The 5-6 Chicago Bears face off with the 7-4 Detroit Lions in this Thanksgiving afternoon matchup. After losing 3 straight games Chicago has won two straight, keeping their small playoff hopes alive. It didn’t look like they were going to win last week’s game when at halftime they found themselves down 10-0 to a poor Tampa Bay Buccaneer team. They made a few adjustments at halftime and were able to put up 21 big third quarter points, which were the deciding points in the teams 21-13 victory. The improved second half had a lot to do with getting the ball to running back Matt Forte who finished the game with 89 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns. Quarterback Jay Cutler completed a 2 yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffrey for the teams first touchdown. From there Forte had a 13 yard and a 1 yard touchdown run that made the score 21-10. Both of these touchdowns came after a Tampa Bay turnover. The defense was lights out in the second half and had a season high with 5 sacks. The defense was without linebacker Lance Briggs who missed the game with a groin injury and cornerback Kyle Fuller who left the game with knee injury.
Overall the Lions are having a strong season. They have lost two straight games but when you consider the fact that they lost to Arizona who has the best record in the league and New England who tied Arizona for the best record after their win last weekend, they are two understandable losses. The only thing tat is not understandable is how the offense appears to get worse every week, They managed only 3 field goals in the 34-9 loss to the Patriots on Sunday. Quarterback Matthew Stafford was a horrible 18/46 passing for 264 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. Running Back Joique Bell had 19 carries for only 48 yards, as the team could get nothing going on the ground or in the air. In recent years the Lions were considered to be an a team with a great offense and a poor defense and it seems that they have switched roles this year. The Patriots have a good defense but not the dominant defense that completely took the Lions out of the game.
The key matchup will be the much maligned secondary of the Bears vs. the receiving core of the Lions. Free agent signing Golden Tate has had a spectacular year and is proving to be a great addition. Star wideout Calvin Johnson has battled injuries for much of the season but he has played in the last 2 games. The Bears have the most depleted secondary in the league so do not be surprised if the Lions offense finds a way to start clicking against the Bears. The Lions will need to contain Forte early as well as account for the Bears dynamic duo of Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall. It will be interesting to see which team gets off to a good start.
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