ReFo: Bears @ Lions, Week 13
The Chicago Bears got off to a quick start on Thanksgiving, taking a 14-3 lead over the Detroit Lions through one quarter. But the Lions’ finally rediscovered their offense in the second quarter, scoring touchdowns on all three drives to take the lead heading into halftime. After a field goal on the opening drive of the second half, the Lions’ defense held the Bears to 25 yards while forcing three punts and an interception before the final drive of the game.
The Lions secured an important win that could move back into a tie for first place in the NFC North, pending the outcome of the Packers-Patriots game on Sunday. Meanwhile, the loss all but eliminates 5-7 Bears from playoff contention with three non-division leaders ahead of them at 8-4.
Here are a few performances that stood out on each team.
Chicago Bears — Performances of Note
Jared Allen, DE, +4.8
Breakdown: A vintage version of Allen showed up for Thanksgiving, earning his highest overall grade since the 2011 season. Taking on either tight end Brandon Pettigrew or undrafted rookie Cornelius Lucas, primarily in one-on-one situations, may have played a significant part, but it was a solid performance nonetheless. His day was highlighted by a first quarter strip-sack of Matthew Stafford along with the fumble recovery.
Signature Stat: Allen picked up at least seven pressures for the third time in as many games. His Pass Rushing Productivity has increased from 7.7 from Weeks 1 through 10, to 13.6 over the last three weeks.
Kyle Fuller, CB, -3.6
Breakdown: Although the Bears played zone coverage for much of the game, Fuller was given the difficult task of shadowing Calvin Johnson, at least in terms of alignment. The assignment proved to be too much to ask from the rookie as he gave up season-highs in nearly every category, including nine catches for 117 yards to Johnson alone.
Signature Stat: Entering the game Fuller had primarily lined up at right cornerback this season, with just 12.3% of his snaps coming at left cornerback and only one snap there since Week 5. He lined up at left cornerback on 47 of 73 snaps, with eight of his 11 receptions allowed coming on those snaps.
Kyle Long, RG, +2.1
Breakdown: Long was tasked with blocking Ndamukong Suh for much of the game, and Long pretty well succeeded in neutralizing Suh. Long allowed just a single hurry on 56 dropbacks snaps for a positive pass blocking grade for the 10th time out of 12 games this season.
Signature Stat: Long was given little help as center Roberto Garza slid or turned right in pass protection–the direction Suh primarily lined up–on 14 of 56 dropbacks.
Detroit Lions — Performances of Note
Calvin Johnson, WR, +3.8
Breakdown: As Johnson goes, so does the Detroit offense. He earned a +3.0 pass grade or higher for the second time this season, which are also the only two games that Detroit has score more than 24 points. Johnson had double-digit receptions (11) for this first time this year on a season-high 16 targets.
Signature Play: (Q2 13:01) Johnson runs a go-route up the bottom of the numbers and fully extends to haul in the pass between close coverage by the cornerback and safety for his first of two scores on the day.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, +7.4
Breakdown: Ansah was all over Jay Cutler throughout the game as he tallied a career-high 12 pressures (1 sack, 1 hit, 10 hurries). He gave both Jermon Bushrod and Michael Ola trouble, particularly with stunts as the duo struggled to pass off blocks and adjust in time.
Signature Stat: Ansah continues to get better as the season progresses. After posting a -3.5 overall grade through the first five weeks, he has earned a +22.0 overall grade in the last seven games.
Darius Slay, CB, +4.5
Breakdown: Prior to the Bears’ final drive, Slay had allowed just three catches on seven targets for 15 yards. Only one of those three went for a first down, and Slay made multiple quick tackles in coverage for stops. After an underwhelming rookie year, he has improved to be one of the highlights of a strong Detroit secondary this season.
Signature Play: (Q4 9:38) Slay and Glover Quin work the tip drill perfectly as Slay bats the underthrown ball up into the air to allow Quin to make the diving interception.
PFF Game Ball
Finally back to the form we expect from him, Calvin Johnson was the significant factor in the Lions’ best offensive performance since the opening week of the season.