ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The NFC North-leading Detroit Lions are 8-2 for the first time since 1962, yet they can’t celebrate as they host the rival Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day. Thank you.
With the short turnaround, the Lions had a run on Monday with another set on Tuesday.
Coach Dan Campbell said they played their best football of the season in the final four minutes of their 31-26 comeback win over the Chicago Bears.
He also credited the defense for dealing with the team’s four turnovers.
“Two of those who were in plus territory scored on one of them, but we held one to a field goal, got the ball away from another and forced a punt on the first of the game,” Campbell said on Monday. “If any of that doesn’t happen, we won’t go back to that.”
Down 26-14 with 4:29 left, they scored two touchdowns in less than three minutes.
“We just embody our head coach, we feed off of him, we feed off of what he preaches to us and we’re all really sold on how we operate and how we do things,” linebacker Alex Anzalone said.
“At the end of the day, we know that we are always in the fight with the talent that we have on our team and the desire that we have on our team as well. “It really starts from the top down.”
With the win over the Bears, the Lions are 2-0 in the NFC North. They beat the Packers in Week 4 in Green Bay.
“It’s huge, especially being a divisional game, you have to win the division to get to where we want to go,” left tackle Taylor Decker said.
WHAT IS WORKING?
Running back David Montgomery, a former Bear, has proven to be key to the running game. Montgomery’s goal-line rushing touchdown, the game-winner over the Bears, was his eighth this season.
“I know this game meant a little bit more to him, and he showed up,” Lions quarterback Jared Goff said.
Montgomery had three rushing touchdowns in a 34-20 victory over the Packers in Week 4.
WHO NEEDS HELP
The ratio of gifts to gifts has been a point of emphasis. Now he’s at 14-12. The Lions won Sunday despite four fumbles (three interceptions, one lost fumble) and only one fumble recovery, one fumble recovery.
WR Jameson Williams is off to a slow start this season after serving a four-game suspension. He had two key receptions in the comeback victory over the Bears, including a 32-yard touchdown reception.
“As he continues to progress, the level that our offense could get to if he continues to progress is pretty exciting,” Goff said.
Linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, who made 15 starts in 2022, has seen his defensive snap count drop to just one against the Bears. He played six snaps at fullback and 17 on special teams.
Guard Jonah Jackson (wrist/ankle), who missed Sunday’s game, would not have participated if the Lions had practiced Monday, according to the injury report. Campbell said he hopes to be ready by Thursday. DT Isaiah Buggs (illness) missed Sunday’s game, but would have participated fully in practice.
16-4 – The Lions’ record in their last 20 games, dating back to last season.
Host the Packers on Thanksgiving Day.
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