In a game where David Blough and the Detroit Lions were about to surprise the NFL, Mitchell Trubisky (of all players) was the one who turned Detroit's Thanksgiving feast into a burnt turkey. Trubisky threw just two incompletions in the second half in leading the Chicago Bears to a 24-20 victory over the Lions, throwing a 3-yard touchdown pass to David Montgomery with 2:17 left for the game-winning score.
The Bears defense rebounded after Blough shocked the nation on Thanksgiving by throwing two touchdown passes on the first two possessions to give the Lions a 14-7 first-quarter lead. Blough completed a 75-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay and an eight-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones in a first half which he threw for 179 yards and had a 130.3 quarterback rating.
The Bears defense was able to contain Blough in the second half, holding him to 15 of 23 for 101 yards and no touchdowns with an interception -- a fourth and 22 heave toward the end zone with 26 seconds left to give the Lions a chance at snatching victory. The Lions have led in every game this season, but have won just three games and they have officially been eliminated from playoff contention.
Trubisky finished 29 of 38 for 338 yards for three touchdowns and an interception for a 118.1 rating. Blough was 22 for 38 for 280 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for an 88.6 rating.
Below are postgame takeaways on the Thanksgiving appetizer. Also, check out our live blog below for analysis from the Bears' huge Thanksgiving win.
It was a wild day of Thanksgiving football and there's a lot to go over. Fortunately Will Brinson, John Breech, Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough are here to break everything down from all three games on the Pick Six Podcast. Listen to the full show below and be sure to subscribe here for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.
Why the Bears won
It's easy to give credit to Trubisky here, especially considering how well he played in the second half of this one. However, the Bears defense was the unit that allowed Trubisky and the offense to claw back into the game. On the first two possessions, the Bears allowed 13 plays for 153 yards and two touchdowns for 14 points. The remainder of the game: 56 plays, 211 yards, three points, as the Lions offense averaged just 3.98 yards per play. Blough was still effective, but not as efficient as the 4 for 6, 131-yard, two-touchdown start he had. The Bears held Blough to 18 of 32 for 148 yards and an interception the rest of the way. Chicago's defense demonstrated why it is the No. 4 unit in yards and points allowed after a very shaky start.
Why the Lions lost
The Lions pass defense has been one of the worst in the NFL all season, as evidenced by how well Trubisky performed against them in the second half. Trubisky went 12 of 14 for 192 yards and two touchdowns and an interception (which actually was on a bad pass by Trubisky) for a 128.6 passer rating, connecting on all three of his third-down attempts for 79 yards in the second half, two of which went to wide receiver Anthony Miller for 35 and 32 yards. Detroit couldn't contain Miller, who finished with nine catches for 140 yards and a touchdown. The Lions had the 30th-ranked pass defense for a reason and it showed as Trubisky had a 300-yard game for the first time in 16 games.
The Bears trailed 17-10 heading into the second half, but their defense showed the Lions they weren't going to give up many points in the final 30 minutes. On Detroit's first two possessions in the second half, Chicago held them to a three-and-out on both possessions as Blough went 2 for 4 for -1 yard (Detroit totaled three yards on six plays). The second possession was the one that haunted the Lions as Trubisky threw an interception to Darius Slay that put the Lions at their own 41-yard line with a 17-10 lead, but lost a yard in going three and out and having to punt. Trubisky followed by leading the Bears on a nine-play, 90-yard touchdown drive to tie the game 17-17. The Lions had their opportunity for a two-score lead, but couldn't capitalize.
Play of the game
Miller's receptions from Trubisky on the Bears' game-winning drive made the difference in this one, catching a 35-yard pass on third and 5 with 5:27 left and a 32-yard pass on third and 5 with 2:50 left resulted in setting up Trubisky's game-winning touchdown pass to Montgomery. Miller had his two longest catches of the season on those plays, finishing with nine catches for 140 yards (both career-highs). Miller's only other 100-yard game came against the Lions last season (five catches for 122 yards), so he's had success against this secondary.
Without Miller, the Bears aren't in the NFC playoff race. Chicago went 90 yards in nine plays for the winning touchdown, 67 from the hands of Miller.
"We just got to quit making mistakes. When we quit doing that, I think we can be a pretty good offense. Just keep it simple, and hopefully we can keep this rolling." - Mitchell Trubisky on the Bears offense to Fox Sports' Erin Andrews postgame.
Trubisky has been instrumental in the Bears offense playing well, even against the Lions secondary. He had his first 300-yard game since throwing for 355 against the Lions in Week 11 of the 2018 season and his 118.1 passer rating was his second-best performance of the year. The Bears need this version of Trubisky if they are going to make a playoff run.
The Bears will have seven days before they host the Dallas Cowboys (6-5) on "Thursday Night Football," a rare Thursday game after playing on a Thursday (December 5). The Lions, already eliminated from playoff contention, will travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings (8-3) on Sunday, December 8.