Chicago Bears (5-3)
Schedule so far
Week 1 - vs. Bengals - won, 24-21
Week 2 - vs. Vikings - won, 31-30
Week 3 - at Steelers - won, 40-23
Week 4 - at Lions - lost, 40-32
Week 5 - vs. Saints - lost, 26-18
Week 6 - vs. Giants - won, 27-21
Week 7 - at Redskins - lost, 45-41
Week 9 - at Packers - won, 27-20
Reason for optimism
Although they did win on Monday, the Bears are going to have a short week to get ready for Sunday's game against the Lions. What's more, they have uncertainty at the quarterback position. Josh McCown was excellent against the Packers, but Chris Mortensen reports that the injured Jay Cutler hopes to return this week. Perhaps playing against a less-than-100-percent Cutler would actually be better than taking on a healthy McCown.
Reason for pessimism
Back in 2011, the last time the Lions were in this situation, they lost to the Bears by a score of 37-13. Detroit was coming off a bye week and an excellent start to the first half of the season, whereas Chicago was coming off a win on a Monday night. The short week didn't matter, as the Lions again failed to beat the Bears at Soldier Field. You actually have to go back to 2007 for the Lions' last victory on the road against the Bears
Storyline to watch
The main storyline for the Bears this week revolves around the following question: Will Cutler be able to play? When he originally tore a groin muscle, the expectation was that he would for sure miss the Lions game. However, it's looking more and more like Cutler could return in time for Sunday's game. Will that turn out to be the case? It remains to be seen, but this will be a story worth following this week.
For more on the Bears, check out Windy City Gridiron.