This Thanksgiving, the Detroit Lions will face the Chicago Bears for the first of their two meetings within the next four weeks. The Lions are coming into this matchup losing their last two, while the Bears are flying into Detroit with a rare two-game winning streak.
The Lions desperately need this win if they want to continue their hopes for a playoff birth and a shot at winning the NFC North, and it may not come as easy as fans/experts think.
Bear Goggles On
The Bears have been a complete train-wreck this year. Their star-studded offense has yet to click (sound familiar?), players have voiced their displeasure with the media, and their coach Marc Trestman doesn’t seem to have a clue on how to handle these problems.
However, with the Bears picking up a couple of wins at home, despite how unimpressive they may have been, the Lions should not take this matchup lightly.
Chicago currently has the 12th ranked run defense and 28th ranked passing defense in terms of yards allowed per game, so a lot of weight will be put on Matthew Stafford’s shoulders once again.
Offensively, while the Bears have underachieved, they’re still ranked near the middle in all categories. They have too much talent on offense and it will be a tough test for the Lions’ secondary matching up with the likes of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jefferey. Oh, and that Matt Forte guy is pretty good too.
LB Lance Briggs – Groin – Out
C Brian De La Puente – Ankle – Out
LB Darryl Sharpton – Hamstring – Out
WR Chris Williams – Hamstring – Out
DT Jay Ratliff – Knee – Doubtful
DE Trevor Scott – Knee – Doubtful
CB Kyle Fuller – Knee – Questionable
OT Eben Britton – Illness – Probable
WR Brandon Marshall – Ankle – Probable
OT Jordan Mills – Ribs – Probable
S Brock Vereen – Shoulder – Probable
The Detroit Lions are favored by 6.5 points via Vegas Insider.
Keys To Winning
If the Lions want to avoid their third loss in a row, it’s probably important that they actually score a touchdown for once (preferably on offense). Stafford, the offensive line, and the receivers all have to execute. Last week’s debacle against New England can never happen again if they want to make a playoff run.
The Bears are also no strangers to lack of execution. Currently, they’re ranked 27th in giveaways per game (1.9) and 25th in turnover margin per game (-0.3). If Detroit’s defense can create a few turnovers and put the offense in position to score, it may give them the spark they need offensively.
Normally, a short week gives an advantage to the defense. While I think it’s going to be a close game, I have a really hard time seeing how the Bears win this game. The Lions have too much to play for here, and while it might not be pretty, I think they ultimately survive and pull out a much needed win at home.
The offense scores three touchdowns for a Turkey Day miracle, and Golden Tate wins the Turducken Award.
Final Score: Lions 24 – Bears 20