Lions @ Bears
Let’s be honest: the NFC North has one real playoff threat this season (Green Bay) and everyone else is playing for positioning. The Chicago Bears came into this one on a five-game losing streak while the Lions were 1-4 in their last five. Chicago jumped out to a quick lead (9-0) and they made it 23-12 at halftime on the back of a running game that was having a rare excellent outing. Well, it was all Detroit in the second half as their passing attack came to life. Detroit was down 30-20 with three minutes remaining before a Matthew Stafford pass and an Adrian Peterson run sealed the deal. Mitch Trubisky fumbled away the ball on the Bears last possession to secure the loss.
Let’s be honest about these teams: Chicago and Detroit are both below-average groups and neither will have an impact on the playoff push this year. For the Lions, there is some excitement as interim coach Darrell Bevell notches a win in his first outing. For the Bears, at least the draft position improved a little bit. Detroit will host the division-leading Packers in Week 14 while Chicago will host the struggling Texans. Here’s everything I saw this week.
Matthew Stafford: 27/42, 402 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks | 2 carries, 0 yards
Matthew Stafford started out hot in this one, completing seven of his first eight pass attempts. He had little trouble picking apart the Bears secondary, despite a second-half interception that nearly cost his team the game. Stafford frequently had enough time to sit back and wait for his guys to find open space, and his receivers did a good job of helping him out. I don’t expect this to continue against a tougher Green Bay secondary next week, but it worked here. His best throw was a 49-yard touchdown pass to Quintez Cephus late in the first half. Stafford saw Cephus with space, waived his man to keep going, and unloaded a great throw. This was a great spot start if you caught it, but I don’t expect Stafford to maintain it next week.
Adrian Peterson: 16 carries, 57 yards, 2 TD | 1 target
Kerryon Johnson: 3 carries, 3 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 8 yards
Adrian Peterson can’t quite claim the longevity of Frank Gore yet, but he is showing impressive staying power in the league. At age 35, he still has impressive running power–though some of the shiftiness is long gone. Peterson ran well against a tough Bears defense and his final touchdown secured the win. Peterson is only keeping the seat warm until DeAndre Swift returns, be he is serviceable if you are in the playoff push and need to fill a spot. Just beware that he is touchdown-dependent and the 8-3 Packers wait next week. Kerryon Johnson had a few touches, but he didn’t flash anything worth noting. He does not need to be rostered in any league format.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Marvin Jones: 12 targets, 8 receptions, 116 yards, 1 TD
TJ Hockenson: 9 targets, 7 receptions, 84 yards
Quintez Cephus: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 63 yards, 1 TD
Danny Amendola: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 62 yards
Kenny Golladay continues to sit (he last played in Week 8) and there is obviously no reason to rush him back with his team 5-7. Marvin Jones did an excellent job in the lead role today, regularly finding open room against an overmatched Bears secondary. His biggest play was a late fourth-quarter catch. Jones got behind coverage and made an easy touchdown catch to cut the Bears lead to three. Jones should face tighter coverage next week, so temper long-term expectations. Still, this was a different team now that the coach and GM were fired. Remember when Detroit blew a similar game early in the season to the Bears?
TJ Hockenson played well again, and he continues to show he is the future at the position. With about five minutes left in the game, he jumped to pull down a Stafford pass that sailed a little bit. It was an excellent catch, and it set up a Lions touchdown a few plays later. Quintez Cephus gets the ‘catch of the game’ award, but he is the least reliable long term option. Like I mentioned with Jones, Cephus found a hole in the coverage and made an amazing 49-yard catch for a score. Maybe I’m under-selling the ability of these receivers by blaming the Chicago secondary. I’ll leave it up to you to decide, but I’m playing it cautiously. Start Hockenson, consider Jones as a flex, and watch Cephus.
Wow. What an absolute DIME from Matt Stafford. Delivering Quintez Cephus his first career TD.
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 6, 2020
Mitch Trubisky: 26/34, 267 yards, 1 TD | 3 carries, 6 yards, 1 fumble
Soon the Trubisky experiment will be over. Soon the Trubisky experiment will be over. Soon the Trubisky experiment will be over. It will stick with me for my entire lifetime–as a dedicated Bears fan–that Chicago passed on Mahomes, didn’t interview Watson, and expensively moved up on spot for Trubisky. How many ways can you screw up a single pick? Trubisky did make some good throws today to be fair, but he also had some terrible plays. The worst moment was the fumble. With the Bears holding onto a 3-point lead, Trubisky was stripped in the pocket deep in his own territory. Two plays later, Detroit took the lead. The numbers were a bit inflated as Trubisky padded the stats in garbage time, and a couple of short throws to the middle, forcing the clock to keep running, helped secure the loss. It’s a broken record, but no one should be starting Trubisky or Foles–if he returns–for any reason.
David Montgomery: 17 carries, 72 yards, 2 TD | 4 targets, 4 receptions, 39 yards
Cordarelle Patterson: 10 carries, 59 yards, 1 TD | 2 targets, 1 reception, 4 yards
David Montgomery is making a late push at keeping the Bears’ starting job, assuming things stay on this trajectory. After a 100-yard outing last week, Montgomery again put together a strong outing. The biggest problem seems to be Matt Nagy’s willingness to actually stick to the run. Montgomery had 11 carries for 62 yards in the first half, and Chicago built a 10-point lead because of it. It’s hard to say exactly why, but Chicago abandoned the run in the second half with a big lead already established. Here was the first Chicago possession after the half: Trubisky run, pass, pass, false start, pass, pass, punt. I will never understand how a team comes out like this when they know their passing game is at best below average, and they have a large lead. Despite the awful coaching, Montgomery has still proven himself usable. He should continue to roll against Houston next week. Cordarelle Patterson continues to play well as a complement to Montgomery, and I would be curious to see him in the lead role. just remember these types of days are rare in Chicago, so don’t even think about starting Patterson.
David Montgomery lookin GOOD on his TD run
— PFF CHI Bears (@PFF_Bears) December 6, 2020
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Allen Robinson: 7 targets, 6 receptions, 75 yards
Anthony Miller: 5 targets, 5 receptions, 56 yards | 1 carry, 3 yards
Darnell Mooney: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 43 yards
Cole Kmet: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 35 yards, 1 TD
Typically we see Allen Robinson pick up points in the third and fourth quarter when Chicago is well behind. This garbage-time work has made many games look more palatable. Well, Robinson started strong in this one and then everything just kind of petered out. After halftime, nothing really worked for Chicago as they watched the Lions melt their lead. We know how disgruntled the receiving corps has become, spotlighted by Robinson liking tweets form other teams’ fans saying he should join them next year. Robinson will be a name to watch as we head into 2021. I can’t imagine what he can do with a real quarterback.
Anthony Miller played well today, but he did most of his work on a single drive. Before halftime, Miller caught passes of 15, 19, and 9 yards leading to a Bears touchdown before halftime. He is a streaky player who has failed to fully catch on through his time in Chicago. Darnell Mooney flashed, as he usually does, and I continue to think he will be big to the Bears’ future. He is fast, and he moves well with the ball. He just needs a more reliable quarterback throwing him the ball. Cole Kmet saw more work than usual, and I was glad for the change. We need to see what Kmet is now so we know what to expect next year. Rookies need work to make mistakes and improve. I’m not sure yet what Kmet will be, but he has shown some flashes.
— NFL (@NFL) December 6, 2020
— Mike Miklius (@SIRL0INofBEEF on twitter)