The Detroit Lions come into Soldier Field on Monday Night with their backs against the wall in the division race. The way things are shaping early a loss would put the Lions at 2-4 on the season, three games behind the Bears for the division lead.
A team that had strong playoff aspirations and some might argue Super Bowl aspirations faces a must-win game against a division opponent in order to keep their post season hopes alive.
The Chicago Bears meanwhile are cruising along at 4-1 with everyone in the city talking about being 7-1 before and the big worry being the Texans and 49ers games.
Taking a step back about the Bears and their overinflated 29-point per game total there has to be a realization that the defense is not going to keep scoring at this rate.
The Bears are 22nd in touchdown passes with seven and 9th in touchdown runs with five. Twelve total touchdowns on offense through five games is just over two touchdowns a game, with 10 field goals made and if you take out the defensive scores that equates to 19 points a game. Nineteen points per game on offense would put the Bears at around 23rd in the NFL in points per game average.
So there is still a need for the offense to step up and perform up to the level it's capable of achieving. The Lions are a team fully capable of taking the Bear out of their offensive comfort zone. This is going to be an extremely scrappy, and personal battle that could get chippy.
Playing through the whistle and getting hits on Cutler frustrating the Bears signal-caller would not portend to a high level of offensive consistency.
The Bears need to realize just how serious of a game this is for the Lions, even more so than it is for the Bears. The Lions are going to be fighting for their playoff lives, because not many 2-4 teams make the playoffs.
The Lions also have their emotional leader back on defense in safety Louis Delmas whose fiery brand of play makes the players around him better.
The margin of error for the Bears in this game will be slim because the Lions will not want their season to all but end on Monday night. The chances of the Bears losing this game by not coming out and matching the intensity of Detroit is greater than normal.