Will it be a happy Thanksgiving for the Detroit Lions or Chicago Bears? The SideLion Report staff makes their picks between the two NFC North rivals.
Braden Shackelford – The Lions have lost two straight to the NFC and AFC leading Cardinals and Patroits and suddenly everyone is starting to wonder if it’s that time of year when the Lions implode and snap back to reality. On the other side the Bears have now won two straight and are probably feeling pretty good about themselves.
If the Lions are for real they will handle the Bears, much like the Patroits handled the Lions on Sunday, and prove they are different than the Lions teams we’ve seen in the past. Prediction: Lions win 31-13
Alex Reno – The short week of preparation should give a slight advantage to the Lions as it normally benefits the defense. I think many will predict a blowout, but I believe this is going to be a close battle between the two division rivals. The Lions desperately need a win here, and I think the fact that they have too much to play for will be the ultimate factor in them winning. The offense will finally score a touchdown, then add a couple more for good measure, and the Lions win a nail-biter. Final score: Lions 24 – Bears 20.
Max DeMara – The Lions, even with as bad as they have been lately, are probably still better than the Bears both offensively and defensively. Chicago struggles on the road this year, which is a major turning point in this battle. Jay Cutler makes a few mistakes and Detroit does just enough offensively to stay in the playoff race with a significant win. Detroit 34, Chicago 21
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Kent Platte – The Lions are coming off of two disappointing losses against two of the best teams in the NFL. The Bears? They are not one of the best teams in the NFL. The once well thought of Bears finished off the worst two game stretch in team history against the Packers and Patriots with massive blowout losses, then “rebounded” with wins over the hapless Vikings and dysfunctional Buccaneers, though both were one score wins. They needed a lot of help to win those games as well, and I’m not convinced they’re much better than they were the previous weeks.
With their top player in the secondary, rookie Kyle Fuller, potentially sidelined against the Lions, as well as losing their best olineman to IR, the Bears are hobbled coming into Detroit for Thanksgiving. Despite the Lions recent offensive woes, I expect their fortunes to shift considerably against turnover probe Jay Cutler and the Bears leaky defense. Lions in a blowout, 37-13.
Zac Snyder – After two straight road games in which the offense couldn’t find the end zone, a game against a porous defense in a festive home atmosphere could do wonders for the Lions. With a little more protection from the offensive line, a little more separation by the receivers and a little more accuracy from Matthew Stafford, the Lions offense can put their troubles behind them and get their playoff push back on track. Lions 24, Bears 17
Darin Ackerman – Playing a division rival with a losing record a home is just what the doctor ordered for an under-performing Lions squad. With Cutler enjoying the highest quarterback rating of his career and three receivers over 6-3, the Lions front seven will have to create more pressure than they have been as of late to neutralizes coverage mismatches downfield. On offense, look for the Lions to attack the Bears’ porous pass defense, which is giving up 27.5 points a game, third worst in the NFL. The key will be getting the ball into Tate’s hands as much as possible, utilizing slip screens and smoke routes to allow him to do what he does better than anyone else in the league – gain yards after catch in space. Caldwell has the team ready to go and the Lions pull off the victory. Lions 24, Bears 20