TIM AND MIKE: Week 12 observations

QB question: A lot of people are asking how the Lions could beat the Patriots and Tom Brady, the Packers and Aaron Rodgers and the Panthers and Cam Newton – and lose to the Bears with career backup Chase Daniel at quarterback. Daniel had two career starts, and none since 2014 with Kansas City, and he played like he’d been the Bears starter all season. Go figure. – Mike O’Hara

Run defense strong … but: After allowing just 110 rushing yards combined the last two weeks, Detroit was strong again defending the run on Thanksgiving. Chicago was held to a season-low 38 rushing yards for just a 2.5 average. But on 3rd and 9 late in the game with a chance to force a punt and give the ball back to the offense, Detroit’s defense allowed Tarik Cohen to gain 10 yards and a first down to clinch the game. That’s a situation where the Lions know what’s coming, and have to make a play. – Tim Twentyman

Ansah, pass rush answer: Defensive end Ziggy Ansah had another strong performance in only his fifth game of the season. He had a sack and two hits. He turned Daniel around on one rush and didn’t get the sack but forced a wide throw for an incompletion. Ansah has four sacks in five games. Imagine what he’d have done this season had he been at full strength. – Mike O’Hara

Golladay real deal: It’s been two straight weeks now where second-year wide receiver Kenny Golladay has been Detroit’s No. 1 receiver because of Marvin Jones Jr. not playing. Credit Golladay for stepping up in each occasion and playing like a No. 1. That’s certainly a positive the Lions can take away from this season. Golladay has 804 receiving yards on the season and five touchdowns. He’s well on his way to the first of what might be many 1,000-yard receiving seasons. – Tim Twentyman

Pressure points: The Lions got good pressure on Daniel, with four sacks and 10 hits. But he still kept the ball out of harm’s way. The Lions did not have an interception, and they were credited with only one pass defensed. Daniel didn’t have many passes that were contested. – Mike O’Hara

Better protection: The first time the Lions played the Bears, Chicago had six sacks and eight hits on Matthew Stafford. Outside linebacker Khalil Mack had two of those. The Lions allowed just two sacks Thursday, and Mack was held sack-less. The improved protection didn’t lead to a win, but it was good to see from that group that went through a two-game stretch a few weeks back where they gave up 16 sacks in two games. They’ve allowed three total the last two games. – Tim Twentyman

LeGarrette on the run: LeGarrette Blount has had his struggles of late running the ball, and the first half continued that way. He had five carries for eight yards. He took over in the second half with 14 carries for 80 yards and two touchdowns, and one reception for 15 yards. – Mike O’Hara

Not just a run stuffer: Defensive tackle Damon Harrison has certainly been a run-stuffing machine since the Lions traded for him a few weeks back. But he showed Thursday there’s more to his game. He also chipped in 1.5 sacks and three quarterback hits, the most he’s ever produced in a single game. He’s certainly a player the Lions can build around on defense for the next two seasons. – Tim Twentyman

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