The Bears will look to record their third straight victory and reach the .500 mark heading into their bye week when they visit the Detroit Lions Sunday at Ford Field.
After an 0-3 start, the Bears have rallied to win back-to-back games in the final minute of regulation for the first time since 1962. They beat the Raiders 22-20 on Robbie Gould's 49-yard field goal with :02 to play and turned a 17-6 deficit into an 18-17 victory over the Chiefs as Jay Cutler threw two TD passes in the final 3:05.
"Dealing with victories is sometimes harder than dealing with losses," Cutler said. "You feel like you've arrived a little bit. But I think with this team, we're not there yet. Everyone knows we're not there yet.
|Jay Cutler has passed for 2,669 yards with 17 touchdowns in 12 career games against Detroit.
"We're kind of business as usual. Obviously there's going to be a little bit more confidence because of two wins, but I think everybody's feet are still on the ground. We're staying focused."
The Lions (0-5) are the NFL's only winless team and have already matched their loss total from last season when they earned a wildcard berth with an 11-5 record in Jim Caldwell's first year as coach.
Last Sunday the Lions took a 7-0 lead over the Cardinals before allowing 35 unanswered points in a 42-17 loss at Ford Field. Detroit set an NFL record by attempting 70 passes. Quarterback Matthew Stafford was benched after throwing three interceptions, but he's expected to start against the Bears.
"I still see all the talent and the explosiveness that they've had the past few years, ever since [Stafford] has been there, particularly with that receiving group that he's got in [Calvin] Johnson and [Golden] Tate," said defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
"They have just struggled a little bit. They've played some really good defenses and it just hasn't worked out for them. But they're still very capable of winning a lot of games during the season."
In 12 career games against the Lions, Cutler has passed for 2,669 yards with 17 touchdowns, seven interceptions and an 89.9 passer rating. In 14 contests, Kyle Long has rushed for 1,066 yards and six TDs and caught four touchdown passes—his most in all three categories versus any NFL opponent.
Bears linebacker Shea McClellin (knee), defensive lineman Ego Ferguson (ankle), safety Antrel Rolle (ankle) and cornerback Terrance Mitchell (hamstring) all are doubtful after being missing practice Friday.
Nine Bears are questionable: Receivers Alshon Jeffery (hamstring), Eddie Royal (ankle) and Joshua Bellamy (groin); tight end Martellus Bennett (quad); left tackle Jermon Bushrod (shoulder); guard Patrick Omameh (ankle); outside linebacker Pernell McPhee (shoulder); and defensive linemen Jeremiah Ratliff (ankle) and Will Sutton (elbow).
The only new addition to that list Friday was Bennett, who hurt his quad in Thursday's practice. Bennett leads the Bears and ranks second among NFL tight ends with 28 receptions for 233 yards and two touchdowns. The only tight end with more catches is the Cowboys' Jason Witten (30), Bennett's teammate in Dallas from 2008-11.
The Bears lead the all-time series 96-69-5 over the Lions, but they've lost four straight for the first time since they dropped five in a row from 1971-73.
Detroit won the last meeting 20-14 last Dec. 21 at Soldier Field. Making his only start of the season, Jimmy Clausen threw two TD passes to stake the Bears to a 14-10 lead. But the Lions rallied with 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to sweep the season series for the first time since 2007.
After Week 5, the Bears rank 27th in offense (16th rushing and tied for 27th passing) and 4th in defense (24th against the run and 3rd versus the pass). The Lions rank 26th in offense (32nd rushing and 9th passing) and 22nd in defense (27th versus the run and 17th versus the pass).