Written by Austin Payne
A rematch of one of last years Thanksgiving day games, the Lions get to host the bears in a classic NFC North rivalry matchup, as typical of a turkey day game. Except this time its…slightly less interesting than you may think.
The Bears likely will not have to face Matthew Stafford, but instead will again be playing against backup Jeff Driskel who would start in his place. Stafford is experiencing chronic back issues involving fractures and according to Adam Schefter, surgery is not an option at the moment. Stafford reportedly wishes to return to play this year but is doubtful for Thursday’s game.
The Lions own a four game losing streak at the moment, and while not exactly an impressive team; Chicago has had its own controversy lately, largely involving more quarterback uncertainty. You know whom i’m referring to here. Coming out of college at UNC everyone knew Trubisky would be a project considering he had only one year experience as a starter at North Carolina. Regardless the talent and athleticism was undeniable, and if you squinted you might’ve even seen a better Alex Smith. But…that hasn’t exactly been the case thus far in his career, evidenced prominently by this seasons play.
The best way to describe Mitchell’s season so far is just passivity. The Bears took him so high because of his arm talent and athletic potential, but he’s been reluctant to show that and seems to have the polar opposite personality to that of a gunslinger like Baker Mayfield if you will. Assuming he doesn’t have an epiphany against the Lions, and the Bears defense continues it’s dominance, (ranking 8th in overall opponents yards per game) we could expect to be in for a low-scoring affair on Thursday.
Unless of course, Mitch does have a coming out party and the Bears are able to exploit the vulnerable Detroit Lions defense, who currently sit at 30th in overall passing yards allowed per game. They certainly have the talent and depth to do so, and they certainly are in need of a win more than the Lions, who are unquestionably out of the playoff picture at this point.
If the Bears want any hope whatsoever at securing a wildcard spot in the NFC this is a crucial win, though even if they did manage to go on a tear, a playoff appearance is highly unlikely considering they’re competing against the likes of Minnesota and Seattle for that last spot. The best chance Chicago fans have at seeing a playoff game is for the team to win out, go 10-6, and beat the Vikings in their final game. Even then, their destiny is unlikely to be in their own hands and they will need help to get in. Thursday though, will tell us if there’s a shot or not.