Matt Nagy could be thankful for an end to his team's five-game losing streak and the fact he has his job following a week when this seemed in doubt.

The Bears as a team could be thankful for the Detroit Lions.

This week the late game-winning scoring drive was by the Bears and they benefited from Detroit bumbling then, as well as earlier in a 16-14 Thanksgiving victory that ended on Cairo Santos' 23-yard field goal.

"I think for us, all of the outside noise, all of the stuff that's going on, nothing really came between the team," quarterback Andy Dalton said. "For us, we put our heads down. We still had to prepare for a game.

"I think everybody on the outside was more worried about all of the other external things whereas everyone on the inside was worrying about winning a game. I think that was the most important thing."

The week included the false report about Nagy being fired after the game but he's still here, as alive and kicking as the Bears offense on the final drive.

"The only thing I can do is give complete appreciation and thanks to the players and coaches," Nagy said. "I can't ask for anything more. This is a special group across the board and you know obviously stating the obvious we've been through some stuff, the distractions the last couple days.

"But it just proves to who they are, you know what I mean? What type of fighters they are, what type of winners they are."

They made good on a pregame promise to Nagy to win for him by driving 69 yards on 18 plays over 8:30 to kick the winning field goal as time expired. 

An entirely horrible defensive delay-of-game penalty by Detroit for calling back-to-back timeouts as extra defenders tried running off the field left the Bears a manageable third-and-4 at the Detroit 11. Then Dalton found Damiere Byrd slanting in for a 7-yard first down to the 4, making it possible for the Bears to kill all the time and kick for the win. 

"I know I said I don't expect to go back out there because I think our offense is about to run this clock out," outside linebacker Robert Quinn said. "So I kept my sweat pants and beanie on and sat on the sidelines and watched the offense close the game out—so just believing in myself and ourself as a team."

The Bears had Santos field goals of 28 and 43 yards in the first half as well as a 17-yard TD pass to Jimmy Graham but the Lions had wiped out the 13-7 deficit on T.J. Hockenson's 17-yard TD pass from Jared Goff. Despite a day with 10 penalties for 67 yards, they led 14-13 with 1:46 left in the third quarter.

The Bears could move the ball a little after that but never get the winning points until the final drive. They had squandered scoring chances in the first half on an interception Dalton threw in the end zone and also a missed 53-yard field goal by Santos.

Dalton finished 24 of 39 for 317 yards, 123 yards and five receptions going to Mooney. His 52-yarder set up the first TD drive.

Cole Kmet had a career-high eight receptions for 65 yards and the Bears relied on their passing to win when their running game accounted for only 68 yards against the league's worst run defense.

"We were having fun out there, which is good," Kmet said. "We weren't executing like we wanted to the whole game, but at the end of the day we executed when it mattered and ended up getting that win."

They had that to be thankful for, as well as the fact everyone is still employed heading into a minibye and Week 12 game with Arizona at Soldier Field.

Twitter: BearDigest@onFanNation

This article first appeared on Bear Digest and was syndicated with permission.

More must-reads:

Customize Your Newsletter


Get the latest news and rumors, customized to your favorite sports and teams. Emailed daily. Always free!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.