| Detroit Free Press
Detroit Lions interim coach Darrell Bevell on win vs. Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions interim head coach Darrell Bevell lauded his team Dec. 6, 2020, after its comeback win on the road vs. the Chicago Bears.
CHICAGO — Free Press sports writer Dave Birkett breaks down the Detroit Lions’ 34-30 win over the Chicago Bears, and looks at three people who helped and three people who hurt their stock Sunday at Soldier Field:
Lions interim coach Darrell Bevell – Bevell remains a long shot to get the job full-time, but he kept himself in the conversation with Sunday’s win. Bevell called an aggressive game on offense and did not have any in-game snafus, which speaks to his preparedness for what he acknowledged was an entirely different gameday experience. More importantly, the Lions showed a resilience they lacked most of the last 2 ½ seasons under Matt Patricia, and players said Bevell’s have-fun approach was part of the reason why.
DE Romeo Okwara – Okwara had his seventh sack of the season Sunday, when he stripped the ball loose from Mitchell Trubisky with 1:48 to play to set up the Lions’ winning touchdown. Okwara now has seven sacks and two forced fumbles on the season. He has a chance to reach double-digit sacks for the first time in his career, and he’s in line for a big pay day when he hits free agency this spring at 25 years old. He will be a priority to re-sign for whomever is running the Lions.
WR Marvin Jones Jr. – Jones might be down to his final four games as a Lion, though like Okwara he should not lack for suitors in free agency. On Sunday, Jones caught eight passes for a season-high 116 yards. He scored a big touchdown with 2:18 to play to pull the Lions within three points and routinely found himself open over the middle of the field early in the game. In Kenny Golladay’s absence, Jones has reminded everyone how valuable he can be to his team.
Bears coach Matt Nagy – The Bears have lost six straight games after starting the season 5-1, and Nagy finds himself on the coaching hot seat. With just one playoff team left on Chicago’s schedule, there still is time for Nagy to save his job. But it’s looking increasingly more likely that the Bears will be competing with the Lions — and a slew of other teams — for a new coach (and maybe a new general manager) this offseason.
RB Kerryon Johnson – Johnson left Sunday’s game with a knee injury, and while the extent of his injury is unknown, the fact that he tweaked something in his leg after missing time the last two seasons with knee injuries is not a good thing. Beyond that, Johnson continued to play a bit role on offense, even with D’Andre Swift out for his third straight game. Adrian Peterson had 16 carries for 57 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson had three carries for 3 yards and two receptions for 8 yards in limited work.
K Matt Prater – Unlike Okwara and Jones, Prater is headed the wrong way as he approaches free agency. Just 8 of 15 on the season on field goals of 40-plus yards, Prater missed his first extra point of the year Sunday. He has been reliable for so long, and has made some big kicks this season. But if the Lions bring him back in 2021, they’ll need to import some competition, too.