Unfortunately, the Lions would lose this game to the Bears 28-13, keeping the magic number for the divisional crown at three unless the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers both lose as well. The win also keeps the Bears in the NFC North race. Check out my winners and losers from the game against the Chicago Bears.
The last time the Bears played the Lions, Hutchinson was quiet until the final play of the game, forcing a fumble and a safety. That play would set up the punt return team to just catch the ball and lock up the victory. This time, Hutchinson didn’t have a big play to finish the game, but he was still a factor and a problem for the Bears despite the stat sheet not showing much.
Hutchinson finished the game with two tackles, a pass deflection, a tackle for loss, and a sack. With that sack, he would set another record in franchise history as he continues to be what the front office was wanting with that pick.
.@Lions DL @aidanhutch97 has passed Tracy Scroggins (15.5) and Ezekiel Ansah (15.5) for the most sacks a Lions player has produced through two-career seasons in franchise history.#OnePride pic.twitter.com/bxwW9umZgh— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) December 10, 2023
Outside of a poor drop that would have been for a first down, and arguably a touchdown, running back Jahmyr Gibbs had a solid game against the Bears. He made a few moves to make defenders miss and get the extra yardage. There were times when it looked like Gibbs would lose yards and instead, he would make a man or two miss and with his speed, get some positive yardage.
Gibbs continues to be a threat in the red zone as he finished with a 12-yard touchdown run on a pitch play that fooled the Bears' defense. Gibbs finished the game with 11 carries for 66 yards and three catches for 16 yards.
JAHMYR GIBBS MANAGERS STAND UP— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) December 10, 2023
Another week where linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin has stepped up and been a factor on defense. Last week he saw an increase in playing time with fellow linebacker Alex Anzalone missing the game due to an injury. This week, even with Anzalone back, Reeves-Maybin still played and made some nice plays in the time he was on the field.
Reeves-Maybin was the first player on the Lions to sack Fields as his other teammates struggled to wrap him up. Reeves-Maybin came on a blitz, fooled the offensive line, and got right to Fields. He had a hold of his legs and didn't let them go as he pulled him down to finish the play.
In the third quarter on third-and-long, Reeves-Maybin deflected a Justin Fields pass to force a punt. Like Hutchinson, the stat sheet doesn’t show everything Reeves-Maybin did in the game (sack, PBU).
The Lions did a fair job at containing Justin Fields, let me explain what went right before I tell you what went wrong. For the most part, the Lions used their edges to keep Fields in the pocket and not let him roll out left or right. What went wrong is while the edges were doing their jobs, the interior defensive tackles followed them, leaving the middle of the line wide open for Fields to escape and leave.
Fields escaped multiple times and while not all of his rushing yards were because of it, some of his biggest runs were from this poor play. Fields was held under 100 rushing yards against the Lions (58 yards on 12 carries), but he still found the end zone.
The Lions didn’t just have to play up against the Bears and the refs in the game, they also played against themselves. They were their own worst enemy. On the opening drive for Detroit, center Graham Glasgow was called for tripping on second-and-6, but the penalty would turn it into second and 21, forcing Detroit to have back-to-back passing plays and end up punting the football.
On the Lions' second defensive drive, Anzalone had back-to-back penalties. One was declined, but on the very next play, Anzalone got a late hit out of bounds, tacking on 15 yards to a 28-yard play to it to make it a 43-yard gain in the end.
Plus, the officials in this game missed multiple holding penalties, hands to the face, and a critical intentional grounding. Sure the Lions made mistakes and deserved some of those flags, but there was a lot of questionable officiating.
Detroit finished the game with eight penalties for 59 yards, with most of those calls being impactful on offense. If Detroit doesn’t hurt themselves with some of these penalties, there is a chance that their offense gets a first down and keeps their drive alive. If the defense can make some stops instead of letting the penalties hurt them, maybe Chicago won’t score as much.
There were a few coaching decisions that were just poor by all three coaches today. Lions head coach Dan Campbell challenged a catch by Bears tight end Cole Kmet that was mostly clear and hard to overturn. Unsurprisingly, the play stood as called a catch and the Lions would lose a timeout late in the third quarter.
Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson made some poor playc alling decisions. He continue to run too much on second-and-longs, forcing difficult third-down conversion attempts. There were some positive play calls by Johnson, but enough negatives to make it a point. You can’t have poor play calling in a game where you need your offense to score to keep up if the defense can’t make any stops.
Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn was the best of the three when it came to play calling, but he wasn’t perfect. There were some soft coverages at times, giving Chicago easy first-down attempts. The biggest issue I have with Glenn is his decision to continue to have cornerback Jerry Jacobs covering the opponent's top wide receiver.
Jacobs got burned for a touchdown in the third quarter on a fourth-and-long. Glenn needs to start putting cornerback Cam Sutton on the opponent's best receiver because it continues to be too much for Jacobs to handle.
While it wasn’t as bad as it was against the Packers, the offensive line was struggling against the Bears on Sunday. The line was without Ragnow, but I don’t think if he was there the line would have improved that much. It was more about mental mistakes than performance by the line. There were multiple false starts by the offensive line that put them behind the sticks.
The line also allowed four sacks. The issues really piled on each other. When you get called for penalties to knock your offense back, it forces you to show your hand and pass the ball, making it easier for opposing defenses to dial up the blitz on a pass. Two of those sacks were late in the game when Detroit had to pass, but still, it’s not a good look for what is a top-five offensive line.