It is Thanksgiving and the Detroit Lions! This cherished tradition brings back memories, both good and not-so-good, for every Lions fan from their youth. We have witnessed snowstorms from Tiger Stadium to eight-legged Turkeys as the television crew passed out cherished awards after the game. In 2013, we watched a rough start by Detroit turn into a 40-10 stomping of the Green Bay Packers. We have witnessed Barry Sanders score three impressive touchdowns in 1997 against this year’s opponent, the Chicago Bears.
Bruce Walker (@smoke25):
Eleven short days ago, these same Bears sacked Matthew Stafford six times and intercepted him twice as they rolled to a 34-22 win at Soldier Field. This week, Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is doubtful to play and the Lions are notably without their star running back, Kerryon Johnson, among others.
Last week, the Lions were able to protect Stafford with an effective short passing game supported with the strong running of Johnson. There is concern that Detroit will struggle to have the same success against the Bears, who boast the best run defense in the NFL, giving up only 77.8-yards per game. Chicago is also tied for 5th place in the NFL in sacks — meaning the Lions will need to game-plan and execute that plan effectively if they hope to prevail.
Last week certainly showed that the Lions are still in this to win. Their defense is improving week by week. This week? They have a formidable challenge. The Bears are coming off an even shorter week than the Lions, having played Sunday night.
I think the Lions rise to the test and defeat the Bears at home.
Detroit Lions 24 — Chicago Bears 17
James Gullett (@gullett_james):
As much as I want the Lions to win, I don’t see it happening. With Kerryon Johnson out, the Lions best rusher is either LeGarrette Blount or Zach Zenner and I don’t think the team can win with either as the lead back.
I just can’t envision Blount or Zenner being able to find too many holes or at least finding enough success to make the run game a viable threat. If the Bears defense makes Stafford throw the ball 40 times, it is inevitable that the Bears pass rush will eventually get to Stafford.
It’s looking likely that Trubisky won’t suit up. If he does not play, that would increase the Lions chances significantly.
Detroit Lions 13 — Chicago Bears 17
Boyd Williams (@patchingbirder):
The Bears just punched the Lions in the mouth only eleven days ago by scoring touchdowns on their first four possessions before the Lions scored a point. The Lions did not have Darius Slay in that game. Mitchell Trubisky put up 355-yards and a 148.6 passer rating. But for the year, he’s at 97.7 and Detroit’s passing defense is in the middle of the field at 13th.
There will be a drop off to Chase Daniel if Trubisky can’t go. Additionally, having Slay back will go a long way towards norming down those numbers as the next man up in the thin Lions secondary is dropping off a cliff compared to Slay.
This game is in the friendly confines of Ford Field, where the Lions are 3-2 including wins over three quality opponents (and a loss to a non-quality opponent). The Bears are 2-2 on the road with the two wins being against the Bills and Cardinals.
The Bears rank higher that the Lions in both defense (3rd vs 19th) and offense (16th vs 24th). But the passing D is almost equal, and the Lions’ run D is moving up the charts since the addition of Harrison. The Lions won’t be able to get any run game going, but they should have a decent day in the passing game.
The Bears defensive yardage numbers are skewed by their exceptional ability to create turnovers. Both offenses have 14 giveaways, but the Bears have three times the takeaways — 27 to 9. If these numbers were equal, then likely their records would be as well.
The Bears defense is still excellent even when not creating turnovers, and the Lions are missing some key offensive playmakers. The Lions did put up 22 in Chicago despite six sacks and three turnovers. Even though they scored four straight touchdowns, if we insert Slay, remove Trubisky in favor of Daniels, and add in the Lions crowd, I believe the defense has a good shot at keeping the team in a low scoring game. It will likely come down to the final few minutes. I don’t have much faith in the Lions defense to come up with a stop at crunch time. Stafford versus Daniel or Trubisky in a tight game situation… sign me up for that. If the Bears don’t win the turnover battle by more than one (big if), the Lions win.
Detroit Lions 19 — Chicago Bears 17
Logan Lamorandier (@LLamorandier):
Once again, the Lions have me wondering who they really are. After being at an all time low in terms of confidence just a week ago, they go ahead and pull out a victory against the Carolina Panthers.
The Lions defense has played real well against the run as of late. It’s been the passing defense that has been the issue. With Chase Daniel looking in line to start, you would hope he would be a downgrade for the Bears passing attack. He is considered one of the better backups in the league despite playing just two regular season game in his 10-year career.
Unfortunately for the Lions offense, the Bears defense is one of the best in the league and Detroit is going to be short-handed. No RB Kerryon Johnson or WR Marvin Jones.
What scares me the most is if the Lions can’t control the ball on the ground and the Bears pass rushers are able to tee off on predictable passing plays. Stafford was sacked six times the last time these two teams played. Lions can’t afford to fall behind for the sake of Stafford’s health.
I see a low scoring battle but will still give the edge to the Bears due to their elite defense and having more playmakers on the offensive side of the ball.
Detroit Lions 16 — Chicago Bears 17