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Previewing the Lions' next opponent: Bears 2015 season defined by inconsistency

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The Chicago Bears have shown flashes of marked improvement, but have also struggled badly at times.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 Chicago Bears season has been a confusing one. Because of the new coaching regime, it didn't come as much of a surprise that Chicago got off to a slow start, losing their first three games out of the gate. But, at times, the Bears have looked very good during the season, picking up win in Green Bay and at St. Louis. However, a myriad of issues have pulled this team down to a mere 6-9 record. Here's a quick look at their schedule thus far:

Schedule so far:

Week 1 - vs. Packers - lost, 23-31

Week 2 - vs. Cardinals - lost, 23-48

Week 3 - at Seahawks - lost, 0-26

Week 4 - vs. Raiders - won, 22-20

Week 5 - at Chiefs - won, 18-17

Week 6 - at Lions - lost, 34-37

Week 8 - vs. Vikings - lost, 20-23

Week 9 - at Chargers - won, 22-19

Week 10 - at Rams - won, 37-13

Week 11 - vs. Broncos - lost, 15-17

Week 12 - at Packers - won, 17-13

Week 13 - vs. 49ers - lost, 20-26

Week 14 - vs. Redskins - lost, 21-24

Week 15 - at Vikings - lost, 17-38

Week 16 - at Buccaneers - won, 26-12

Reasons for optimism:

The Bears defense is still very bad. When the two teams faced off back in Week 6, the Bears ranked 24th and 27th (by DVOA) in pass and rush defense respectively. Now, Chicago ranks 20th in pass defense and dead last in run defense.

Back in Week 6, the Lions put up 546 yards of offense against the Bears, their highest total this season by over 100 yards. If it weren't for the Lions' three turnovers on the day, the game likely would not have been as competitive as it was.

Reasons for pessimism:

The Bears' record is poor, especially as of late, but it is a bit misleading. Robbie Gould essentially lost two back-to-back games for the Bears, after missing a potentially game-winning 36 yard field goal against the 49ers, then flubbing a game-tying field goal the following week against the Redskins.

Additionally, the Bears' offense has taken serious strides this season. Specifically, the Bears' running game has been explosive, despite the occasional injury to Matt Forte. The Bears have rushed for 80 or more yards in every single game this season. Though the Lions fared well at stopping Forte the last time the two teams met, Detroit has been extremely inconsistent at stopping the run since.