By Ashley Dunkak
ALLEN PARK (CBS DETROIT) – Thursday games do not always thrill players, given the three-day turnaround from Sunday means half the time to heal and half the time to prepare.READ MORE: Benton Harbor Begins Accepting Bids To Replace Lead Pipes
The Thanksgiving Day game will be an exception for the Detroit Lions — and not just because it is a holiday and a nationally televised game against the division rival Chicago Bears.
The Lions will be looking to get back on track after losing their last game, 34-9, to the New England Patriots. The Lions looked inferior in every phase against the Patriots, who dismantled the top-ranked Detroit defense and held the offense without a touchdown.
“It was a big wake-up call because they flat-out beat us, and they beat us good,” running back Reggie Bush said. “We didn’t execute. There were plays for us to make. We didn’t execute, and we know we’ve got to get better. In order to get to where we want to go, we have to get better. Tomorrow will be the start of that.”
Detroit enters Thursday’s game on a two-game losing skid; the Lions lost to the Arizona Cardinals the week before losing to the Patriots.
“Nobody’s happier than us that our game’s on Thursday,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “We’re ready to get back out there and play. Obviously any time you lose a game it’s disappointing. Two in a row is that much more, so you just got to find a way to go out there, pick yourself up and get playing on Thursday.”READ MORE: Michigan Reports 25,329 New COVID-19 Cases, 137 Deaths
The Lions as an organization have a history of collapsing in the second half of the season, and Detroit’s recent struggles – in addition to losing, the team has not scored a touchdown in either of its last two games – have some fans wondering whether this season will turn out like so many others.
Within the locker room, no such doubt exists.
“That’s the key part right there — nobody’s panicking,” defensive end Jason Jones said. “I’ve been on losing teams before, and once losing creeps in, it’s hard, sometimes hard to kind of get out. But we’ve got the leadership staff we got here, and the people on our team and the character on our team and our head guy, Caldwell, keeping our mind right, keeping us focused on the task at hand.”
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said the quick turnaround will keep Detroit from making too many changes between the New England game and Thursday’s game against Chicago.
“You’re limited in terms of what you can get done,” Caldwell said. “It’s not like you come out and play in full pads and bang them around and those kinds of things a couple of days before a game. That would certainly be disastrous, but you try to make the adjustments that you can. They’ll be minimal in every phase just because of the time restraints.MORE NEWS: 'Your Life Does Not End Because You Have A Diagnosis': Shantel Smith Opens Up About Her Battle With Multiple Sclerosis Before 'Survivor'
“That can be a good thing sometimes,” Caldwell added.