Bears

Three keys and prediction: Bears at Lions

Three keys and prediction: Bears at Lions

1. Win the field position battle.
The point here: Don’t give Matthew Stafford any short fields. The Bears’ defense is good enough to limit a Lions offense missing two of its best skill players (running back Kerryon Johnson and wide receiver Marvin Jones), so long as it forces Detroit to put together lengthy possessions. The problem would become if the Bears turn the ball over in their own territory, allowing Stafford to put points on the board by gaining 20, 30, 40 yards, etc. The Bears’ offense, too, will need to avoid three-and-outs while backed up against their own end zone, too. 

2. Don’t let Kenny Golladay beat you.
Golladay — a St. Rita product — has been targeted 27 times by Stafford in his last two games, catching 14 passes for 191 yards with two touchdowns. Without the aforementioned Jones, he’ll again be Detroit’s No. 1 passing target, and without Johnson, it’s unlikely the Lions will be able to generate much production on the ground. Golladay caught all four of his targets when matched up against Prince Amukamara in Week 10, per Pro Football Focus, while he only caught one of six against Kyle Fuller and Bryce Callahan. Guys like T.J. Jones and Theo Riddick are smart, savvy players (and have been since the played together at Notre Dame) but aren’t explosive playmakers, as Golladay is. Shut him down, and the Lions’ offense likely sputters. 

3. No special teams mistakes.
The most sure-fire way to lose on Thursday? Give the Lions points on special teams. The Bears, even without Mitch Trubisky, are more talented than the Lions and have better coaching, too. But this could still shape up to be a close game — the Bears are coming off a Sunday night win 88 hours before their Thursday afternoon kickoff, and the Lions will still have their Week 10 defeat fresh in their collective minds. So this means not only Cody Parkey making his kicks, but the Bears not allowing a special teams touchdown or big-chunk kick/punt return. Play a clean game on special teams, and everything should fall into place for the Bears’ eighth win of the year. 

Prediction: Bears 17, Lions 13. The Lions’ defense is not good, and Daniel’s knowledge of Matt Nagy’s offense will lead him to at the very least not turn the ball over. We’ll say the Bears build a 17-3 lead going into the fourth quarter, then do allow the Lions to get close — but not close enough to win. 

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Javon Wims pretended to be a fan and discussed Week 14 injury with driver

Javon Wims pretended to be a fan and discussed Week 14 injury with driver

Javon Wims left the Bears' Week 14 victory over the Cowboys in the second quarter with an apparent knee injury.

The severity of the injury was unknown at the time, but fortunately, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Friday that it's "nothing major."

Saturday afternoon, Wims posted a rather comical exchange between himself and a car driver (presumably an Uber driver, though that's not confirmed), wherein he discussed his injury as if he was just another fan. 

"Nah he's not too bad," Wims assured the driver, after the driver said he hoped Wims wasn't seriously hurt. "I think he'll be alright... You know, I was at that game, so I saw him walk off. He walked off pretty gingerly, but it looked like he was okay. 

"That kid got a bright future ahead of him, he got all the intangibles," Wims continued. 

The two shared a laugh when Wims revealed his true identity. Wims' status for next week's matchup with the Packers isn't clear at the moment, but it's nice to see him making lemonade out of lemons for the time being.

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NFL fines Lions, Matt Patricia for violating Injury Report Policy before Week 10 game against Bears

NFL fines Lions, Matt Patricia for violating Injury Report Policy before Week 10 game against Bears

The Lions fought admirably in their Thanksgiving day loss to their Bears — even without starting QB Matthew Stafford, who missed the game with a back injury.

With third-stringer David Blough under center, Detroit hung around all game, but were outdone by a late Mitch Trubisky game-winning drive, falling 24-20.

In the moment, Stafford's absence was a surprising development. Now, according to a report by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the Lions organization, head coach Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn are all facing fines for not properly updating Stafford's status in advance of the game:

It's insult to injury for a team currently in the basement of the NFC North at 3-8-1. Two victories over the Lions over a span of four weeks helped spark Trubisky and the Bears to the late-season surge they're currently enjoying.

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