Lions vs. Bears 2014 live stream: Time, TV schedule and how to watch online
Jimmy Clausen’s first start for Chicago comes against one of the league’s best defenses.
The Chicago Bears have spent nearly the entire season at the bottom of the NFC North. While the playoffs aren’t in their immediate future, they could still reclaim some relevance by knocking off the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Detroit has spent most of 2014 in the shadows of the more respected but no-more talented division rivals in Green Bay. However, it is the Lions rather than the Packers who enter Week 16 atop the NFC North standings. Detroit has featured strong defensive play all season behind the masterful work of new coordinator Teryl Austin. Though the offense has struggled for much of the year, Matthew Stafford has exploded of late, suggesting the team might be peaking at just the right time. While the top seen in the NFC playoffs is all but off the table, the Lions can claim the No. 2 seed if they win out. They could also sweep the Bears for the second time in as many years.
Stafford’s recent run of success is a stark departure from the first 11 games of the season. The quarterback hasn’t thrown an interception in the past three weeks, and has completed more than 70 percent of his passes in two of those matchups. He also twice topped 300 yards passing. Part of that success should be credited to his receivers. Golden Tate is enjoying the best season of his career. He topped 1,000-yard mark four weeks ago, the first time he’s ever done that in his career. Despite missing several games with a high-ankle sprain, Calvin Johnson expects to join him soon. He currently sits at 935 yards with two games left to go.
As for the Bears, 2014 couldn’t have gone much worse. Once-heralded head coach Marc Trestman may not have much time left to his tenure, and star quarterback Jay Cutler might be joining him. The team made the unexpected move this week to bench Cutler for journeyman Jimmy Clausen. Cutler was given a massive seven-year, $126 million extension just months ago, but it appears the Bears have soured on him and want to see what else they have at the position. Clausen was a second-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2010.
Clausen has attempted just nine passes for the Bears thus far in 2014. His only other regular season stats come from his rookie year in Carolina. He completed just 52.5 percent of his passes for 1,558 yards and a dreadful 1:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Because of Clausen’s limitations, the Bears will likely put more on the plate of tailback Matt Forte. The seventh-year veteran is approaching the fifth 1,000-yard rushing season of his career, needing just 68 more yards over the team’s final two games to reach the milestone. With 745 yards, he could somewhat realistically also reach 1,000 yards receiving. However, he caught only two passes for 21 yards a week ago.
The Lions enter the game with a record of 10-4. The Bears come in at 5-9.
How to watch
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago
When: 1 p.m. ET
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
Online streaming: Verizon NFL Mobile
The Lions are 9.5-point favorites according to OddsShark.