News & Analysis

NFL Week 13 PFF ReFocused: Detroit Lions 34, Chicago Bears 30

Dec 6, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Jesse James (83) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the third quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

In their first game following the firing of general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia, the Detroit Lions were able to make several key plays late to edge the Chicago Bears in a high-scoring affair, 34-30.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

STORY OF THE GAME

Detroit’s defense delivered a subpar performance for much of this game against one of the worst offenses in the NFL. 

The Bears ran for 137 yards on 30 designed run plays, good for an average of 4.7 yards per attempt. Both David Montgomery and Cordarelle Patterson saw 10-plus carries and picked up over 50 yards on the ground. Montgomery has been forcing missed tackles all year, but the difference in this game was that he and the other Chicago runners actually had some space to operate. The Bears’ 1.7 rushing yards before contact per attempt were nearly double their season average coming into the game of 1.0. 

On top of that, Mitchell Trubisky had yet another passable starting performance against the Lions. He now has four consecutive games against Detroit with a passer rating over 100.0, and those four games make up two-thirds of the six total games Trubisky has with a passer rating of 100.0 or better since the start of the 2019 season. 

Ultimately, the Lions made the plays they needed on defense to secure the win. A late Trubisky strip sack by Romeo Okwara set up a go-ahead touchdown from Adrian Peterson, and Detroit was able to stop Chicago’s comeback attempt short on fourth down.

Dec 6, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) drops back to pass against the Chicago Bears during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

It was a strong showing for Matthew Stafford on the other side of the field. He was able to produce several big plays when under pressure and routinely pushed the ball downfield with an average depth of target of 14.3 yards despite the absence of Kenny Golladay. Marvin Jones Jr. and T.J. Hockenson both helped pick up some of that slack from the Golladay absence with each over 80 receiving yards.  

ROOKIE WATCH

Coming out of the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine with a 4.73-second 40-yard dash, Quintez Cephus is not exactly known as a burner, but he was able to get behind the defense for a 49-yard touchdown grab in this one. His 63 receiving yards in the game were the most he’s put up all year.  

Things didn’t go quite as well for Jonah Jackson at guard. He was charged with multiple pressures allowed in the game on initial count, and early signs point to one of his worst run-blocking grades of the season.

For the Bears, Cole Kmet joined Cephus in finding the end zone on an 11-yard underneath catch and run. It was his second touchdown catch, and his five catches in the game nearly matched his season total of eight coming into the week. Darnell Mooney added four receptions for 43 receiving yards. Mooney actually picked up more yardage after the catch in the game (50) than he did total receiving yards. 

Jaylon Johnson continues to show a nose for the football — adding another pass breakup in this game — but he also gave up some production in his coverage. That production included a touchdown pass to Jesse James where Johnson was in decent position to make a play on the ball. 

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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