Lions-Bears Final Thoughts: Lions running back Bo Scarbrugh wants more than yards; Allen Robinson and Khalil Mack problems for the Lions and Random Thoughts – the run game, Thanksgiving memories and highlights, and sticking with my pick:
Scarbrough wants to leave Ford Field today completely satisfied, with nothing untouched on his list of things he wants to take home.
The yards he gained in his first two games – 55 against the Cowboys and 98 against the Redskins – both came in losses.
Winning is the main course, and Scarbrough won’t be satisfied unless his performance today leads to a win over the Bears.
“If you don’t win, it doesn’t sit right just because you did good,” Scarbrough said. “When you lose, it’s a team loss. If we win the game, I’ll be happy just to win the game, the rest will take care of itself.”
Another change in quarterbacks makes it likely that Scarbrough and the rest of the running backs will have to carry a heavier load than expected.
Rookie David Blough, who has never taken a snap in a regular-season NFL game, has been elevated to the starting job because of a hamstring injury sustained by Jeff Driskel in last week’s loss to the Redskins.
Matthew Stafford remains out for the fourth straight game because of back and hip injuries.
Scarbrough has been a bright spot in a gloomy stretch of the Lions’ season. He was signed to the practice squad on Nov. 6 and played in his first NFL game 11 days later. From his first carry – a five-yard gain against the Cowboys – he looked like he could at least be a key role player as a power runner.
He’s been a little more than that, but it’s a little too early to project his long-term role.
He appreciates the attention he’s gotten, but he likes even more the opportunity he’s gotten from GM Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia.
“I just think it’s eye opening to some people,” Scarbrough said of the attention he’s getting. “I let them know I’m still here. I never left. I was just never given the opportunity the right way. Bob and Coach P gave me the right opportunity I need, that I’ve never gotten.”
He’s gotten his chance – and run with it.
Homecoming, Allen Robinson II: The Bears’ top receiver is a player to watch. He has been consistently good throughout his six-year career, and that includes games against the Lions.
“I think the word ‘consistent’ is probably the biggest part,” said Bears head coach Matt Nagy. “He’s one of the greatest professional players that I’ve been around in just the respect he has for this game.”
Robinson, who played at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and Penn State, had six catches for 86 yards in the Bears’ 20-13 win over the Lions three weeks ago. Last year he had six catches for 133 yards and two TDs in their win at Ford Field. He was held to two catches for 37 yards in a 23-16 win in the Thanksgiving Day rematch.
On the run: My primary thought for today’s game is that one of the keys is winning the battle on the ground. That means running effectively on offense and stopping the run on defense.
That could bode well for the Lions. They won the ground battle on both sides of the ball in the last three games – all losses -- as follows: 175 yards rushing, 86 allowed vs. Redskins; 121 rushing, 75 allowed vs. Cowboys; 98 rushing, 81 allowed vs. Bears.
It’s the first time the defense held the opponent under 100 yards rushing in three straight games since Weeks 10-12 of last season.
Mack attack, sack: Bears All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack can make an impact at any time. He showed that in last week’s win over the Giants when he sacked quarterback Daniel Jones and caused a fumble that the Bears recovered on the Giants’ three. Trubisky ran it in from the two on third down.
View photos of Detroit Lions season ticket members picking up Barry Sanders' Nike Turf Jet sneakers and meeting the Lions Legend Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 at the Stadium Collection in Detroit.
Three Thanksgiving Day highlights:
1. Lions 26, Packers 14, 1962: A classic revenge game for the Lions from a 9-7 loss earlier in the season. They sacked Bart Starr 11 times. Roger Brown was involved in seven of them. It was the only defeat for the Packers.
2. Bubba Baker, 1979: Four sacks in a 20-0 upset of the Bears. It was the Lions’ last win in a 2-14 season.
3. Barry Sanders, 1997: So many choices but picked this one – 19 carries, 167 yards in a 55-20 win – because it kept him on track to a career-high 2,053 yards.
And one for the history book:
Tom Brady, Thanksgiving Day 2000: Brady played his first NFL game against the Lions in the Patriots’ 34-9 loss at the Pontiac Silverdome. Brady completed one of three passes for six yards in his only appearance of the season.
Sticking with my pick: Bears 20, Lions 13.