No guarantees from Lance Briggs

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Bears downplayed the guarantee made Monday by Lions receiver Nate Burleson, who on his radio show ensured a Detroit victory over Chicago in Sunday's showdown at Ford Field.

Interestingly, Burleson made the comments before the 2-9 Lions announced third-stringer Drew Stanton would be the starting quarterback in place of Shaun Hill, who has a broken index finger on his right throwing hand.

In discussing the matchup on Thursday, Bears linebacker Lance Briggs brought up Burleson's guarantee unsolicited.

"You have to be careful [overlooking a team such as the Lions]," said Briggs, whose Bears are 8-3 and sit atop the NFC North. "They did guarantee a win, too. They have that, too. There's a lot of pressure there."

Asked what he thought of Burleson's comments, Briggs showed empathy, even mentioning his own gaffe with guaranteeing a win. Briggs guaranteed a victory over Indianapolis in 2004, and the Colts ended up stomping the Bears 41-10.

"Deep down, every player, I would think you would guarantee a win every week you go into it," Briggs said. "It's good. It should fire them up. I know it definitely fires us up. We've got it pinned up everywhere in our meeting rooms. I've been tricked into guaranteeing a win a long time ago. I won't be tricked again. We got beat like 45-12 or something like that. I'm not going to guarantee more wins."

Fellow Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher wouldn't go there either, but came close.

"I think we're going to win, but I'm not going to guarantee it," he said.

Like Briggs, Urlacher empathized with Burleson. At the same time, Urlacher couldn't resist taking a jab at Briggs for the 2004 guarantee.

"I know what [Burleson] is saying. You fully expect to win every game. If you don't believe that, why are you playing?" Urlacher said. "I'm not sure you go out and say that, but I think we all believe that. It's just that some guys don't say it as much in the public as [others] do, I guess. I think Lance did that a couple years ago, didn't he? Against the Colts, wasn't it? That was a good game [smiles]. We were playing good, then, though."

Meanwhile, Burleson stood by what he said earlier in the week, which comes off as somewhat odd considering the Lions have lost 18 consecutive division contests since defeating the Bears back in October 2007.

"I'm not saying the Chicago Bears aren't good. They're a very good team, don't get me wrong," Burleson told the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday. "They can take it as bulletin[-board] material if they want, but we play to win the game. I'm not going to tell you that I hope we win or we're going to lose in a close battle. We're stepping on our home field Sunday trying to leave with a victory, and I said we're going to win."

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.