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Bears Matchup Flashback: First Home Start for Fields

Looking back on the last time the Bears and Lions faced off, which happened to be just eight weeks ago.

Justin Fields Bears Lions
Photo: Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times

On Thursday, the Chicago Bears will take on the Detroit Lions to kick off the Thanksgiving slate of games. The Bears enter this matchup sporting a five-game losing streak. Just a few days ago, the Bears lost to the Baltimore Ravens in heartbreaking fashion. To make matters worse, Justin Fields had to leave early due to a rib injury that will force him to miss Week 12 against the Lions.

However, what has unfolded since the loss on Sunday has churned up a lot of drama around Halas Hall. Of course, the central focus of the said drama is head coach Matt Nagy.

On Monday, the following occurred:

Then, on Tuesday, the drama intensified:

Nevertheless, the Bears still have a game to play on Thursday. The foe is a team that rides into this contest licking their chops when they see the Bears despite holding a 0-9-1 record. That team is the Dan Campbell-led Detroit Lions.

History

The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions go way back. This rivalry dates back to 1930. Since then, these two teams have squared off 183 times. As it stands, the Bears hold an advantage over the Lions with a 103-75-5 record. Since becoming the head coach of the Bears, Matt Nagy is 6-1 against Detroit.

Previous Matchup

The last time these two teams saw each other was not too long ago, just eight weeks prior in a Week 4 showdown. The day was October 3, 2021, and Justin Fields was making his first start as Bears quarterback at Soldier Field. The Bears were coming off a dreadful loss to the Browns in Week 3. At 1-2, they took on the 0-3 Lions. Detroit had just suffered a gut-wrenching loss of their own as Justin Tucker of the Ravens drilled a 66-yard field goal the doinked in off the crossbar as time expired.

First Half

The Chicago Bears came out of the gate guns blazing. On their first drive, they marched 75 yards on 12 plays. David Montgomery punched it in from four yards out to give the Bears an early 7-0 lead.

Subsequently, the Detroit Lions went 63 yards on 11 plays. However, their first drive of the game came to an abrupt halt on a fumbled snap that happened to land right in Bilal Nichols’ hands.

Then, the Bears stormed down the field 89 yards on six plays, capped off by another Montgomery touchdown run. The nine-yard scamper extended Chicago’s lead to 14-0.

In response, the Lions moved the ball 70 yards on 10 plays. However, the drive stalled out the Bears’ five-yard line when Detroit failed to convert on fourth down. But Chicago’s offense couldn’t keep their momentum going and punted the ball back to Detroit. As a result, Robert Quinn and Khalil Mack teamed up to stop the Lions’ next drive. Quinn forced a Jared Goff fumble and Mack scooped it up before lateraling it to Eddie Jackson.

Next, the Bears committed their first mistake of the day. On the seventh play of the drive, Justin Fields turned the ball over. The Lions intercepted a pass intended for Darnell Mooney. Although, the Bears’ defense forced a three-and-out and the Lions punted the ball back to Chicago. The Bears ran one play and took the game into halftime sporting a 14-0 lead.

Second Half

The second half got off to a start similar to how the first half ended with the Bears’ defense forcing a three-and-out and a punt. Consequently, the Bears’ offense drove 77 yards on six plays that ended with a Damien Williams four-yard touchdown. This extended the lead to 21-0.

Then, the Lions and Bears traded punts, respectively. This was a precursor to the Lions’ first score of the game. It was a six-play, 44-yard drive, which resulted in a Jared Goff four-yard touchdown pass to Kalif Raymond. This score cut the Bears lead to 21-7.

However, the Bears responded with their own scoring drive. After seven plays and 60 yards, Cairo Santos drilled a 33-yard field goal through the uprights to bring the Chicago’s lead back up to 24-7.

Although, the Lions did not show signs of quitting as they marched 75 yards on eight plays. This resulted in another touchdown for Raymond, this time a 25-yard reception from Goff to trim the Bears’ lead down to 24-14.

That would be the last of the scoring as the game finished in a lackluster manner:

  • Bears: Punt (5 plays, -3 yards)
  • Lions: Turnover on downs (12 plays, 58 yards)
  • Bears: End of game (8 plays, 44 yards)

All in all, Chicago secured a 24-14 victory in Justin Fields’ first start at Soldier Field. It was a huge moment for the rookie. However, the game did bring some bad news as David Montgomery suffered a knee injury that would put him on the shelf for 4-5 weeks.

Aftermath

Since then, Chicago and Detroit each have played six games. The Bears have only won one game, which happened to be the following week against the Raiders. They proceeded to drop five straight contests since. Meanwhile, the Lions have lost five times as well. However, they also managed a tie with the Steelers.

Now, as far as playoffs are concerned, neither team has much of a chance. In fact, the Lions are searching for their first win. The Bears, on the other hand, have a better chance, though it’s very slim at this point.

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Writer/contributor for On Tap Sports Net and Bears on Tap. Lifelong and a die-hard fan of the Bears, Cubs, Bulls, and Blackhawks. Nothing but respect the White Sox though. Enjoying life and having a good time. Interests also include eating, gaming, sometimes reading and tons of tomfoolery. Good sense of humor (although sometimes dry). Occasionally witty. Follow me on Twitter

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