LAKE FOREST — For a team that looked like it was ready to be buried, the Chicago Bears suddenly have some life. If they beat Detroit, they’ll really be in a good spot.
The Bears host the Lions on Sunday in a matchup between two of the three teams tied for the NFC North lead, hoping to strengthen their position in the division race.
“We understand what’s at stake, we understand how special this season is for us and what we’re capable of doing,” Bears receiver Brandon Marshall said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re up against, we’re going to approach it the same.”
The Bears are tied with the Lions and Packers at 5-3 after a surprising victory at Green Bay on Monday night. Now, they can make it back-to-back wins against division rivals at a time when it looked like they were falling apart.
After all, quarterback Jay Cutler is recovering from a groin injury. Star linebacker Lance Briggs is out with a small fracture in his left shoulder. Yet here are the Bears, somehow looking ready to go after knocking Aaron Rodgers out of the game and taking out the Packers, 27-20.
Few would have envisioned that, considering Chicago had dropped three of four and added its two of its most important players to a long injury list. Cutler and Briggs went down in a loss at Washington on Oct. 20, and while Cutler was trying to return this week after sitting out a game, the Bears can take some comfort knowing they have a reliable backup in Josh McCown.
The veteran has completed 59 percent of his passes for 476 yards with a 100.2 rating while filling in and has played turnover-free football.
The Lions, on the other hand, are relatively healthy at the moment and on a roll of their own.