Lions have little time to celebrate comeback win over the Bears with Packers up next on Thanksgiving
The NFC North-leading Detroit Lions are 8-2 for the first time since 1962 and yet they can’t celebrate because they’re hosting the rival Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The NFC North-leading Detroit Lions are 8-2 for the first time since 1962 and yet they can’t celebrate because they’re hosting the rival Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving.
With the short turnaround, the Lions had a walk-through on Monday with another set for Tuesday.
Coach Dan Campbell said they played some of their best football of the season in the last four minutes of the 31-26 comeback win over the Chicago Bears.
He also credited the defense for dealing with the team's four turnovers.
“Two of those in plus territory, they did score on one of them, but we held one to a field goal, we had a takeaway on another and we forced a punt on the very first one of the game,’’ Campbell said on Monday. “If any one of those doesn’t happen, we don’t get back in that."
Down 26-14 with 4:29 left, they scored two touchdowns in less than three minutes.
“We just embody our head coach, we feed off him, we feed off what he preaches to us and we’re all really bought in to how we operate and how we go about doing things,’’ linebacker Alex Anzalone said.
“At the end of the day we know we’re always in the fight with the talent we have on our team and the want-to we have on our team too. It really starts top down."
With the win over the Bears, the Lions are 2-0 in the NFC North. They topped the Packers in Week 4 at Green Bay.
“It’s huge, especially being a divisional game, you have got to win the division to go where we want to go,’’ left tackle Taylor Decker said.
Running back David Montgomery, a former Bear, has proven to be key to the run game. Montgomery’s goal-line rushing TD, the game-winner over the Bears, was his eighth this season.
“I know this game meant a little extra to him, and he showed up,’’ Lions quarterback Jared Goff said.
Montgomery had three rushing touchdowns in the 34-20 win over the Packers in Week 4.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The giveaway-takeaway ratio has been a point of emphasis. It now stands at 14-12. The Lions won on Sunday despite four giveaways (three interceptions, one lost fumble) and just one takeaway, a recovered fumble.
WR Jameson Williams had a slow start this season after serving a four-game suspension. He had two key catches in the comeback win over the Bears, including a 32-yard touchdown reception.
“As he continues to progress, the level to which our offense could possibly go with him continuing to progress is pretty exciting,’’ Goff said.
Linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, who had 15 starts in 2022, has watched his defensive snap count decrease to just one against the Bears. He played six snaps at fullback and 17 on special teams.
Guard Jonah Jackson (wrist/ankle), who missed Sunday’s game, would not have participated if the Lions practiced on Monday, per the injury report. Campbell said he is hoping he will be ready for Thursday. DT Isaiah Buggs (illness) missed Sunday’s game, but would have fully participated in practice.
16-4 — The Lions’ record for the past 20 games, going back to last season.
Host the Packers on Thanksgiving.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl