It is Thanksgiving, and that means that the Detroit Lions (4-6) will be taking the field at Ford Field as part of an annual tradition. Their opponent this year will be a very familiar foe in the Chicago Bears (7-3), not only because they are division rivals, but also because they faced each other just 12 days ago. In that game, the Chicago Bears came out successful with a 34-22 win. After beating another division rival (Minnesota Vikings) last week in a 25-20 win, the Bears have entrenched themselves atop the NFC North. Things will look different on Thursday, though, as starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky is out with an injured shoulder. Chase Daniels will be getting his first start in several years in Trubisk’s place. For the Lions, they bounced back last week beating the Panthers 20-19. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 pm ET.
The point spread comes in with the Chicago Bears being 3-point favorites on the road. The over/under on total points scored is set at 43.5 points.
By The Numbers
On the defensive side, the Chicago Bears have been one of the best in the league this year. They rank 3rd in the NFL allowing just 314.4 total yards per game. They rank 4th in the NFL in points allowed as they have averaged just 19.5 points per game against them. For the Lions, they have been a little more in the bottom half in terms of defense. They are allowing 26.3 points per game (24th in the league) and 364.6 yards per game (19th in the league).
Offensively, the gap is a little closer. The Bears are averaging a total of 357.9 yards per game (16th in the league) while the Lions are averaging 343.7 yards (24th in the league). The Bears are averaging 29.4 points per game (6th in the league) while the Lions are averaging 22.2 (good for 20th in the league). With Trubisky out, though, the offenses are likely a little closer in ability.
Bears Will Lean On Defense With Trubisky Out
Khalil Mack may be the best defensive player in the NFL not named Aaron Donald. On the season he has 22 tackles and 8 sacks. Between Mack and Akiem Hicks (25 tackles, 4 sacks), the Bears have been getting constant pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Bears have talent all over the defensive side. First-round pick Roquan Smith has made an impact in year one as he leads the team with 54 tackles. Of the defensive backs, Kyle Fuller leads the team with 4 interceptions.
Offensively, the Bears will certainly be making adjustments with Trubisky out as Chase Daniel hasn’t taken a snap all year. He will certainly have weapons around him, though. There are five receiving options that have over or close to 400 yards. Taylor Gabriel (44 catches, 478 yards, 2 touchdowns), Allen Robinson (34 catches, 457 yards, 4 touchdowns), Tarik Cohen (40 catches, 458 yards, 3 touchdowns), Trey Burton (34 catches, 420 yards, 5 touchdowns), and Anthony Miller (26 catches, 357 yards, 5 touchdowns) have all had success. On the ground, Jordan Howard leads the way with 523 yards and 5 touchdowns on 155 carries.
Lions Look For Thanksgiving Win At Home
The Lions weren’t immune to their own injuries last week. Running back Kerryon Johnson will be out for this one after suffering an injury last week. In his place, the Lions will look to LeGarrette Blount (183 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Theo Reddick (30 yards). For Reddick, he is much more of a weapon receiving out of the backfield. On the season he has 41 catches for 264 yards. The main weapon this year for quarterback Matthew Stafford has been Kenny Golladay. On the season, he has 714 yards and 5 touchdowns on 47 catches. Speaking of Stafford, he has thrown for 2,605 yards this season, with 17 touchdowns versus 8 interceptions, but has also taken 30 sacks.
Defensively, the team is led by Jarrad Davis (49 tackles), Devon Kennard (6 sacks) and Romeo Okwara (5 sacks), and Darius Slay with 2 sacks. While they will likely have an easier day with Chase Daniels across the line, they are still going to have to play well to give the Lions a chance.
Bold Prediction: Lions Win
I have an uneasy feeling about the Bears in this one. They are playing their third game in 12 days, and after having to play the Sunday night game, they are on even less rest that usual for a short week. Throw on top of that that their starting quarterback is out and it just feels like a bit of a trap game. I am not saying that I am making this pick with upmost confidence, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Lions are able to exact some revenge and take this game on Thanksgiving. For my money, I am taking the Detroit Lions and the 3 points.