The Bears used journeyman Chase Daniel to beat the Lions on Thursday, while both the Cowboys and Saints had familiar faces leading their respective teams to wins.

Chicago traveled to Detroit for the first of three games and outlasted the hosting Lions 23-16 behind two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Daniel threw a career-high two scores while replacing an injured Mitchell Trubisky. He finished 27-of-37 passing for 230 yards, also setting career highs in both categories. 

The mistake-free game helped the Bears to their fifth consecutive win to remain in control of the NFC North, but cost Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. He connected on 28 of his 38 passes for 236 yards, but had two interceptions late in the fourth to cost Detroit the game.

The Cowboys were also able to take advantage of turnovers in their 31-23 win over quarterback Colt McCoy and the Redskins. McCoy got his first start since 2014 and played well in the first half. But, a few turnovers and a streaking Dallas offense led by play caller Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper overcame the veteran backup turned starter.

Another veteran led his team to a victory. Drew Brees threw four touchdowns in the Saints’ 31-17 win over the Falcons to cap off the action and push their win streak to 10 straight games. Brees got some help on the defensive end as New Orleans forced four turnovers. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was able to recover one fumble but lost another and threw an interception. Two other ball carriers also fumbled and the Saints were there to scoop them up.  

Injury report

Bears running back Benny Cunningham left the game in the first half with an ankle injury. Teammate and cornerback Prince Amukamara was evaluated on the sideline by Chicago’s medical staff in the second half and later returned to the game.

Detroit center Graham Glasgow left the game briefly with an undisclosed injury in the fourth quarter.

Adrian Peterson was listed as questionable when he was sent to the Redskins’ locker room with a shoulder injury sustained at the end of the first quarter. However, he quickly returned and was back in the game for Washington’s first series of the second quarter.

Washington left tackle Trent Williams briefly left the game in the second half and was later transported to a local hospital after the contest. He walked onto the ambulance under his own power, and per reports told a teammate he was OK. The Redskins announced the trip to the hospital was for “precautionary reasons,” after reportedly being hit in the chest during the game.

Falcons safety Kemal Ishmael suffered a knee injury in the third quarter versus the Saints. 

By the numbers

The Bears’ defense is impressive, to say the least. They have picked off opposing quarterbacks 20 times, the most out of any team in the NFL, while allowing only 19 touchdown passes. One of the latest snags was Eddie Jackson’s 41-yard pick-6.

Dallas has been desperate for big plays. The longest reception Prescott completed before entering Thursday’s contest was a 64 yarder. Now, just add nearly 30 yards to that for not only the longest completion of the season but of Prescott’s career — the 90-yard pass for a touchdown was also the longest reception of Cooper’s career.

The last of the three games featured an NFL first: The most matchups between any two quarterbacks since the merger in 1970 when the Falcons’ Matt Ryan and Saints’ Drew Brees met for the 21st time.

Highlights

Remember that pick-6? Well, not only was it Jackson’s fifth career defensive score, it was also the most in the league since 2015 — keep in mind Jackson was drafted in 2017. He now matches receivers Julio Jones, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Keenan Allen with three touchdowns this season.

The Lions used this short 4-yard run by LeGarrette Blount to pull ahead of the Bears late in the third quarter. Unfortunately, that lead didn’t last long.

The Cowboys’ offense propelled the team to their third-straight victory, but Dallas’ defensive also put in work to nab three interceptions from McCoy, including this one by safety Xavier Woods late in the fourth quarter to halt any attempt at a Redskins’ comeback.

Not all hope was lost for McCoy. He added to his highlight reel with this long ball to Vernon Davis. The 53-yard touchdown pass tied the game at seven points apiece in the second quarter. 

Brees’ four scoring passes were thrown to four undrafted free agents. The longest was a 28-yard score to Tommylee Lewis on the Saints’ opening drive.

Quotables

Bears quarterback Chase Daniel impressed in his third career start and his first in nearly four years. He earned high praise from opposing coach Matt Patricia: “He knows that offense really well. He’s a little bit of a different player obviously, but he’s still athletic. He can still scramble. He’s got a good arm. He’s accurate.”

The duo of Prescott and Cooper was impressive Thursday, and the third-year quarterback was quick to praise the two-time Pro Bowl player after the game: “You saw it tonight, as I said when you have a great receiver like this — he makes the transition easier. You get the ball out and you get it in his hands, he makes plays.”

Week 12 NFL scores

Thursday’s games

Bears 23, Lions 16
Cowboys 31, Redskins 23
Saints 31, Falcons 17

Sunday’s games

Giants at Eagles, 1 p.m. ET
Jaguars at Bills, 1 p.m. ET
Seahawks at Panthers, 1 p.m. ET
Raiders at Ravens, 1 p.m. ET
49ers at Buccaneers, 1 p.m. ET
Browns at Bengals, 1 p.m. ET
Patriots at Jets, 1 p.m. ET
Cardinals at Chargers 4:05 p.m. ET
Steelers at Broncos 4:25 p.m. ET
Dolphins at Colts, 4:25 p.m. ET
Packers at Vikings, 8:20 p.m. ET

Monday’s game

Titans at Texans, 8:15 p.m. ET

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