|National Football League|
CHICAGO -- The Detroit Lions will look to improve their playoff chances and win their third game in a row when they visit the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field.
Meanwhile, the Bears would love nothing more than to spoil the plans of their division rival.
Detroit (5-4) is surging on offense as it enters Week 11. The Lions have scored 68 points in their past two victories over the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns and rank sixth in the NFL with 27.1 points per game.
Chicago (3-6) will try to end a two-game losing streak after dropping games to the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers. The end zone has proved to be elusive for the majority of the season for the Bears, who have scored fewer than 20 points in seven of nine games this season.
Narrow outcomes have been a series hallmark in recent seasons. Nine of the last 10 meetings between the Lions and Bears have been decided by single digits, and five of those games have been determined by three points or fewer.
The series was even at 1 last season as each team won by a field goal on their home field.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford hopes to build a comfortable lead this weekend but knows that such a scenario is far from guaranteed. He has thrown for 22 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 14 career meetings against the Bears.
This season, Stafford has an impressive 96.3 passer rating. He has 2,461 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and five interceptions. His most popular target, wide receiver Golden Tate, has hauled in 56 passes for 659 yards and three touchdowns.
Wide receiver Marvin Jones, who leads the team with five receiving touchdowns, will line up alongside Tate.
"They've got a lot of big-play guys," said Bears coach John Fox, who mentioned that Tate leads the NFL in yards after the catch. "They've got weapons that are in the top 10 in the National Football League."
Stafford said he and his teammates could not afford to feel comfortable despite their recent success.
"(Tate) is seeing the game well at the moment, I feel like I am as well, and really all our skill guys are doing a nice job," Stafford told the team's official website. "But just like anything in this league, you have got to prove it week in and week out.
"You can't ride into a game saying, 'We got a great run game, we got a great pass game, we got this or that.' You've got to prove it every week."
The Lions have been less formidable on the ground, where Ameer Abdullah leads the team with 469 yards and three scores. Cornerback Darius Slay (four interceptions) and defensive end Anthony Zettel (six sacks) stand out on the other side of the ball.
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will make his sixth start and his fourth at Soldier Field. Trubisky passed for a career-high 297 yards last week and owns an overall passer rating of 75.6 with 809 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Trubisky is upbeat after completing 60 percent of his passes (21 of 35) last week, which marked his best rate of the season. Wide receiver Dontrelle Inman caught six passes for 88 yards in his debut, and Trubisky completed passes to seven players.
"I like what I'm seeing," Trubisky told reporters this week at the Bears' practice facility. "We just need to continue to develop that rhythm and timing and keep building our chemistry."
On the ground, Jordan Howard leads the Bears with 716 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He has three 100-yard performances this season but has not rushed for a touchdown in the past five games.
The Bears' defensive unit is led by Akiem Hicks, who has seven sacks and consistently has plugged run gaps throughout the season. Second-year pass rusher Leonard Floyd is next with 5 1/2 sacks.
Chicago is 2-3 at home this season and Detroit is 3-1 on the road.
This marks the 175th meeting between the Bears and Lions, with Chicago leading the series 97-72-5. The teams will meet again Dec. 16 at Ford Field to wrap up the regular-season series.
Updated November 15, 2017