The Lions are back in the friendly confines of Ford Field today as they host division foe Chicago. Detroit is coming off a big win last week in Los Angeles against the Chargers and are looking to stay undefeated in the NFC North on the year with a win today.
Here are five things to watch out for in today's NFC North matchup:
1. DEFENSIVE BOUNCEBACK
The Lions walked out of SoFi Stadium last week with a 41-38 shootout win and it was good to see the team win one of those games. They'd been on the losing end of a few of them in recent history under Dan Campbell.
They'd obviously prefer to play a more balanced game with all three phases playing well, but that's not always the case in the NFL. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn said this week his players on defense are highly motivated to play better.
Chicago gets quarterback Justin Fields back from injury this week and they have the No. 5 rushing offense in the league. They have skill position weapons in wide receiver D.J. Moore and tight end Cole Kmet, who can be dangerous and productive if Detroit's defense lets them. Glenn has emphasized being disciplined in their rush this week and getting population to the football.
2. ST. BROWN'S STREAK
Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is looking to extend his streak of 100-yard receiving performances to five straight today vs. a Bears' defense that ranks 26th in the NFL in passing defense (248.2). He and Dallas' CeeDee Lamb are currently tied for the NFL's longest streak of 100-yard performances at four.
St. Brown has six 100-yard receiving performances this season and has 65 receptions for 821 yards and four touchdowns on the year. Interestingly, the Bears' defense has allowed only one player to notch 100 receiving yards on the season and that was Week 2 vs. Tampa Bay's Mike Evans (171). Six times this year an opponent has had at least nine different players catch a pass against Chicago.
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3. DIVISION GAME
The Lions have a game and a half lead in the NFC North over Minnesota and are 1-0 within the division. This is just their second division game of the season, but they have three in their next four contests.
"If you aspire to win the division, you have to win your division games," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said this week. "It's as simple as that. You don't know how these games are going to unfold. You don't know how the season's going to entirely unfold at the end, but certainly, you better have a majority of the division wins if that's what you plan on doing. I always say they count for two. This is like winning two games a little bit when you play these division games."
4. BROTHERLY LOVE
Today's contest will feature brothers Amon-Ra St. Brown and Equanimeous St. Brown.
"When it comes to my brother, I can trash talk him as much as I want," Amon-Ra said this week of the Lions having the better record heading into the matchup.
"It's a lot of fun just with family being around. Getting to play him. I know some of the players on the team through him. He knows some of the players on our team through me. It's a lot of fun."
Lions tackle Penei Sewell also has a sibling on the Bears in linebacker Noah Sewell, but Noah was ruled out for this game with a knee injury so they won't get to go head-to-head.
5. DYNAMIC DUO
Veteran David Montgomery and rookie Jahmyr Gibbs showed last week against the Chargers just how dynamic a duo they can be when healthy and playing together in Detroit's backfield. The two combined for 193 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the win.
The Lions rank fourth in the NFL with 14 rushing touchdowns on the year and have rushed for at least 200 yards in back-to-back games for the first time since 1997. Gibbs has 676 scrimmage yards on the season (despite missing two games) and Montgomery has 567 (while also missing two games).
Both players give offensive coordinator Ben Johnson a lot of versatility within the run game and Gibbs is proving to be quite the pass catcher as well, which adds another layer to this offense. Can the two put on another show this week against the Bears' No. 2 ranked run defense?