The Bears defense has not been at its best in the fourth quarter this season, but they saved their best for last on Thanksgiving.
Safety Eddie Jackson returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown with six minutes left in the fourth quarter and cornerback Kyle Fuller picked off Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in the end zone with just over a minute to play. Tarik Cohen would run for a first down with the help of guard James Daniels on third-and-nine to ice the 23-16 win in Detroit.
Jackson’s touchdown was the sixth of the year for the Bears defense, his third of the year and the fifth of his NFL career. Jackson was a rookie in 2017, so he’s been very busy on that front.
It was a snoozy first half for both teams offensively, but things picked up after the break. Chase Daniel was 27-of-37 for 230 yards and two touchdowns in his first start since 2014 and also caught a pass from wide receiver Anthony Miller on a double pass. The Lions didn’t allow Chicago much on the ground, so Daniel’s performance was all the more vital on Thursday.
LeGarrette Blount had his biggest day of the year for the Lions, who came into the game without the services of Kerryon Johnson due to a knee injury. Blount ran 19 times for 88 yards, caught a pass for 15 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns.
Blount getting some traction on the ground led to some success in play action for the Lions and their passing game perked up as the afternoon unfolded. They almost hit on a game-tying touchdown on their final offensive possession, but Kenny Golladay couldn’t hold onto a Stafford throw and Fuller picked off the next pass to seal the win.
The Lions could have used more of that dynamism early in the game as they limited Stafford to short stuff with Marvin Jones out of the lineup. Stafford would hit Golladay with one deep shot, but the attempts to stretch the field need to come more often if a quarterback with Stafford’s arm at your disposal.
The Bears will visit the Giants in Week 13 and hope to have Mitchell Trubisky back from his shoulder injury for that contest. The Lions will be hosting the Rams and it feels like that will officially kick off the playing out the string portion of the Detroit season.