Bears quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 317 yards and one touchdown to lift his team to a 16-14 win over the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day as questions loom over coach Matt Nagy’s future in Chicago. The Bears’ Cairo Santos kicked the 28-yard game-winning field goal to snap Chicago’s five-game losing streak.
The Bears’ victory comes after a report surfaced earlier this week that Nagy would be fired after the Thanksgiving Day game. However, Bears chairman George McCaskey told players and coaches on Wednesday that there was no truth to the report, as The Athletic reported.
“What I care about are these players and coaches,” Nagy said after the game. “They deserve this. … When there’s distractions, it’s how you handle it. Again, we got the win today.”
“When you’re in this business and you lead people, it’s my job to make sure of honest and open communication and that’s where for me I just can’t tell you how much this win means today to me because of what they did,” he added.
Chicago dominated the second quarter by scoring two field goals and one touchdown, entering halftime with a 13-7 lead. Dalton, who started for Chicago with rookie Justin Fields out with a rib injury, connected with Jimmy Graham on a 17-yard touchdown pass. However, Chicago missed a field goal attempt halfway through the third quarter, which could have derailed the Bears’ chance to win in the NFC North rivalry game.
Detroit took a slim 14-13 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter when quarterback Jared Goff capped off a seven-play, 79-yard drive by finding T.J. Hockenson on a 17-yard scoring pass. With Thursday’s loss, the Lions (0-10-1) remain winless this season.
Both teams struggled with injuries, with Detroit’s D’Andre Swift (shoulder) and Chicago’s Roquan Smith (hamstring) going down during the game and were later ruled out. Both players were injured in the second quarter when Smith pushed Swift out of bounds at Chicago’s 32-yard line after Swift gained two yards on first-and-15. Later, Bears wide receiver Marquise Goodwin exited with a foot injury just before halftime and was ruled out for the rest of the game in the fourth quarter.
For more on the Thanksgiving Day matchup, you can follow The Athletic‘s live blog.
(Photo: Nic Antaya / Getty Images)