DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 30: Fans cheer in support of the Detroit Lions as they face the Denver Broncos Sports Authority at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 30, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Lions defeated the Broncos 45-10. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Exactly one month ago, the Bears lost to the Lions on Monday Football. This loss was not run of the mill. It was filled with multiple false start penalties, sacks, and lots and lots of Lions yards. It was a game so ugly that one Bear even lost his job.
This Sunday, the Lions will come to Chicago for a game that may be a deciding factor in playoff spots. What has happened in that month? How are the Lions different?
Harris to the Lions: Against the Lions, Chris Harris was burned by Detroit stars Calvin Johnson and Jahvid Best for long scores, and was released just a few days after the game. He signed with the Lions, who were looking to boost their secondary. You can bet that he'll be looking to exact revenge on the team who cut him.
Losing streak: Their win over Chicago put the Lions at 5-0, but they dropped the next two games to San Francisco and Atlanta. Both games were close and to tough teams, but it pierced the invincibility cloak that had surrounded the Lions to that point in the season. They were beatable.
Handshake Hysteria: Lions coach Jim Schwartz is an emotional guy. 49ers coach (and former Bears QB) Jim Harbaugh is an emotional guy. All that emotion blew up after the 49ers handed the Lions their first loss of the season. During the tradition postgame handshake between coaches, Schwartz took exception to Harbaugh's exuberant backslap, and ran after him. A punchless fracas ensued.
Not what's Best: Running back Jahvid Best was one of the reasons why the Lions offense was so potent. He ran for 163 yards against Chicago, but then suffered a concussion in the loss to San Francisco. He hasn't played since, and is not expected to play on Sunday.
The destruction of Tebow: After the two-game losing streak, the Lions came roaring back (Ha! Lions roar! Get it?) with a 45-10 win over the Broncos. They sacked Tim Tebow for a loss of 55 yards, and forced three turnovers. They took that momentum into the bye week, much like the Bears did with their win over Tampa Bay in London.
The losses, both in games and of injured players, have taken their toll on this team. Now, they will come to Chicago to show if they truly are a playoff team. Will they do it? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter.