Thanksgiving Day Special: Lions vs. Bears

Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune

Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune

Cole Weintraub, Staff Writer

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Lions and Bears.  One of the oldest rivalries in the sport facing off for the second year in a row on Turkey Day.

 

Earlier in the morning, it became known that the Lions were not starting Jeff Driskel (who filled in for injured Matthew Stafford) and were going to third-string quarterback David Blough.  Blough is an undrafted rookie from Purdue who was signed as a free agent by the Browns, but then traded to Detroit in late August. It was quite unclear how the rookie would do stepping in against one of the best defenses in football.

 

The Bears would receive the opening kickoff.  Matt Prater, the Lions kicker, nailed the kick into the back of the endzone, but Cordarelle Patterson had other plans.  The Bears return specialist took the ball out of the endzone instead of taking the touchback. FOX announcer, Joe Buck, yelled “take a knee!”.  Patterson ended up with a 52 yard return giving the Bears great field position. The Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was perfect on the first drive going 3-3 with 31 yards, capped off with a touchdown pass to Allen Robinson from ten yards out.

 

David Blough got things going fast.  After just one pass attempt, Blough found Kenny Golladay for a 75 yard touchdown: a big confidence boost for the rookie. It was a very impressive first career completion in the NFL.

 

After the Bears had a quick three and out, Blough got the ball down the field and threw an eight yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones Jr.  Golladay and Jones Jr. (together) have more receiving touchdowns than any other wide receiver combo in the league. After the touchdown, Lions head coach Matt Petricia went fishing in his book of tricks.  The Lions went with an onside kick and surprisingly recovered it. The Lions ended up not doing anything on that drive, resulting in a punt.

 

There was no more scoring until late in the second quarter when a penalty-assisted drive helped the Lions get down the field.  They got inside the ten of Chicago, but couldn’t get anything going. Prater kicked a field goal, extending the Detroit lead to 17-7.  Then the Bears got down the field with minimal time and Eddy Piniero’s kick was good from 30 yards out, making it a 17-10 game going into halftime.  

 

It wasn’t until the third quarter when another team scored.  The Bears ran a 5 minute drive (to 4:51 in Q3) and Trubisky threw a touchdown pass to the ex-Princeton wide receiver/tight end Jesper Horsted, who broke a bunch of receiving records during his time in college.

 

While looking shaky the entire start of the game, the Bears defense started to play like normal.  Despite letting Detroit march down the field to the 5 yard line, Kyle Fuller (Bears CB) came up with a huge tackle preventing J.D. McKissic from getting into the endzone.  The Lions kicked a field goal going up 20-17. The Bears would go three and out and punt back to Detroit. After a huge block in the back call by Kenny Golladay, the Lions kept the pattern going and punted back to the Bears.

 

Mitchell Trubisky looked like a completely different quarterback.  When he got the ball back, he took control. On a crucial third down, Trubisky threw a bullet down the field to Anthony Miller, who made a great contested catch to the Lions’ 2 yard line.  It was a 32 yard completion. After a delay of a game, David Montgomery (Bears RB) ran the ball back to the 3 yard line and then caught a 3 yard pass in the slot for the go ahead touchdown.  Montgomery had a great game.

 

David Blough and the Lions would have a chance with 2:12 left.  They had two timeouts and the upcoming two minute warning. The start of the drive looked promising.  As he did the entire game, Blough looked poised in the pocket making nice throws in tight windows. Blough got down to the Bears 49 yard line.  On a second down and five, Roquan Smith (Bears LB) hit Blough late, tacking on 15 to the Bears 27 yard line. Three plays later, Smith made up for his mistake.  He got his second sack (first two of the season) and his 15th tackle. An interception by Eddie Jackson officially iced the game for the Lions.

 

This became a very exciting game.  Chicago moves to 6-6 with Dallas, Green Bay, Kansas City, and Minnesota to follow.  While it seems unrealistic, the Bears are in a much better position than they were a few weeks ago.  Mitchell Trubisky will be tested in these next few weeks and we will truly see if he is back to his Pro Bowl status of last season.  The Chicago offensive line did a great job today. They only allowed one sack. When the Bears block, both Trubisky and David Montgomery have success.  If they both can get going, Chicago will be an interesting team. For the Lions, they saw something unique. David Blough looked comfortable today. He will be able to get more reps with the team at practice, which will help his chemistry with all of the starters.  He could be a reliable backup for Matthew Stafford in the future and may also have the potential to start somewhere else. The Lions’ big running back Bo Scarbrough looked good for his third straight week after being signed. All in all, there was a lot to take away from the Bears and Lions tilt.

 

Notable Numbers (via chicagobears.com)

Chicago:

QB – Mitchell Trubisky → 29/38 (CP/ATT), 238 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT

RB – David Montgomery → 16 ATT, 75 YDS / 2 REC, 12 YDS, 1 TD

WR – Anthony Miller → 9 REC, 140 YDS

WR – Allen Robinson → 8 REC, 86 YDS, 1 TD

Detroit:

QB – David Blough → 22/38 (CP/ATT), 280 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

RB – Bo Scarbrough → 21 ATT, 83 YDS

WR – Kenny Golladay → 4 REC, 158 YDS, 1 TD

WR – Marvin Jones → 3 REC, 40 YDS, 1 TD

 

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