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NFL Monday night spotlight: Lions vs. Bears

Chicago looks to widen its NFC North lead while Detroit tries to get its potent offense back on track.

October 21, 2012|By Lance Pugmire
  • Calvin Johnson and the Lions are looking for some more big plays against the Bears on Monday night.
Calvin Johnson and the Lions are looking for some more big plays against… (Rick Osentoski / Associated…)

Detroit (2-3) at Chicago (4-1)

Time: 5:30 p.m. TV: ESPN

Story line: The Bears look to widen their NFC North lead over the slow-starting Lions. Last week's rally to defeat Philadelphia was a motivational moment that could drive the Lions, who've been hampered by a weak run game and surprisingly quiet front-seven play. Matthew Stafford will certainly look to throw at the Bears, but Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman have returned interceptions for scores in consecutive games.

Lions said: "It's a great chance and the coach has been stressing that. If we win, we're right back in it." — Justin Durant, linebacker

Bears said: "They do a lot of different run blitzes and things like that, so we're going to have to do play-actions and stuff to try to calm that down. It really just starts up front with not allowing penetration." — Matt Forte, running back

Bottom line: The Bears are favored by 6 1/2 points. … Detroit star Calvin Johnson only has only one touchdown reception, and the ball was not thrown by Stafford. … The teams had hostile moments last season, with Ndamukong Suh tearing Bears quarterback Jay Cutler's helmet off. … Bears cornerback Tim Jennings started the weekend tied for the NFL lead with four interceptions.

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