The Detroit Lions didn’t make it easy on themselves, but a 21-point fourth quarter vaulted them to a win over Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears. Again, the Lions got big performances from the defense, posting a pick-six and forcing two huge punts in the final period. Combine that with a huge game-winning drive from Jared Goff capped by a Jamaal Williams touchdown, and the Lions escaped with a narrow 31-30 victory to tally their second division win in arow.
The Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears are a combined 5-12 this season. Neither team is likely to make the playoffs, and both teams traded away valuable assets at last week’s trade deadline. Yet going into their Week 10 matchup against each other, you’d be hard pressed to find a fan on either side ready to hit the panic button.
The Lions are coming off the heels of a win over their greatest rivals: both the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers. Rookie safety Kerby Joseph had a career game, notching two interceptions and NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. It was a transformative performance from what had been an ailing defense for nearly the entire season.
As the season has gone on, several rookie players have emerged as potential cornerstone pieces of a young defense: Aidan Hutchinson, Josh Paschal, and Malcolm Rodriguez have all made big plays for the team and even second-year players like Alim McNeill, Derrick Barnes and Jerry Jacobs are making positive impacts as well. If the offense can get healthy and find some of that early-season magic, and the defense can continue this upward trajectory, it’s not hard to see a bright future for this team.
The Chicago Bears have their own Player of the Week in Justin Fields, fresh off of breaking the NFL record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a game. Fields has the offense humming over the last four weeks. In that span, the Bears have averaged 25 points and a whopping 243 rushing yards per game.
Although they’ve lost three of those four games due to a leaky defense, their performance still has Bears fans feeling something they haven’t felt in a very long time: the satisfaction of knowing they may finally have a franchise quarterback.
There’s a good chance both teams are looking at this week’s game as a very winnable contest that can keep the positive vibes going, but that means there could be a sudden and drastic comedown for whichever team loses on Sunday.
The Chicago Bears are slight 2.5-point favorites in this matchup, which will air at 1 p.m. ET on FOX.