LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- With his team sitting at 2-2 in the middle of the NFC North standings, Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs left no doubt about the importance of their game against the 4-0 Detroit Lions on Monday night.
"It's huge," Briggs said before Friday's practice. "It's a division game, and it's a game that puts us right in the mix or will set us back three games. We're just coming off two losses in the conference, so this is a must have. We have to have it. Period."
While that may be the prevailing thought in the locker room, teammate Israel Idonije didn't want to put that much emphasis on the game.
"It's a big game, but I look at it [like] one game is our game this week, and we have to get better," Idonije said. "We have to be better than what we've been, and it's a big opportunity to do that, facing a team with a lot of momentum on a big stage. And it's an opportunity for every individual to turn it up and get better and just play how we know how to play. We just have to get back to playing those fundamental basics."
Getting back to basics is a common mantra throughout Halas Hall. Captain Brian Urlacher knows that his team must play better, especially the defense, a unit which has given up huge chunks of yardage of the past few weeks.
"I don't know what it is," he said of the recent defensive struggles. "We're just not making big plays. We're giving up too many long runs, too many long passes. We're giving up big plays and not making any ourselves. We need to stop that somehow and try to figure out and get back to the way we used to play."
In order to do that, the Bears realize they must perform under the bright lights of Monday Night Football, a challenge they are excited about taking on.
For Bears defensive tackle and Detroit native Anthony Adams, playing at Ford Field on Monday night means a little more to him, and he knows his team is looking forward to the opportunity to get its season right back on track.
"It's huge," he said of the hype surrounding this game in Detroit. "Those tickets sold out when they said we were going to have a Monday night game. There's a lot of people there excited. They had those tickets before they knew [the Lions] were 4-0. So they're very excited and amped for this game as well as I am."