the rush, allowing just 77.8 yards per game. The Lions are the ninth worst rushing team in the NFL. By limiting turnovers, converting on third down and making field goals, the Bears will keep the Lions’ extra opportunities to a minimum and put themselves in a position to win their eighth game