Thanksgiving Day Game - Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions: Predictions and Odds (NFL Week 13)
The Lions will walk away with the first turkey leg of the week and take a win here.
How to Watch: Bears vs Lions
What: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
When: Thanksgiving Day, November 28 at 1230 pm ET
Where: Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan
How (TV): FOX
Bears vs Lions – Point Spread
Bears -1, Lions +1
Chicago vs Detroit – Game Preview
Neither of these two teams has much of a playoff chance remaining, but the Bears desperately need this one to remain slightly alive as a Wild Card hopeful, whereas, at this point, the Lions are just looking to win in order to prolong the careers of their coaching staff.
Chicago is favored by a single point in this one despite being less effective on the offensive side of the ball than Detroit is, so let’s take a quick look at how these two teams stack up against each other for this customary Thanksgiving Day NFL matchup.
The 5-6-0 Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are coming off a Week 12 win, but it was an ugly one over the New York Giants by a score of 19-14, with Bears’ quarterback Mitchell Trubisky completing just 25-of-41 passes for 278 yards, a touchdown and 2 unfortunate interceptions (that makes 6 total for the year).
For the Bears to remain alive in the 2019-20 playoff hunt, they will have to beat the Lions in this Week 13 showdown, and despite Trubisky’s offense being far less effective than what Detroit’s been responsible for so far this season, the Bears are favored by a point here and are expected to pull off a win.
But that will also require Chicago’s far superior defense (talking to you, Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith and company) to shut down the Lions’ 9th ranked offensive attack, which actually seems possible given Detroit’s struggle to put points on the board, right now averaging 20 per game in their last four losses.
The 3-7-1 Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions have lost seven of their last eight games (including last week to the pitiful Washington Redskins), so you can’t blame anyone who calls for a coaching change (and some are calling!), with head coach Matt Patricia’s all-time record leading the Lions a sad 9-17-1 after almost two seasons.
The biggest problem for the Lions right now is with franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford, who is out with a back injury, so in the meantime, backup Jeff Driskel has taken over, so far with an 0-3 record and a 59% completion percentage with the same number of touchdown passes as he has interceptions – 4.
Nobody’s NFL job is safe in Detroit these days – but a Thanksgiving win over these rival Chicago Bears would certainly be a good step in the right direction, and with such a mismatch on offense and defense between these two teams here, it will be fun to watch which side of the ball prevails in the end.
Bears vs Lions – History
These two NFC North rivals have met 179 total times (including 0 postseason games), with Chicago winning 100 of those times and Detroit winning 74 games, along with 5 ties.
The last time these two teams played was earlier this November when the Lions traveled to Soldier Field to get beaten by the Bears by a score of 20-13.
If the Bears win this matchup, they’ll move to 6-6-0 and barely remain in the Wild Card playoff hunt behind the Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings.
But if the Lions come out winners in this one, they’ll be 4-7-1 and, though they will continue to have zero chance to make the playoffs, that additional victory could give head coach Matt Patricia a slightly longer lifeline.
Questions to Answer
Who’s favored to win this Week 13 Bears-Lions matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to briefly compare the Bears and the Lions next and attempt to answer those questions and more.
Offensive Stats Comparison
Chicago Bears Overall Offense
- Ranked 29th overall in 2019
- Passing attack currently ranked 30th
- Rushing attack currently ranked 29th
Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s offense has completely struggled to put points on the board this season, barely averaging just 17 points per game, ranked fourth worst in the NFL right now.
The Bears are about equally weak on the ground and through the air, which is what has kept them from winning the close ones these last twelve weeks, with four of their six losses coming by just a score or less this season.
One of the bright spots on the Bears’ offense is dual-threat running back Tarik Cohen, a third-year player who can run with and catch the ball, right now with 94 total touches for 421 yards from scrimmage and 3 total touchdowns.
Detroit Lions Overall Offense
- Ranked 9th overall in 2019
- Passing attack currently ranked 6th
- Rushing attack currently ranked 18th
The biggest factor for the Detroit Lions’ offense right now is regarding who’s under center, with franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford out with a back injury and backup Jeff Driskel filling in for now.
Driskel hasn’t won a game in 2019 yet as a starter, and his 59 percent completion rate is something to probably worry about, as is his four interceptions and four touchdowns, a sign that he could be a little more careful with the football.
Also effecting the Lions’ chances of winning are injuries, with backup receiver Marvin Hall questionable for Week 13 with a foot injury, as is center Frank Ragnow, who is having to endure concussion protocol right now.
The Detroit Lions have the offensive advantage in this one because their running game is so much better than what the Chicago Bears have right now – although Bears’ playmaker Tarik Cohen can change that at any given moment if he suddenly steps up.
Defensive Stats Comparison
Chicago Bears Overall Defense
- Ranked 4th overall in 2019
- Passing defense currently ranked 9th
- Rushing defense currently ranked 8th
The Chicago Bears have a top-five defense right now, strong against both the pass and the run, which has been keeping them slightly alive in the (distant) playoff hunt at this point, although the talent level in the NFC right now could outshine their overall chances.
One of the big overall contributors on that side of the ball in Chicago is second-year inside linebacker Roquan Smith, who right now has 83 total tackles (3 for a loss), an interception and 3 passes defended.
The Bears only allow opponents to score about 17 points per game, which is the fourth-least in the league right now, and something that will challenge a Lions team that’s used to averaging about 23 points per game despite their ever-fluctuating offense.
Detroit Lions Overall Defense
- Ranked 29th overall in 2019
- Passing defense currently ranked 30th
- Rushing defense currently ranked 24th
What’s going to give the Chicago Bears the biggest chance to win this one is the Detroit Lions’ 29th overall defense – which means that only three NFL teams are worse at defending than they are, a situation coordinator Paul Pasqualoni had best address sooner than later if he expects to keep his job for the rest of the season.
One of the standouts on Detroit’s defense right now is outside linebacker Devon Kennard, who already has 6.0 sacks to his name along with 11 quarterback hits, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and 39 total tackles (7 for a loss).
The Lions’ defense allows opponents to score almost 27 points per game, and that’s the 25th most among NFL teams right now, although, if the Bears could score that many, they’d be happy since that would be 10 points more than the average per game this year.
The Chicago Bears have the defensive advantage here, especially given that the Lions are having to play with their backup quarterback right now.
Bears vs Lions – Final Game Analysis
Why Will the Bears Win this Game?
The Chicago Bears will win this one because, as chaotic and distraught as head coach Matt Nagy’s team is right now after 12 weeks, the Lions are a whole lot worse and Trubisky and company should be able to use this matchup to gain a lot of overall confidence.
The Bears have a far better defense than the Lions do, so if they can get after whoever is under center for this one (most likely Driskel) while tightly covering receivers in the secondary they should be able to easily win this one.
Of course, that means Trubisky has to show up and play the type of game he is capable of playing, basically the same way he did the last time he and the Bears played the Lions in Week 10 this season when Trubisky threw for 3 touchdowns and zero interceptions on the Bears’ way to a 20-13 win.
Why Will the Lions Win this Game?
The Detroit Lions are like an injured animal – desperate to survive and capable of hurting you while doing it, something that could serve to get them the win in this one despite being the slight underdogs.
Quarterback Jeff Driskel would definitely have to play at the top of his game for the Lions to win – at least as well as he played against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11 when, despite the loss, he had a quarterback rating of 109.3 after throwing for 2 touchdowns and zero interceptions.
And for the Lions to have any chance of winning (and for Matt Patricia to have any chance of keeping his head coaching job), Detroit’s defense absolutely must get after Trubisky – it’s been proven that under pressure, he tends to give ballgames away, something that the Lions would be extremely thankful for in Week 13.
Bears vs Lions – Who Will Win?
The Chicago Bears will win this one by two touchdowns because their superior defense will keep the Lions out of the endzone while their inferior offense will enjoy Detroit’s typically weak defensive showing.
My prediction for the final score is Bears 24, Lions 9
Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions – Latest Game Odds