It is Thanksgiving Day in America on Thursday which means lots of turkey and even more football as week 13 of the NFL campaign gets up and running with a triple header of action, starting with an NFC North clash between the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears at Ford Field.
Detroit traditionally host the Thanksgiving opener so they will be used to playing at this stage of the special day. Chicago will be looking to ruin the party and begin to salvage what has been a non-starter of a campaign.
After four defeats on the spin the season is over as a competitive entity for the Detroit Lions. It will be interesting to see if that frees them up to deliver something close to their best stuff, or whether they slump completely, at least ensuring a decent draft pick to use to better themselves next term. Any signs of hope may well have disappeared last week when they went down to the Washington Redskins – a poor result if ever there was one.
If that defeat wasn’t bad enough for the Lions, they are now down to their third choice quarterback, with it being confirmed that rookie David Blough will be under center for the Thanksgiving clash. That is likely to make an offense which has faded fast even more sluggish for this contest, so the outcome for the Lions could be determined by how well their defence do and how many plays they can make.
After a strong campaign last term there were high hopes for the Chicago Bears this season, but they just haven’t got going at any point, and will need at least four wins from their last five matches if they are to have any chance of extending their campaign. Even that might not be enough for them to make it in as a wildcard given the records of some of the other sides in the NFC currently. A win here would at least offer up some hope.
If they are to make it into the postseason then their offense is going to have to improve immeasurably. Mitch Trubisky has had a down year from last term and in truth his offensive weapons haven’t really helped him. The Bears defence has begun to suffer as a result so a huge turnaround is going to be needed. The Bears do at least go into this one off the back of a narrow win last week but with Dallas, Green Bay and Kansas City to come after this, it is hard to see that making any difference.
As you would expect the Chicago Bears have been ploughed into since it was confirmed that Detroit would be utilising their third choice quarterback in this match, but I still think there is enough juice in the 4.5 line they are being asked to cover. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the Bears this season, but they did offer up something resembling an offensive display last week, and against a defence ranked fourth to last against the pass that is encouraging.
The simple fact is that Chicago should be able to win this match with their defence. They’ll be sending the house to the quarterback throughout this one and it would be a surprise if Detroit make it beyond a couple of scores. As offensively tough as this season has been for the Bears I still expect them to have enough inside their personnel to cover 4.5pts in this Thanksgiving Day opener.
Back Chicago Bears (-4.5) to beat Detroit Lions for a 4/10 stake at 1.85 with 888sport