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Lions vs. Bears Thanksgiving preview: 5 Qs With Windy City Gridiron

Getting to know the enemy, what they do well, and what they stink at.

Baltimore Ravens v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I feel like turkey, I feel like stuffing, I feel like mashed potatoes, I feel gravy over everything and I guess I also kind of feel like football. The injury-riddled 0-9-1 Detroit Lions are squaring off against the injury-riddled 3-7 Chicago Bears. It’s recipe for either disaster or, somehow, the greatest game of all time. It’s probably not going to be the latter.

The Lions have played the Bears once already this season. The Bears got one of their three wins by beating the Lions 24-14 in that game. But the Bears are a much different team this go around. Justin Fields is out, Khalil Mack is out, Allen Robinson is doubtful, Akiem Hicks is out and Eddie Jackson could also wind up being out after being limited in practice all week. The Lions offense might be able to do something on Thursday. Even with all those injuries, it’s still a big might.

We wanted to get some info on just how rough things are in Chicago right now, so we got in touch with out frenemies over at Windy City Gridiron. Bears expert Patti Curl came through with the answers to our questions. Here’s what she had to say:

1. If this winds up being Tim Boyle vs. Andy Dalton, should people take their turkey naps early?

“Great question. I’m a huge proponent of napping, and any day you have a grueling eating schedule lined up, it’s best to be prepared. I think turning on the Doyle Dalton matchup would be the perfect way to induce some much needed Z’s for anyone having trouble falling asleep on their own. Obviously because the blowout that would ensue from one of the NFL’s most underrated elite signal callers going against one of the most astonishingly inaccurate passers of all time would quickly devolve into a snooze-fest.”

2. What are the Bears strengths these days?

“Ehhh. On offense, their run-blocking is decent, and they have two talented backs in Montgomery and Herbert. The offense’s greatest strength is giving up pressures and sacks, though I suppose that could be mentioned in the next section. Their defensive line is still playing well, despite missing Khalil Mack desperately, and Roquan Smith is delivering an All Pro performance at middle linebacker.”

3. What are their weaknesses now?

“Offensive play calling and pass-blocking. The interior offensive line has been weak all season, even though Cody Whitehair and James Daniels are the two biggest investments on the offensive line. Daniels has been the best of the bunch. UDFA Sam Mustipher at center is playing a little better than you would expect from a UDFA, which is still in liability territory.

On defense, the secondary is a leaky garbage bag that can be temporarily plugged by good pass rush but bursts open at the most inconvenient times. Cornerbacks Kindle Vildor and Duke Shelley and safety Tashaun Gipson have been playing below replacement level, and Jaylon Johnson playing well is certainly not enough to make up for that.”

4. What are your thoughts on cranberries for Thanksgiving dinner? I don’t get it.

“It doesn’t make sense unless you think about the color palate of the plate. You need some kind of pop to complement the hearty earth tones of turkey and gravy and potatoes and whatever joke of a vegetable you slip onto the corner of the plate. Also, if you forget how good your stuffing is, sometimes it helps to take a bite of something not good to recalibrate your taste buds before indulging in more stuffing.”

5. Who’s winning this thing?

“Let’s compromise and say nobody takes credit for winning this game. The team who does the most to hurt themselves will lose, and will do so on their own merit and not because the other team bested them. Whichever team walks away with the L can stand proud knowing their performance had the greater effect on the game’s outcome. Also, the nappers. The nappers are always the real winners.”

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