Happy Turkey Day, folks. May your day be consumed with food, family, and football, and may Black Friday wait until Friday. I had an argument with some friends earlier this week about whether you should have football on in the background during Thanksgiving dinner. My opinion was that it’s not a Thanksgiving dinner without the voices of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman rattling off in the background. Let me know what you think in the comments.
But on the note of Thanksgiving football, we’ve got an enticing rematch between the Lions and the Bears. It’s going to be the first true test of who Matt Patricia is as a coach, and I think he passes with flying colors.
Bold prediction of the week: Lions jump out to a two-possession, first-half lead en route to Thanksgiving rout of Bears
In the title, I said the Lions “pull a ‘Chicago’” because, well, you remember how quickly the last game spiraled to a 26-0 deficit for the Lions. Today will surely be different.
For one, the Lions are playing a Chase Daniel-led Bears. That’s right, the same Chase Daniel who has attempted 78 regular season passes in his career. That’s no knock on him, as the man is in his 10th year in the league—not an easy feat by any means—but there’s a reason he was the backup in Chicago, and that’s backup to an already average/streaky Mitchell Trubisky. With Trubisky expected to miss the game with a shoulder bruise, the Lions may look to capitalize on Daniel’s mistakes.
This factor may be overlooked, but the fact of the matter is that the Bears are on a shorter week than the Lions. It may not seem like much of a difference with the Lions playing at 1 p.m. ET this past Sunday and the Bears playing on “Sunday Night Football,” but those eight hours of extra rest for the Lions really add up when you have less than 100 of them to regroup and rally between games.
Finally, I want to bring up the Matt Patricia note I mentioned earlier. Most people probably won’t agree with this, but this is Matt Patricia’s biggest test yet as head coach. He is renowned for his intellect and halftime adjustments—well, this past weekend was your halftime. Thursday’s performance could clue us in on just how much Patricia can outsmart his opponents and adapt to what they are doing.
I think things could go the Lions’ way this week, and Patricia may pass with flying colors. But either way, keep that in the back of your head as you watch today’s game.