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Happy Thanksgiving, frents!
So what's happened since we last talked this morning? Well, nothing except Hub Arkush reporting that it was George McCaskey who ordered Justin Fields being made the full-time starter and several other outlets reporting that George told the team today that Matt Nagy won't be fired this weekend.
I haven't even had dinner yet, but pass the Tums, will ya?
Bears (3-7) at Lions (0-9-1)
⏰ : 11:30 am 📺 :Fox
🎙️ : Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
💰 : Bears -3, O/U 41.5
Last week: The Bears fell to the Ravens 16-13 at Soldier Field while the Lions lost 13-10 on the road to the Browns.
All-time record: The Bears lead 103-75-5
Last meeting: The Bears won 24-14 in Week 4 at Soldier Field.
Three things to know
By Brendan Sugrue
What an interesting week it's been for the Chicago Bears and it's only Wednesday. Rumors are swirling about Matt Nagy's future, players are reportedly unhappy, crowds across Chicagoland sporting events are chanting for the coach to be fired, and to top it all off, the Bears are preparing for a nationally televised game against the Detroit Lions that takes place on Thursday.
And I thought my Thanksgiving with a new puppy at home was going to be stressful.
Unless a tie happens, one long winless streak is going to end in Detroit this Thanksgiving. The Bears have lost five in a row while the Lions haven't won a game since last December's meeting in Chicago.
Here are three things to know about Thursday's dysfunctional matchup between the Bears and Lions.
1. Matt Nagy is undefeated on short weeks
Remember the last game when we harped on Nagy's losing streak coming off bye weeks? That once again came to fruition as he seems incapable of using extra time to properly game plan for an opponent. But he has the opposite problem when it comes to games on short rest.
Since Nagy came to the Bears in 2018, he's 3-0 in games where the Bears had less than a full week to prepare. He's beaten the Lions twice on Thanksgiving, plus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. Give Nagy less time to screw things up and good things will happen apparently.
2. Andy Dalton gets the start for the first time since Week 2
Amidst the chaos during Tuesday's media availability, Nagy did confirm that Andy Dalton will get the nod over Justin Fields for this game, who is still dealing with the bruised ribs he suffered on Sunday. Dalton will make his first start since Week 2 when he faced his old team, the Cincinnati Bengals.
In limited playing time this year, Dalton has completed 48-of-73 passes for 471 yards, three touchdowns, and one pick. He has a quarterback rating of 91.8 on the season. When he came in to relieve Fields on Sunday, Dalton completed 12-of-23 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. What's more, he'll likely benefit from Nagy's gameplan more than Fields did. Nagy really does appear to have a thing for Dalton.
3. The Lions can't stop the run
It's been a few weeks since the Bears welcomed David Montgomery back to the starting lineup. But since he made his return from a knee injury, Montgomery hasn't been as productive as he was prior to missing time. In two games, Montgomery has 27 carries for 121 yards and no scores. What's more, his backup Khalil Herbert has seen just five carries after being the lead back in Montgomery's absence. The Bears established an identity when Montgomery was working to come back, but lost it trying to reincorporate him into the lineup. This game against the Lions is the perfect opportunity to get back on track.
After allowing Nick Chubb and the Cleveland Browns to run roughshod on them last Sunday, the Lions are second-worst team in the league when it comes to run defense. They're allowing over 140 yards on the ground per game to their opponents. With the Bears missing Fields and trying to establish a conservative gameplan with Dalton, feeding Montgomery and Herbert 40+ times on Thursday is a great recipe for success.
The Bears are very capable of ending their losing streak and getting this win. But after experiencing so much chaos in their organization this week, who even knows if a victory is what they want at this point?
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Kevin Kaduk — Midway Minute (6-4)
Bears 20, Lions 13
"I don't know much about this world anymore, but I do know that Matt Nagy is a lock on three days of prep against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. God help us all if he's not."
Scott Koral — Midway Minute (8-2)
Bears 20, Lions 18
Andy Dalton makes sure Matt Nagy still has kneecaps when he walks out of Halas Hall for the final time. Not Dan Campbell."
Brendan Sugrue — Midway Minute (9-1)
Bears 21, Lions 13
"Watch Andy Dalton run Matt Nagy's offense efficiently and get the victory to cause even more chaos with this team. The circus continues."
David Brown — Midway Minute (5-5)
Bears 27, Lions 26
"Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter Mark Konkol has a source that says Nagy won’t coach the Bears beyond Thanksgiving. I’d rather have a Nobel-Prize winning scientist tell us that the McCaskeys have sold the Bears on Christmas, but this will do for the moment. "
Maggie Hendricks — Bally Sports (7-3)
Bears 9, Lions 6
"I know I certainly can't wait to watch Andy Dalton struggle to beat the winless Lions while the cameras continually turn to Nagy and we all wonder if he has a job or not. What a great holiday. Bear down."
Chris Maltby — Beared Down (7-3)
Bears 27, Lions 14
Matt Nagy may just exit Chicago the way nobody thought he would…coming off of a win? Farewell!
Usayd Koshul — Fireside Bears (7-3)
Bears 21, Lions 16
"The Andy Dalton-led Bears squeeze out a tight victory on Thanksgiving as the Bears avoid any noise around Nagy’s firing."
Greg Braggs Jr. — Braggs in the Stands (8-2)
Bears 24, Lions 13
"Nagy walks off into the sunset with a win? Sure why not! Would be an ironic end to the Nagy Era. Enjoy your turkey everyone!"
Three interesting prop bets
A solid 3-for-3 last week ... Let's keep it going. - K.K.
D'Andre Swift OVER 100.5 rushing/receiving yards (-121)
It doesn't matter if the Lions start Jared Goff or Tim Boyle, Swift is going to get his chance to move the Lions offense. He's rushed for a total of 266 yards over the last two weeks and leads all RBs in pass targets.
Andy Dalton OVER 10.5 rushing yards (-115)
Dalton went over this total in both of his starts this season and was poised to go well over against Cincinnati in Week 2 when he was hurt on a run. Don't let that scare you, though.
Bears D/ST ANYTIME touchdown scorer (+450)
This week's dice roll. Let's go.
🦃 Thanksgiving thread!
How a 0-0 tie at Wrigley Field saved the early day of the NFL
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