The Chicago Bears had plenty of reasons to be motivated this week to beat the Detroit Lions.
Chicago is closing in on its first NFC North championship since winning a second straight in 2006 and its road to the title will get tougher after rolling out of the Motor City.
Then, receiver Nate Burleson opened his mouth.
He prodded the Bears by guaranteeing a victory Sunday at home against them.
“They can take it as bulletin material if they want, but we play to win the game,” Burleson said. “I’m not going to tell you that I hope we win or we’re going to lose in a close battle.”
Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs said he was glad Burleson made his prediction public.
“It should fire them up. I know it definitely fires us up,” Briggs said. “We’ve got it pinned up everywhere in our meeting rooms.”
Briggs knows all too well how such guarantees can backfire after making one in 2004 before playing the Indianapolis Colts, only to get routed.