The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions are entering a new year, but there are two games in the old season still to be played.
And while the Bears’ sights are already toward the offseason at 3-11, the Lions still have playoff hopes with a 7-8 record. In order to make their Week 17 date against the Green Bay Packers a meaningful one, they’ll need to beat the Bears first.
The Bears, meanwhile, are riding an eight-game losing streak and would set a franchise record if they fall in Detroit. With a chance at the No. 1 pick still a possibility, there would at least be a nice consolation prize for making the bad kind of history.
What will happen?
Here are the CHGO staff predictions for the game …
Will DeWitt (8-7) — Lions 31, Bears 24
I expect this game to look a lot like the last meeting between these two teams, and that means points in bunches for both sides. The Lions have allowed the most points this season, and their offense has more than enough firepower to impose their will on the Bears’ defense all game long. The Lions have everything to gain by beating the Bears as they aim to keep their playoff hopes alive. And the Bears have everything to lose if they end up playing spoiler this week with the top pick within reach.
Mark Carman (8-7) — Bears 27, Lions 25
The Lions can’t stop anyone. Neither can the Bears. But the Lions had their playoffs hopes lessened while the Bears can finally breathe moving indoors to play and not having to deal with Buffalo or Philadelphia. The Bears have never lost nine games in a row in franchise history. The 2022 Bears — unfortunately — will do their part to not set a new record. Detroit doesn’t give up another 320 yards on the ground but they give up plenty and the Bears walk out a winner in the New Year.
Greg Braggs, Jr. (11-4) — Lions 34, Bears 24
Bears may have some help on the way with Teven Jenkins and possibly Chase Claypool returning to action. Good news for those of you that think Justin Fields needs more development over these last two weeks. Still a huge talent gap they have to overcome week in and week out for the Bears. I probably would’ve labeled this a trap game for the Lions, if not for the fact that they got bit by the trap last week vs Carolina. With Detroit returning back home, where they play very well and coming off a loss, I see the Lions playing with a big sense of urgency with the playoffs on the line. Will be interesting to see if this Bears secondary can play a fourth straight game of solid defense. As they seem to have benefited from three straight home games and some very cold weather these past few weeks. Either way, same ol song and dance. Bears just don’t have enough to hand for four quarters vs playoff caliber teams.
Adam Hoge (7-8) — Lions 30, Bears 27
Earlier in the week, I was confident the Lions would win this one easily, but it appears the Bears are getting healthier on offense. Their offensive line is as healthy as it has been in weeks and Chase Claypool should return as a primary target for Justin Fields. Given the success the Bears had moving the ball on the Lions in the first meeting, I expect them to be able to put up plenty of points. The problem, however, remains on the defensive side of the football, where the Bears’ front seven is completely exposed. Perhaps the secondary slows down Jared Goff a little bit, but it will take a slew of takeaways to win this game. The Lions should be able to run the ball with ease and squeeze out a close win in an entertaining football game.
Nicholas Moreano (7-8) — Bears 27, Lions 24
The Bears haven’t won a game in over two months, but I think that comes to an end at Ford Field on Sunday. The Lions couldn’t stop the run whatsoever against the Panthers last week, and last time the Bears played the Lions, Justin Fields torched Detroit’s defense for 147 rushing yards. To be fair, I also see the Lions having a fairly effective game offensively against the Bears’ leaky defense. Still, I’m taking the Bears. (Also, I needed to take a risk and steal a win in the overall standings.)
Corey Wootton (9-6) – Lions 24, Bears 21
Detroit is fighting for their playoff hope and coming off a bad loss to Carolina. This will be a close one, coming down to a late field goal by Detroit to seal it.
Carmen Vitali (9-6) — Lions 31, Bears 17
Detroit still has everything to play for and their defensive line/pass rush has steadfastly improved towards the back end of the season. The offense is back to firing on all cylinders too and I just don’t think the Bears in their current state can keep up.
Kevin Kaduk (9-6) — Lions 38, Bears 27
Justin Fields will put points on the board, but there’s no reason to have any faith in the defense doing anything to keep the game close. A loss not only helps the Bears’ draft stock, but also hurts the Packers’ chances of backing into the playoffs. I’m fine with it.
Jake Flannigan (9-6) — Lions 31, Bears 17
The league’s longest losing streak is extended to nine games. The NFL Draft is 119 days away. I repeat: The NFL Draft is 119 days away. The future is very bright. Bear Down.