2023 NFL season, Week 11: What We Learned from Sunday’s games

Kevin Patra’s takeaways:

  1. Detroit never says die in improbable comeback. The Lions trailed by 12 points with 4:15 left in a sloppy game that saw Jared Goff throw three interceptions. The ground game had been stymied, too, and nothing was going right for the NFC North leaders. Then Dan Campbell’s crew hit the gas pedal at Ford Field. Goff dropped a perfect deep shot to Jameson Williams for a 32-yard touchdown, capping a scoring drive that took only 1:16 off the game clock. Detroit’s D forced a quick three-and-out, and the Lions got the ball back down five points. Goff then led a masterful drive, hitting quick strikes, evading pressure, and steering the Lions to the doorstep of victory. Apropos, former Bears running back David Montgomery gave Detroit the lead with a 1-yard TD plunge with 29 seconds remaining. On a day when Detroit turned the ball over four times and rarely looked in sync, it was the type of gritty, turn-a-loss-into-a-win game that championship clubs need once or twice a year. These aren’t your Same Old Lions.
  2. Justin Fields sensational in return but Chicago comes up short. The Bears QB looked like himself after missing four games with a right thumb injury. With tape wrapped around the injured thumb, Fields proved a threat with his legs and made a host of great throws, particularly on the move. He paced Chicago with 104 rush yards on 18 carries, including a huge 29-yarder on third-and-14 in the fourth quarter to help the Bears flip a halftime deficit into a 12-point lead late. Fields consistently kept the Bears’ offense in good down and distances. OC Luke Getsy called a good game, dialing up boots and moving the pocket, and Fields made the correct reads. The biggest negative for Fields was missing a few deep shots, but he dropped a 39-yard dime to DJ Moore after climbing the pocket in the third quarter. Fields showed he can be a dynamic quarterback, but the end of the story remains the same for the Bears, who continue to meander in the wilderness under coach Matt Eberflus with a brutal collapse.  
  3. Aidan Hutchinson calls game. The Lions’ best pass rusher showed up late, winning off the edge to strip Fields on the first play after Detroit took the lead in the fourth quarter. The ball bounced around, eventually getting booted out of the end zone for a game-sealing safety. The sack was the first for Hutchinson since Week 5. The Lions need more from the pass rush moving forward. Detroit’s D has struggled in recent weeks, and on Sunday, it failed to get quick stops until the end, allowing the Bears to generate 334 yards and 25 first downs. But Aaron Glenn’s crew bowed up several times, keeping the Bears scoreless on possessions following two early INTs and forcing Chicago to settle for field goals. Those plays, including holding the Bears to 5 of 13 on third downs, gave the offense enough time to get back on track.  

Next Gen stat of the game: Lions QB Jared Goff completed 3 of 7 passes under pressure for 32 yards and two INTs through the first three quarters, but he completed 6 of 8 such passes for 87 yards and a TD in the fourth quarter.

NFL Research: Jahmyr Gibbs recorded his fourth consecutive game with a rush TD (fifth rush TD of the season). Gibbs joined Kevin Jones (2004) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders (1989) as the only Lions rookies to have 1+ rush TD in four consecutive games in franchise history.

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