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Then and Now: Bears Not Same Team Who Barely Beat the Lions

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Bears beat the Lions 19-14 in the first season of the game, but much has changed for both teams since that game.

    Then: Cutler and his offensive line seemed to be playing at odds. In a ridiculously pass-heavy offense, the QB was sacked four times.

    Now: Though Cutler was sacked four times by the Eagles last weekend, there is a huge difference between the pass rush that the Eagles bring and that of the Lions. The offense worked as a unit, and a rushing attack has been added.

    Then: Devin Aromashodu was one of Cutler's main targets.

    Now: After an end zone drop against the Lions, Aromashodu has been pushed to the back of the Bears receivers. The team now favors the three-headed receiving monster of Johnny Knox, Devin Hester and Earl Bennett. Aromashodu only has eight catches.

    Then: Calvin Johnson was the Lions' best offensive weapon, and is a receiver capable of big games.

    Now: Calvin Johnson is the Lions' best offensive weapon, and is a receiver capable of big games.

    Then: The Bears barely won, and did it by virtue of an iffy call on a late Detroit touchdown.

    Now: Luck hasn't improved for the Lions, who have only won two games. Five of their nine losses were by less than a touchdown.

    Then:
    Rookie sensation Ndamukong Suh barely made a dent, notching just one tackle and one sack against the Bears.

    Now: Apparently, the Bears were a warm-up team, because Suh has been a stud. He has 45 tackles, eight sacks and an interception, and will be a huge problem for the Bears offensive line on Sunday.

    Then: Based on the skills shown in the game, the playoffs seemed unlikely for either team.

    Now: That hasn't changed for the Lions, who at 2-9, are not going to the postseason. The Bears, on the other hand, have turned it up a notch and at 8-3, are battling with the Packers for the NFC North title and the chance to play for the Super Bowl.