What we Saw: Thanksgiving Edition
Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions
The Bears were set up well on their first drive thanks to a big return from Cordarrelle Patterson that started Chicago in the Lions territory. They scored on an Allen Robinson touchdown before giving up 17 straight points to Detroit. The Lions scored on a bomb touchdown to Golladay, a more methodical drive, and a field goal. They went into halftime up 17-10. Chicago came back with a touchdown in the third to make it 17-17, Detroit answered with a field goal, and the Bears put up one more touchdown to make it 24-20. Detroit had time to try for the win, but their offense fell just short. Overall, this was a pretty exciting start to the Thanksgiving slate.
- Mitch Trubisky: 29/38, 338 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, 1 sack | 4 carries, 4 yards
If you follow our writeups, you know I’ve been plenty hard on Mitch Trubisky this season. He and head coach Matt Nagy have done a good job of torpedoing the offense after some promising output last season. Today was much better. It started with an early touchdown strike to Allen Robinson. The highlight was the second touchdown throw though. Trubisky placed a ball perfectly for tight end Jesper Horsted as he took off for the endzone. This was one of the best throws I’ve seen this season from the Bears’ quarterback, and it gives me hope that things could still improve. All this being said, it wouldn’t be fair not to bring up some mistakes as well. Trubisky threw behind Robinson on a pass that was picked off by Darius Slay. He also made some bad decisions, throwing into double coverage on another play. I still won’t start Trubisky, but I’m hoping he can help his weapons be more useful.
- David Montgomery: 16 carries, 75 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 12 yards
- Tarik Cohen: 3 carries, 9 yards | 4 targets, 4 receptions, 26 yards
Last week, Tarik Cohen seemed to take the lead while David Montgomery never had the chance to get going. Of course, this one ended up a Montgomery game. David Montgomery had a great game today, and I think he’d be a household name on a team with a better line. Make Montgomery the lead back in Indianapolis, for example, and he’s probably looking at a half dozen 100-yard games. He plays for the Bears, though, and so he remains poorly utilized. Montgomery looked strong, resilient, and like the lead back the Bears traded up for. He even looked good catching the ball out of the backfield on his two targets. I like what I’m seeing, but I don’t have much faith the usage will keep up or that the line will continue to create this much space.
Tarik Cohen only saw four targets, and I think it was better for the offense overall that he wasn’t being peppered. Cohen should not be the primary weapon (ala Christian McCaffrey), but one who is used when the defense becomes preoccupied with other players (ala Chris Thompson). He needs space to work, and he never found enough. If Anthony Miller can continue his recent pace, I see some big Cohen games ahead. I just don’t want to start him in the meantime.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
- Allen Robinson: 12 targets, 8 receptions, 86 yards, 1 TD
- Anthony Miller: 13 targets, 9 receptions, 140 yards
- Javon Wims: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 56 yards
Allen Robinson remains an excellent option for fantasy. No news there. Robinson was involved early, and he scored the first Chicago touchdown. He played well the whole game, and his day could have been even bigger (stop me if you’ve heard this before). He was missed on a long target when he had a step on his defender. Trubisky’s interception was another throw to Robinson that was off target. Robinson was running laterally across the field and the ball was thrown behind him–where he couldn’t get it. He remains an excellent option next week against the Cowboys.
If Anthony Miller is still sitting on your waivers, it’s time to act. Here are his last three games: six receptions on 11 targets, six receptions on nine targets, and nine receptions on 13 targets. That is a monster workload, and here’s the thing: Miller has looked good doing it. He was involved all game long, largely thanks to Taylor Gabriel sitting out with concussion symptoms. Miller frequently found open space in the defense, and he should continue to be a focus as Chicago figures out what they have heading into next season. I don’t expect this monster output again next week, but I love the renewed focus on Chicago’s young WR. He makes for a nice flex option moving into week 14.
- David Blough: 22/38, 280 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks | 1 carry, 1 yard
I think we all thought the same thing when we heard David Blough was starting: who? We know who now. Blough’s day started fast when Chicago’s coverage broke down and he hit Kenny Golladay for a 75-yard touchdown. It was a nice throw, but not exactly a test of skill. The next drive came and Blough hit a couple of key passes (still what I would call bad defense) to put another touchdown on the board. As good as it all looked, I was still most impressed with Blough’s late-game play. After the Bears tied things at 17, he lead a long drive (70 yards) for a field goal to take the lead. Once the Bears retook the lead, Blough lead a 44-yard drive that brought the Lions as close as the Chicago 26-yard line. The Lions ultimately failed thanks to an untimely sack and interception, but Blough showed he is worth another look. I’m curious to see if he gets another shot next week against the Vikings.
- Bo Scarbrough: 21 carries, 83 yards
- JD McKissic: 2 carries, 9 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 15 yards
- Ty Johnson: 3 carries, 12 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 17 yards
Here’s where things currently stand in the Detroit backfield: Bo Scarbrough is the lead dog and will continue to be until further notice. JD McKissic and Ty Johnson are splitting the backup duties, and neither is worth much look unless something happens to Scarbrough.
Bo Scarbrough was impressive today, running hard into contact and leaping over defenders multiple times. I don’t see a future superstar, but I do see a competent back who could be useful come playoff time in the right matchup. Scarbrough’s best carry was actually called back for holding. He ran to the outside and leaped over a defender for a big gain. This is the third straight game where Scarbrough’s carries have increased, and he is the clear leader in the backfield. Pump the breaks for next week, however, as a tough matchup with the Vikings awaits.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
- Kenny Golladay: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 158 yards, 1 TD
- Marvin Jones Jr: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 40 yards, 1 TD
- Danny Amendola: 8 targets, 3 receptions, 32 yards
- TJ Hockenson: 11 targets, 6 receptions, 18 yards
If not for two plays, this would have been a pretty slow day for the Detroit receivers. Kenny Golladay started fast with a 75-yard touchdown. He sprinted past his defender and there was no help over the top. Golladay easily ran it home and made his day on that one play. His number wasn’t called much, but he looked impressive when it was. He seemed to beat single coverage easily and he is a player I will be targetting big-time next year. Keep on rolling with Golladay in the coming weeks.
Marvin Jones was much quieter today and this was largely thanks to coverage. Sure, Jones’ first two receptions (one of them being his touchdown) were both wide open catches–lapses in the defense. However, the Bears tightened up on Jones, and he only caught one more target as a result. Jones dropped a late target that hit him in the hands. Moving through the end of the season, Jones will find most of his value when Golladay is facing elite coverage and Jones becomes the de facto #1. Outside of that, he is hard to trust week to week.
T.J. Hockenson led the team in targets, but we can largely ignore this number. Hockenson saw five of his targets on the last two drives when the Bears’ pass rush started to come alive. He had a nice nine-yard grab, but everything else was short and ineffective. Hockenson is not a reliable threat at tight end.
— Mike Miklius