What History tells us with Bears vs. Lions
|Wednesday, November 24, 2021, 9:32 AM- -|
The best part about playing a divisional opponent is that you get to see them twice during the season. That allows you to win not only once, but twice or you could lose twice, for that matter, depending on who you see. When it comes to the Detroit Lions, this is a team the Bears wish they could see more often, already securing a win against them this season and sporting a 103-75-5 mark against them all-time.
Earlier this season, we touched on the history between the teams through the 1980s, but now it is time to look at the last 30 years, starting with the 1990s. This may have been the only decade where Detroit had some momentum as the two teams seemed to split every meeting the first four years. A big reason for the sudden improvement for Detroit was having players like Herman Moore and Barry Sanders, who were elite playmakers on the field.
In the 1990s, the Lions took 10 of 14 games from the Bears as these were the glory days for the Lions franchise until the bottom completely fell out. That is not something Chicago is proud of, but their franchise was in a similar spot then as to where it is now. They were a team with no direction, and no identity, as wins in the 1990s were difficult to come by for this Bears team.
Once the New Millenium began, the Bears wasted no time establishing their will, winning three of the first four games in the 2000s and six of the first eight in total. Following a brief three-game skid that spanned 2003 into 2004, the Bears responded not only with four straight wins, but winners of 10 of 12 as they ripped off a six-game winning streak. That was their longest such streak since the 1970s and 80s, and it is no secret that the Bears made a Superbowl during that run as they were playing great football.
A loss followed that six-game winning streak, but then another three-game winning streak as the Bears were in total command of the Lions. As we continue to move along, we reached 2013 when the Bears luck against the Lions started to run out. Much like the 90s when the Lions were winning plenty of games, this was the last time this franchise was competitive, and they proved by making the playoffs several times.
Not only did they beat the Bears six consecutive times from the end of 2013 into early 2016, but the Lions won nine of 10 total games to leave the Bears once again searching for answers against them. This was when the Bears franchise to go through their next rebuilding mode as a franchise which started with the drafting of Mitch Trubisky and the hiring of Matt Nagy.
Sure, things haven't gone as planned since that time, but facing the Lions has always been a recipe for success for this team for the better part of the last several years. Not only did Chicago sweep Detroit in Nagy's first two seasons, but he won his first five games against them as a coach. His only loss against Detroit came late in 2020 when the Lions were able to escape with a 34-30 win.
In the team's first meeting this season, Chicago established complete control in the first half and held off the Lions in the second half to win 24-14. This was one of the better games from Justin Fields this season as he used his legs to his advantage more than at any point this season. With this week being the final meeting between the teams this season, it would be a perfect time for the Bears to put an end to their five-game skid and get back on the winning side of things.
Detroit is not only winless, but has always been the one team the Bears have been able to rely on to not only beat, but to play with confidence across the board. Despite not winning a game yet, Detroit plays with a ton of heart and has come close so many times. Eventually, these close games will turn into wins, so the Bears need to be ready for that.