Bears keep Lions out of win column on Thanksgiving as Matt Nagy rumors continue to swirl

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It's Thanksgiving, so the Detroit Lions must be playing — and likely losing.

In one of the holiday's most entrenched traditions, the Lions played host on Thursday and remained out of the win column in a 16-14 loss to the Chicago Bears. The now 0-10-1 Lions appeared on the verge of picking up their first win when quarterback Jared Goff found tight end T.J. Hockenson for a 17-yard fourth-quarter touchdown to give the Lions a 14-13 lead. 

But the Bears secured the win with an 18-play, 8:30 drive that concluded with a 28-yard Cairo Santos field goal as time ran out. The win over a hapless Lions team featured 10 punts, two turnovers and a missed field goal and snapped a five-game losing streak for the now 4-7 Bears. But it does little to tamp down speculation about head coach Matt Nagy's employment.

Nov 25, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy looks up during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Thursday's win will do little to tamp down speculation about Nagy's job status. (Raj Mehta/Reuters)

Will Matt Nagy keep his job?

Nagy entered Thursday's game amid conflicting reports about his job status. On Tuesday, the fourth-year Bears coach denied a report that he'd been told by management that Thursday's game would be his last in Chicago regardless of the outcome. 

The Bears didn't address the report in public, but chairman George McCaskey told players and coaches on Wednesday that it wasn't true, according to The Athletic. The Bears have never fired a coach midseason. But "fire Nagy" chants have made their way from Soldier Field to around the Chicago sports scene, and his job status will remain a storyline for the rest of the season in Chicago as long as he remains employed.

Lions have plenty of coaching issues of their own

The loss drops the Lions to 37-43-2 all time on Thanksgiving and adds tumult to a coaching staff dealing with its own issues. First-year head coach Dan Campbell took over play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn after a 44-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8. Since then, Detroit's averaged 13.3 points per game in a tie and two losses, including Thursday's Thanksgiving defeat. 

The Bears outgained the Lions on offense 378 yards to 239. Meanwhile Detroit received bad news around one of the few bright spots of its season when running back D'Andre Swift left in the first half with a shoulder sprain and didn't return. His status moving forward wasn't immediately clear after the game.

"Yeah it's a wait and see," Cambpell told reporters. "We know it's a shoulder sprain."

Quarterback Andy Dalton led the Bears' offensive attack playing for injured rookie Justin Fields, who was sidelined with cracked ribs suffered in last week's loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Dalton completed 24 of 39 passes for 317 yards and a touchdown and overcame an interception thrown into the end zone prior to halftime. Darnell Mooney caught five of Dalton's passes for a game-high 123 receiving yards. 

Goff completed 21 of 25 attempts for 171 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. But a strip-sack fumble lost near midfield stunted a first-half drive, and the 14 points mustered by the Detroit offense weren't enough to hold on for the win. 

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