Keeping pace in the North Division: Detroit Lions set up Thanksgiving Day showdown with Minnesota Vikings after nipping Chicago Bears, 27-24
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO — The Detroit Lions haven’t lost a game against the NFC North, and they can really tighten the division race if they win this week.
Matt Prater kicked a tiebreaking 52-yard field goal, Matthew Stafford threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns and the Lions hung on to beat the Chicago Bears 27-24 on Sunday.
That sets up a Thanksgiving matchup at home against NFC North-leading Minnesota that could go a long way toward determining the division champion, though first place won’t be on the line. The Lions (6-4) trail the Vikings (8-2) by two games.
“I can’t wait,” receiver Marvin Jones Jr. said. “That’s gonna be a hard-nosed game like it always is.”
With Chicago’s Connor Barth badly missing wide right on a 46-yarder in the closing seconds, the Lions improved to 3-0 against the division. All those wins are on the road, with one coming at Minnesota on Oct. 1. But at home, Detroit is just 2-3.
“Any time you win on the road in this league, it’s a huge bonus,” Stafford said. “On the contrary, we haven’t done a great job at home. We’ll have a big opportunity this Thursday at home against a division opponent, against a really good team, and we’ve got to come out and play well.”
Here are some things to know about the Lions’ win:
ON RUN: The Lions are giving opponents room to run. They gave up 222 yards rushing against the Bears after Cleveland ran for 201 last against them last week.
“We better get it solved pretty quickly,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. “We’ve got a couple of really good backs coming in here this next week. It’s not just one thing. We’re not tackling as well as we’re capable. We’re not filling up things as well as we’re capable.”