The Detroit Lions came out firing on Thanksgiving, looking like David Blough’s NFL debut may be one of the most memorable in Lions quarterback history. Unfortunately, Blough’s magic wore off in the second half, and Detroit’s defense, again, couldn’t hold a lead as the Lions dropped their fifth straight game with a 24-20 loss.
Here’s how it happened.
After a re-do on the opening kickoff, Cordarrelle Patterson took attempt No. 2 to the 50-yard line and the Chicago Bears were off. The Lions had absolutely no answer for the Bears, and Chicago just drove down with no resistance for a quick score. Allen Robinson topped off the drive with a 10-yard touchdown drive with Darius Slay in loose coverage. 7-0 Bears.
TOUCHDOWN Trubisky to Robinson on the slant for the 10 yard score put #Bears on the board 1st 7-0 #CHIvsDET #Thanksgiving #TNF #daBears #Lions #OnePride #NFL100 #SportsTalkLine pic.twitter.com/MkbeqbnMm9— Steven Van Over (@StevenVanOver) November 28, 2019
David Blough’s first throw was a pretty bad underthrow to T.J. Hockenson, but his second throw was pretty okay:
The Bears offense would slow a bit after that. A nice third-down tackle by Jarrad Davis forced a three-and-out for Chicago’s offense. But the Lions offense had no interest in slowing. Blough found wide open receivers in Marvin Jones for 19 yards, Kenny Golladay for 2 yards and then a wide open Marvin Jones for a 9-yard touchdown and suddenly Blough was dealing. 14-7 Lions.
Then the Lions—whether on purpose or not—recovered an onside(?) kick that bounced hard off a Bears player.
But the Lions couldn’t do anything with the good field position and punted back to Chicago. But, again, the Lions defense forced a three-and-out, with help from passes defended by Tracy Walker and Justin Coleman.
Again, Detroit couldn’t take advantage of the good field position, as Blough missed a couple throws and the Lions went three-and-out.
Things got a little questionable on the next drive. The Lions appeared to have a fumble recovery after Justin Coleman punched the ball out. However, the officials took a closer look at the play and determined Anthony Miller didn’t have possession long enough, and ruled it incomplete after review. Though it’s worth noting that Lions safety Tavon Wilson absolutely got away with a roughing the passer penalty on the play, as well.
Chicago then backed themselves up with a few penalties that moved them into a first-and-32. Though Chicago worked themselves back into a fourth-and-6, they decided to go for it and could not convert. The Lions took over on their own 32-yard line.
Detroit’s offense would finally get things going again with the running game picking up small chunks along the way. Then Blough would find Golladay for another deep bomb—34 yards:
Just as it looked like the Lions would stall out in the red zone, a late hit on Leonard Floyd extended the drive and put the Lions in a first-and-goal situation. Detroit couldn’t take advantage of the extra downs and settled for three. 17-7 Lions.
Running a three-minute drill, the Bears offense finally got into motion again. However, in the red zone, Trubisky couldn’t find anyone open and his scramble attempt came up four yards short of the first down. Chicago kicked a chip-shot field with 22 seconds left to pull the score within one before the half. 17-10 Lions.
After a faulty halftime show, the Lions offense took the field and quickly went three-and-out. A special teams penalty gave Chicago decent field goal position. The Bears quickly worked their way into field goal position, but Mitchell Trubisky underthrew his receiver on a crossing route and Darius Slay made him pay with the pick:
Darius Slay with a pick that's sweeter than pumpkin pie! @_bigplayslay23 #OnePride— NFL (@NFL) November 28, 2019
: #CHIvsDET on FOX
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But Detroit quickly went three-and-out for the fourth time on the day.
Chicago would end up tying the game on a long, arduous drive in which they converted a key third-and-10 play. With no pressure coming from the Lions’ defensive front, Trubisky diced the secondary apart and capped it off with an 18-yard pass to the Bears’ 18th string tight end Jesper Horsted. 17-17 tie.
WHAT. A. CATCH.— NFL (@NFL) November 28, 2019
Jesper Horsted hauls it in with one hand to tie this game up! @JHorsted #Bears100
: #CHIvsDET on FOX
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Detroit drove to midfield, as the game turned over to its final quarter.
The Lions offense would finally show signs of life, driving well into Bears territory. But on a third-and-1, J.D. McKissic just barely got tripped up short of the line to go, and instead of going for it on fourth-and-2, the Lions kicked a 24-yard field goal to take back the lead. 20-17 Lions.
look at Kyle Fuller out here, saving 6 points pic.twitter.com/VitbBMnpEH— Christian D'Andrea (@TrainIsland) November 28, 2019
Chicago’s offense took over but didn’t hold it for long. Trey Flowers came up with the Lions’ first sack of the day on a third-and-long, giving the ball back to the Lions with 8:37 to go and a chance to both burn some clock and extend their lead.
And just as the Lions looked to be making progress, a block-in-the-back penalty erased a 21-yard run from Bo Scarbrough. For the second straight week, Scarbrough had 100-yards on the game only for it to be quickly taken away from him. The Lions couldn’t recover from the penalty and kicked the ball back to Chicago with still 6:40 remaining.
And the Bears would deliver in crunch time. First, Trubisky delivered a big-time throw to Anthony Miller on third-and-4 for 35 yards. Then a few players later he did it again for 32 more yards, both with Justin Coleman a few steps behind in coverage. A few plays later, Trubisky found a wide open David Montgomery for the go-ahead score with 2:17 left. 24-20 Bears.
With an opportunity to make a big name for himself. He got the Lions to midfield with a 20-yard pass to Golladay. And while it looked like he threw a game-losing interception, it was correctly ruled incomplete, giving Blough another shot. A Roquan Smith late-hit penalty moved Detroit inside the 30 with 50 seconds left.
Blough had his chance on a deep pass to Danny Amendola, but just overthrew him. On the next play, the Bears blitzed the a-gap and Blough took a devastating sack, setting up a fourth-and-22. Blough was intercepted on the prayer throw and the game was over.
With the loss, the Lions are now 3-8-1 and heading closer and closer to a top-five pick. As the defense continues to struggle, the crowd calling for Matt Patricia’s job will only grow louder.
The Detroit Lions vs. the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving just seems right. They’re two of the oldest franchises and they actually kicked off this tradition way back when none of you were old enough to be able to read these words.
Of course, this year, the tradition may not live up to the stage. The Lions are 3-7-1 and on their third-string quarterback. The Chicago Bears are 5-6, but well out of the NFC North race and extremely unlikely to make any Wild Card noise given their big issues on offense and tough schedule to finish out the year.
But traditions are traditions. Most of us do them not because we love them, but because they’re inherent in our personality, our identity. So even if every inch of your body is telling you to skip out on Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day classic, we both know you are going to watch it anyways.
Here’s how to do it:
How to watch Lions-Bears
Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019
Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: Ford Field — Detroit, MI
National TV: FOX
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Kristina Pink
Online streaming: Yahoo Sports app
Local radio: WJR-AM NEWS TALK 760
Radio announcers: Dan Miller, Lomas Brown
National radio: Westwood One
National radio announcers: Ryan Radtke, Ross Tucker, Hub Arkush
Odds: Bears by 5.5