Preview: Chicago at Detroit
When: 12:30 PM ET, Thursday, November 27, 2014
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
The Detroit Lions are rapidly losing ground in the NFC North and will try to avoid a third straight loss when they host the Chicago Bears in the annual Thanksgiving game on Thursday. The Lions had the misfortune of playing a pair of division leaders in back-to-back weeks and had no answers on offense against the Arizona Cardinals or New England Patriots. The Bears are pulling out of their own funk with back-to-back wins as they try to get back into the race.
Detroit has been leaning heavily on its defense all season but showed some cracks in the unit while getting blasted 34-9 by the New England Patriots on Sunday. The Patriots steered away from the Lions’ strength along the defensive line with a series of quick passes – a strategy Chicago has the personnel to employ. The Bears' defense was a big question mark after surrendering a combined 106 points in back-to-back losses to New England and Green Bay but held Minnesota and Tampa Bay to a total of 26 in the last two contests.
TV: 12:30 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Lions -7. O/U: 47.5
ABOUT THE BEARS (5-6): Chicago’s offense has been under some scrutiny and it generated only 68 yards while going scoreless in the first half on Sunday before taking advantage of some Tampa Bay turnovers to put up 21 third-quarter points in the 21-13 triumph. “Win or loss, we’re always trying to improve on offense,” quarterback Jay Cutler said on his radio show on ESPN 1000 on Monday. “We’re always looking at what we did wrong. This week’s a little bit different because we’ve got to move on.” The most consistent part of the offense has been running back Matt Forte, who could become a bigger part of the passing game this week as the Bears take on the NFL’s top-ranked rush defense.
ABOUT THE LIONS (7-4): Matthew Stafford went 18-of-46 for a career-worst 39.1 completion percentage against New England but only some of that can be blamed on poor throws, as Detroit's receivers had several notable drops in the red zone. “We’ve got to keep working at it, we’ve got to keep concentrating on it,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell told reporters of the drops. “Those are the things that stop drives and they certainly did stop some drives for us and kept us from getting a couple of scores.” Star receiver Calvin Johnson was targeted a total of 22 time in the last two games but only made nine catches for 117 yards.
1. Lions LT Riley Reiff (left knee) was injured on the first play of the game Sunday and did not return.
2. Chicago LB Lance Briggs (groin) and CB Kyle Fuller (knee) are both questionable.
3. Detroit snapped a nine-game Thanksgiving losing streak with a 40-10 victory over the Packers last season.
PREDICTION: Lions 24, Bears 17
Stats and Records
Detroit Off vs