Bears vs. Lions Preview: Thanksgiving Day Matchup for Divisional Rivals

The Chicago Bears (5-6) hope to get back to a .500 record when they face the Detroit Lions (3-7-1) on Thanksgiving Day.

The Bears beat the New York Giants 19-14 last week, their second victory in three games. In the win, the Bears’ offense struggled once again, despite facing a Giants defense that gives up significant yardage. 

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“What I said to them after the game was, let’s make sure we don’t get complacent. It feels good to win. No matter how you do it, you win. But now, we put ourselves in position to get back to .500 and the only thing you can do is let’s put together that one game where it feels really good where all three phases are playing well,” Bears head coach Matt Nagy told reporters Tuesday.

The Bears play the Lions for the second time in four games, a game the Bears won 20-13.

“It’s nice as a competitor when you’re familiar with an opponent, but then also on the flip side they’re familiar with you. They know your strengths and weaknesses,” Nagy said.

The Bears’ weaknesses have mostly been on the offensive side of the ball this season. The team’s offense ranks 29th in the league in total yards a game (269.3) and 28th in the league with points scored a game, averaging 17.1.

The Bears’ offense could have a favorable matchup against a Lions defense that is giving up 396.2 yards a game (29th in the league) and 26.5 points a game (24th in the league).

A concern for both teams though will be the short turnaround between games, after just playing on Sunday.

Nagy says the short turnaround between games is one of the biggest factors. “You have to get rolling. You can’t have any wasted time,” he said.

Former Bears offensive lineman and WTTW News football analyst James “Big Cat” Williams gives us three key takes on what the Bears need to do to beat the Lions.

Big Cat Take #1:

It’s a short week for the Bears and they’re playing a division opponent that they are familiar with. This is a good opportunity to cut the game plans back both offensively and defensively and let the playmakers play.

Big Cat Take #2:

Offensively, they need to build on the play action and boot leg plays they ran versus the Giants. It allows Trubisky to throw on the move where he seems to be a little more comfortable and the offensive line doesn’t have to straight drop back pass protect as much.

Big Cat Take #3:

Defensively, the Bears are going to be going up against Jeff Driskel, the second string quarterback they played a couple of weeks ago, who is questionable with a sore hamstring or David Blough, the third string quarterback. Enough said.

Bold Prediction: Bears 20-13

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