In an otherwise lost season, Detroit Lions fans would be very thankful for a win on Thursday.
The Detroit Lions have played every year on Thanksgiving since 1934, save for a multi-year interruption for World War II. Once upon a time, they owned this holiday. But over the past decade-plus, the general notion that the Lions should be dismissed from the tradition they began has intensified.
In the midst of a winless season, the Lions are irrelevant nationally and no one wants to watch an offense that has no ability to score and a defense that is still a long way from being good enough to help carry the franchise to a championship.
But for a sad-sack franchise like the Lions, mired in mediocrity at best for the past 60-plus years, the Thanksgiving Day tradition is one of the few good things left for their fans. A tradition that grips the city even if the Lions are bad.
At 0-9-1, the Lions are now eyeing the Chicago Bears as their best opportunity to get a win in an otherwise thankless and forgettable season on Thursday. With rookie passer Justin Fields out, the Bears will rely on veteran signal caller Andy Dalton.
Can the Lions beat the Bears on Thanksgiving Day?
Dalton’s experience should give him the edge over the young and injured Lions’ secondary, but other than experience he doesn’t bring much else to the table. Khalil Mack, the Bears’ best defensive player and really their best player overall, is on IR and won’t play. So there are rays of hope for the Lions.
The natural question for Detroit is who will start at quarterback? It looks like it’ll be Jared Goff, barring a setback overnight or in pregame warmups. If Goff can’t go, it will indeed be Tim Boyle making his second straight start.
But this a game that will most likely be determined by the defenses. Will the Lions contain the Bears offense? Can the Lions’ offense find any kind of rhythm and put a few points on the board?
Every team in the NFL is eyeing Detroit as their quick fix, and Chicago is no different. But this also looks like one of the best chances these Lions will have of pulling out a win this season, going against a backup quarteback and a head coach who may or may not be fired after the game.
Will Lions fans get to witness what would have to be considered a Thanksgiving Day miracle the way this season has gone? Or will the “Motor City Kitties” once again be the holiday turkey? A winning opportunity is knocking on the Lions’ door, and hopefully they will finally be able to answer it.