USA Today

The Detroit Lions playing on Thanksgiving is one of the longstanding traditions in the NFL. Unfortunately for the Lions in recent years, another tradition is the team having one of the worst records in the league. Detroit enters Thanksgiving winless in 10 games, entering the Turkey Day matchup with an 0-9-1 record and possibly starting backup quarterback Tim Boyle, though it's also possible Jared Goff will be healthy enough to start.

Thursday may be the Lions' best chance to get a win this season. Detroit faces a Chicago Bears team (3-2) that has lost five consecutive games, the latest against a Baltimore Ravens team that didn't have Lamar Jackson or Marquise Brown available. Bears head coach Matt Nagy's job is on the hot seat as Chicago's season is spiraling out of control. Chicago isn't expected to have starting quarterback Justin Fields in this one, as Andy Dalton is projected to get the nod on Thanksgiving.

Though this isn't expected to be the best Thanksgiving matchup, the Bears-Lions game is an appetizer for the main course later in the afternoon. Here's a preview of the Thanksgiving matinee: 

How to watch

Date: Sunday, Nov. 21 | Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: Ford Field (Detroit, Michigan)
TV: Fox | Stream: FuboTV (try for free)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Odds: Bears -3.5, O/U 41.5

Key matchups

Bears run offense vs. Lions run defense

The Bears' best run performance of the season came against the Lions in Week 4. Chicago rushed for 188 yards in the win, the most rushing yards in a single game all season. The Bears ran the ball 68% of the time in a dominant effort on the ground, showcasing Chicago can have a competent offense when Nagy chooses to run it. Chicago is 3-0 in games in which it runs the ball on over 55% of its offensive snaps; 0-7 in games they rush less.

Look for the Bears to go to the right in this one when they run the ball, where they averaged 6.6 yards per carry when running to the right. The Lions have allowed 4.9 yards per carry when opponents run to the right, seventh-most in the NFL.

D'Andre Swift vs. Bears run defense

Swift is the lone bright spot on the Lions offense, a running back that head coach Dan Campbell is committed to giving the ball primarily to over the past two games. Swift has 47 carries for 266 yards and one touchdown during the stretch, the only sign of life in a Lions offense that is getting nothing from the quarterback position. 

Swift receives 56% of the Lions rushing attempts, the sixth-highest rate among NFL running backs. He averages 1.7 yards before contact per rush, the fifth-most among 26 running backs with 100 carries this year. This could present a problem for the Bears, who allow 1.5 yards before contact per rush this season, 16th-most in the NFL. Chicago allows 122.8 rushing yards per game, the eighth-worst mark in the NFL. 


Latest Odds: Chicago Bears -2.5

The Lions somehow were worse throwing the ball with Tim Boyle, who was just 15 of 23 for 77 yards in his first career start. The 3.3. yards per attempt was lowest in a game this season by player with 20 or more pass attempts. Swift will keep the Lions in this one (Detroit has had opportunities to win its last two games) as Detroit will seek to get Campbell's first win on Thanksgiving. The Lions run defense is the biggest concern -- if Nagy actually commits to running the ball. Nagy's job is on the line -- and a loss to the Lions may seal his fate. 

Lions 17, Bears 16