NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 12 Thanksgiving Game Recap: Chicago Bears 16, Detroit Lions 14

Detroit, Michigan, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton (14) passes the ball during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the final score isn’t as one-sided, the Chicago Bears controlled their Thanksgiving bout with the Detroit Lions from start to finish.

Led by Andy Dalton under center, the Bears outgunned the Lions by 139 yards but settled for field goal attempts rather than touchdowns too often in scoring position. Chicago ultimately ran the clock down on the final drive of the game to set up a game-winning field goal to win 16-14.

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Chicago Bears


Dalton was aggressive with the football but failed to connect on a lot of his downfield throws. He completed just 9-of-17 attempts for 194 yards, one touchdown and a pick on passes that traveled more than 10 yards in the air.

Two turnover-worthy plays on that set of throws will draft his PFF grade below 65.0 when the game is reviewed.

Running Backs

David Montgomery out-snapped backup Khalil Herbert 59 to 10. Montgomery, however, averaged just 2.7 yards per carry on his 17 carries and forced only four broken tackles on the day. He was more efficient in the passing game, with his three receptions for 28 yards and two first downs, but that still wasn’t the impact a lot of people expected from Montgomery on Thursday.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Darnell Mooney was the star of the Bears’ passing attack. He hauled in 5-of-8 targets for 123 yards and five first downs. He also dropped zero passes and gained 15 yards or more on three of his receptions.

Tight end Cole Kmet led the team in targets (11), but he only recorded 65 receiving yards and four first downs on his eight receptions.

Offensive Linemen

None of the Bears' offensive linemen earned a PFF grade above 65.0 on first review of the broadcast film despite some positive performances in pass protection. Guard Cody Whitehair allowed zero total pressures on 44 pass-blocking snaps and should finish reviews with an 80.0-plus pass-blocking grade.

Defensive Linemen

With Khalil Mack sidelined due to injury, Trevis Gipson stepped up big along the edge with a key strip-sack and recovery. Angelo Blackson and Robert Quinn shared the team lead in total pressures with three apiece.


Jaylon Johnson was exceptional in coverage all day long. While he did allow a touchdown, he allowed five receptions on six targets for just 25 total yards and one first down while logging three defensive stops. He, Eddie Jackson, Artie Burns and Tashaun Gipson Jr. all played 49 total defensive snaps and 26 coverage snaps.


Alec Ogletree finished the game with the team lead in snaps played at linebacker with 41. Christian Jones also played 26 snaps, and Roquan Smith played 18 snaps before exiting the game with a hamstring injury.

Smith got off to a red-hot start to the game before getting hurt, as he logged four defensive stops and earned an 80.0-plus run defense grade on first review.

Detroit Lions


Jared Goff’s average depth of target was under 7.0 yards for the game, and he attempted just six total passes more than 10 yards downfield. While he did connect on four of those throws for 82 yards and two touchdowns, the attempts figure is the more important one.

Goff ultimately wasn’t aggressive enough to rack up explosive plays and consistently get the Lions in scoring position.

Running Backs

D’Andre Swift played just 10 offensive snaps before exiting the game with a shoulder injury. He racked up just 13 yards on six total touches in his limited action.

Backup Jamaal Williams took over for Swift when he was sidelined, and he managed 65 rushing yards and three first downs on 15 carries along with two broken tackles. He also caught all five of his targets for 18 yards and gained 40 of his 65 rushing yards after contact.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Josh Reynolds hauled in a deep touchdown early in the game but failed to do much after the early surge. He finished the game with five targets, three receptions, 70 receiving yards, two first downs and the touchdown as the team’s leading receiver.

Tight end T.J. Hockenson finished second on the team in receiving yards with 35 and a touchdown. None of the Lions' pass-catchers dropped a pass in the game.

Offensive Line

None of the Lions' offensive linemen earned PFF grades above 60.0 on first review, and the front five as a unit combined for six total penalties on the day.

While center Evan Brown and guard Jonah Jackson impressed in pass protection, with just one pressure allowed between the two of them, poor run-blocking efforts across the board brought the unit’s overall grades down.

Defensive Line

Charles Harris led the Lions defensive line in snaps played with 62, but none of them earned an 80.0-plus PFF grade on first review. Rookie Alim McNeill only played 25 defensive snaps, but he still logged multiple defensive stops and beat his man early and often in the run game.


Alex Anzalone led the Lions linebacking corps in defensive snaps played (70) and also led the team in total defensive stops with five. He, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Derrick Barnes all earned PFF run-defense grades above 75.0 on first review.


Amani Oruwariye will finish reviews as the Lions’ highest-graded defensive back with the interception and just 47 yards allowed on seven targets. Safety Will Harris was charted with the most yards allowed in coverage with 98 on seven targets.

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