Chicago Bears (5-6)
Schedule so far
Week 1 - vs. Bills - lost, 23-20 (OT)
Week 2 - at 49ers - won, 28-20
Week 3 - at Jets - won, 27-19
Week 4 - vs. Packers - lost, 38-17
Week 5 - at Panthers - lost, 31-24
Week 6 - at Falcons - won, 27-13
Week 7 - vs. Dolphins - lost, 27-14
Week 8 - at Patriots - lost, 51-23
Week 10 - at Packers - lost, 55-14
Week 11 - vs. Vikings - won, 21-13
Week 12 - vs. Buccaneers - won, 21-13
Reason for optimism
Quite simply, the Bears are not a very good team. Even though they've won back-to-back games, their offense continues to have a lot of issues thanks mainly to Jay Cutler, and their defense continues to look quite mediocre. What's more, they only have a short week to get ready for the Lions, and the atmosphere at Ford Field should be quite rowdy with this week's game coming on Thanksgiving.
Reason for pessimism
Well, the Bears have won two straight games, and it's not like the Lions have been playing well lately. I mean, the Lions have gone two straight games without a touchdown, so unless they suddenly remember how to play offense on Thursday, it's not going to matter how bad the Bears are.
Storyline to watch
This is a massively important game for the Lions. If they lose to the Bears and take a three-game losing streak into their mini-break following Thanksgiving, all the headlines are going to be about how they're on the verge of another second-half collapse. And more importantly, the Lions will really be on the verge of seeing their playoff hopes disappear. Their margin for error is already basically gone, so the Lions can't afford to lose at home to a bad Bears team.
For more on the Bears, check out Windy City Gridiron.