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Bears-Lions matchup of the day: Thursday

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Dec. 02, 2010 @ 3:42 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Here's a look at another key matchup heading into Sunday's Week 13 battle between the Bears and Lions.

Bears' pass defense vs. Lions QB Drew Stanton

The last third-string quarterback to face the Bears — Dolphins QB Tyler Thigpen — didn't fare too well, as Chicago shut out Miami in Week 11.

With Matthew Stafford (shoulder) and Shaun Hill (finger) out nursing injuries, the Lions will be starting their third-stringer, Drew Stanton, on Sunday against an opportunistic defense that has the second-most interceptions in the league (16).

Stanton, who played extensively in a 28-20 loss to the Giants in Week Six, will have to be disciplined against the Bears' "D" and he'll also need to use his legs to create extra time to throw — Chicago has made 10 sacks in its last two games. If the Bears' defensive line continues generating consistent pressure, Stanton will need to get rid of the ball quickly or scramble away from pass rushers, and he's athletic enough to pick up yards on the ground.

The Bears will try to take away the deep throws to WR Calvin Johnson by playing safeties Danieal Manning and Chris Harris deep, although they probably won't be aligned quite as deep as they were against the Eagles in Week 12. Stanton could have to settle for shorter throws, and he'll need to be accurate for the Lions to move the chains.

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