The Bears have more than a few things to consider as they prepare for the Detroit Lions next Sunday. Theyre not necessarily good things.
The Bears had defeated the Minnesota Vikings six straight times before Dec. 9. That counted for nothing, less than nothing in fact.
The Bears had beaten the Lions six straight times before going into Ford Field last year and were handled on Monday Night Football.
The Lions were exposed as last season went along, being cleanly passed up by the Bears in the playoff pursuit before Jay Cutler broke his thumb.
Detroit made the playoffs with a 10-6 record and then were crushed by the New Orleans Saints in the wild-card round. Right now the Bears probably would willingly settle for a chance to be crushed taking a 10-6 record into the wild-card round.
Still searching on offense
What last season revealed was that the Lions could win without a balanced offense but with Calvin Johnson catching 96 passes as long as tight end Brandon Pettigrew caught 83 and Nate Burleson 73.
Johnson is having one of the greatest wide-receiver seasons in history: 117 catches, 1,892 yards. The next two receivers other than running back Joique Bell have a combined 94. The Lions are 4-11.
The Bears have the top-end-receiver part worked out with Brandon Marshall but the next four wide receivers other than Matt Forte have a combined 86 receptions. The Bears are 9-6 because their defense and special teams have scored 10 touchdowns.
Cutler arguably has played better against the Lions than any other team in his career: a combined 11 touchdown passes vs. one interception and a rating of 100.9.
Not coincidentally, Forte has averaged 86 rushing yards in Detroit games with Cutler. Also not coincidentally perhaps, Forte did not rush for more than 85 yards in any of the Bears five losses in the skid that put the postseason in the jeopardy it currently stands.
An unknown right now is the state of Fortes ankle both over that span he had two ankle problems earlier this season and what his condition is for next Sunday after he left Arizona with his ankle in a walking boot.
Ill play, Forte said. Which is what Michael Bush was saying just about up until the time he went on injured reserve.