The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions will meet for the 169th time ever this Thursday afternoon at Ford Field. Kickoff will start at 11:30 AM CT/12:30 PM ET.
The Bears hold a slight edge in the all-time series 96-67-5. The Bears are 3-3 against the Lions in the last six meetings including a 2-1 record at Ford Field.
This will be the 16th meeting on Thanksgiving Day between the two NFC North rivals, the Lions lead the series 8-7 dating back to the start in 1935.
Chicago (5-6) beat two last place teams in the Minnesota Vikings and the Tampa Bay Bucs. Detroit (7-4) fell to the first place Arizona Cardinals and first place New England Patriots.
After last week’s season high five-sack effort from the Bears’ defense, they currently rank 10th overall in the league in that category with 27 in total on the year.
With wide receiver Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush missing a combined seven games this season, the Lions’ offense has suffered. They currently rank 28th in points scored per game (17.9) and 21st in yards per game (332.5).
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has been sacked 33 times this season. That’s the second most behind only San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick with 34. Stafford has 13 touchdowns compared to 10 interceptions with a passer rating of 81 good for just 26th in the NFL.
It will be a tough battle for the Bears’ offense as they face the No. 1 ranked Lions run defense which allows 70.7 rushing yards per game.
Detroit’s defense held Matt Forte in check in the two meetings in 2013, rushing 31 times for 128 yards and a touchdown and catching nine passes for 38 yards.
The Bears haven’t scored points in each of the last six quarters, while the Lions haven’t scored a touchdown in back-to-back weeks, adding 15 points all on Matt Prater field goals.
The Bears-Lions rivalry is always intense and since this is the first Thanksgiving Day meeting since 1999, you can expect a wild one in Detroit.
Bears – OUT: Lance Briggs (groin), Darryl Sharpton (hamstring), Brian de la Puente (ankle) and Chris Williams (hamstring); DOUBTFUL: Jeremiah Ratliff (knee) and Trevor Scott (knee); QUESTIONABLE: Kyle Fuller (knee)
—Briggs is expected to be out for multiple weeks, while Sharpton is out once again. Christian Jones and Jon Bostic will be the top two linebackers this week.
—De la Puente was place on injured reserve Wednesday and Williams is out meaning Marc Mariani will be the man on punts and kickoffs for the second straight week.
—Ratliff is expected to be out after not practicing all this week, so rookies Will Sutton and Ego Ferguson will see plenty of more snaps behind Stephen Paea in Detroit.
Lions – OUT: G Larry Warford (knee) and DT Nick Fairley (knee); QUESTIONABLE: LT Riley Reiff (knee) and RB Reggie Bush (ankle).
—Warford and Fairley will be out once again meaning the Lions will be without two of their main contributors on both sides of their lines.
—Reiff practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday after sitting out the previous two days, while Bush was limited all week. Bush seems to have a better chance of suiting up. Undrafted rookie Cornelius Lucas would start if Reiff is out.
Final Score Prediction
Bears 24, Lions 20
Season prediction record: (4-7).
Thoughts on this Bears-Lions matchup on Sunday afternoon? Make sure to weigh in on the comment section below.
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