The Bears will try to snap a three-game losing streak and improve to 6-9 when they host the Detroit Lions in their final home contest of the season Sunday at Soldier Field.
With the surprise benching of quarterback Jay Cutler, backup Jimmy Clausen will make his first start since 2010 when he went 1-9 as a rookie with the Carolina Panthers.
After signing with the Bears June 5, Clausen completed 24 of 37 passes for 280 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and a 94.4 passer rating in three preseason games. He's served as the team's No. 2 quarterback all season, seeing limited action late in three blowout losses.
Clausen will face a difficult task Sunday against a Lions defense that has allowed the fewest points in the NFL (238) and ranks second in total yards (300.3). The unit is led by tackle Ndamukong Suh, end Ezekiel Ansah, linebacker DeAndre Levy and safety Quin Glover.
While the Bears (5-9) are in last place in the NFC North, the resurgent Lions (10-4) are tied with the Packers (10-4) for first place. Detroit clinched a playoff berth Saturday when the Eagles lost to the Redskins and can win the division title with victories over the Bears and Packers.
The Bears lead the all-time series with the Lions 96-68-5 but have lost three straight. They haven't dropped four in a row to Detroit since a five-game skid from 1971-73.
The Bears lost the last meeting between the teams 34-17 on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit. Chicago jumped to a 14-3 lead but was outscored 31-3 over the final three quarters. The Lions scored touchdowns on three straight possessions in the second quarter to take control.
Matthew Stafford completed 34 of 45 passes for 390 yards with two touchdowns and a 116.0 passer rating. Calvin Johnson had 11 receptions for 146 yards and two TDs.
Entering Week 16, the Bears ranked 18th in the NFL in offense (26th rushing and tied for 12th passing) and 30th in defense (15th against the run and 31st versus the pass). The Lions ranked 17th in offense (30th rushing and 9th passing) and 2nd in defense (1st versus the run and 14th versus the pass).