Last week, the Detroit Lions got the one defensive stand they needed late in the game to stave off excitement over the Green Bay Packers. On Sunday, they had a similar opportunity against Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears. And even though Fields gave the Lions problems all day, the defense stood up in the fourth quarter. Chicago holed twice, got hit once with a pick-six, and when the Bears needed a crucial drive, the defense produced two sacks and spoiled Field’s otherwise impressive day.
The Lions now have back-to-back wins for the first time in the Dan Campbell era, and it was the team’s first road win in two years. That’s how it happened.
The Bears offense took the field first, and Justin Fields immediately made his presence known with a 28-yard keeper after Julian Okwara was drawn to the game action. Chicago drove the first five games of the drives run, steadily moving into the red zone. A holding penalty and a nice pass break from Jarrad Davis (!!) pushed the Bears back to a third and 14, and Chicago ran a surrender draw down the middle and opted for a field goal. 3-0 bears.
All of the Lions’ offense went through Amon-Ra St. Brown. The Lions sophomore receiver grabbed a pair of third downs to start the inaugural drive. From there, the Lions began pounding Chicago to the ground with a 9-yard run from Justin Jackson followed by a 13-yard run from Jamaal Williams. But like Chicago, the Lions stayed in the red zone and kicked the chip shot field goal in fourth and fourth place. 3-3 draw.
Khalil Herbert started the Bears’ next drive with a kick return to their own 49-yard line. Another penalty from Chicago, however, put them behind the sticks, and a sack from Okwara put the Bears in third and 14th place at Detroit’s 44-yard line as the quarter came to an end.
Detroit got the stop with a nice push from John Cominsky and Okwara, and the Bears jabbed away for a touchback.
The Lions offensive quickly got into trouble with a beaten downpass and a run for loss. However, Jared Goff found Caliph Raymond for a 22-yard gain. Detroit found themselves behind the chains again after a dubious offensive pass interference call on Trinity Benson, but Detroit quickly moved the chains again thanks to St. Brown. Goff then found St. Brown for 22 and 20 yards in back-to-back plays, assisting Detroit from the 10 for first and goal. A pass glitch in the end zone gave the Lions four shots into the end zone from 1 yard line, but Goff took a sack on the first down and pushed them back to the 4. Detroit struggled but ended up beating Brock with a nice play-action fake Wright on the fourth down. 10-3 lions.
The Bears offense responded with some nice plays from Fields. On the first, he escaped the pressure on a third-and-5 and found Byron Pringle for the first down. Then, while in the red zone, Fields somehow escaped pressure again on a broken game after Isaiah Buggs failed to trip him. Fields climbed into the end zone to end the ball game with just 12 seconds left at halftime. 10-10 draw.
At that game, DeShon Elliott was taken out of the game and placed on record with a concussion. He didn’t come back. CJ Moore replaced him safely.
Detroit opened the second half with three straight runs, but Jamaal Williams was stuffed third and first after several bears bludgeoned into the backfield and didn’t give the back a chance to convert.
Fields moved to Lions territory with a third and fifth degree in a wide-open Darnell Mooney. Chicago was able to get their own third place finish and a run to Dante Pettis, putting the team in the red zone. A few games later, Fields tight end Cole Kmet found cover for the go-ahead touchdown with Kerby Joseph. 17-10 bears.
The Lions’ next drive didn’t go very well. The entire drive blew up as the Lions tried to put an end to Calif Raymond, but the Lions receiver seemed unaware that the handoff change was imminent, resulting in a fumble and a 9-yard loss . Later they would make a move back to Chicago.
Detroit continued to have no answers on the Fields and the Bears offense. On a missed cover, Fields found a wide-open kmet for a 50-yard touchdown. 24-10 bears.
The Lions had good field position thanks to the out-of-bounds kickoff, but Detroit couldn’t take advantage of it. Goff took a bad sack on a second down play and followed it up, briefly arming a pass to an open Shane Zylstra, who dropped the low pass. A miserable punt by Jack Fox ended a miserable Lions quarter.
The Lions defense gave the team a glimmer of hope with a three-and-out thanks to a nice pass break from Alex Anzalone.
Goff scrambled 10 yards on the first game of the opening run and was hit when he went out of bounds, drawing a penalty and a minor skirmish between the two teams. Another penalty against the Bears put Detroit in the red zone. Goff threw an interception intended for D’Andre Swift, but it was nullified by another penalty against Chicago. In the following game, Swift scored a touchdown on a beautifully blocked play. 24-17 bears.
The defense of the lions came up with a great game. Aidan Hutchinson was all over a hip screen pass, forcing Fields to hesitate and then tumble the ball. It landed right in Jeff Okudah’s hands for a pick-six and connected the ball game with 24-24
Fields quickly responded a few games later. In third and first place, Fields ran a read option and rushed 67 yards for a touchdown, though the Bears missed the extra point. 30-24 bears.
Detroit, however, couldn’t keep up in the shootout and quickly went three-and-out, slogging back to Chicago by less than eight minutes.
Another poor punt allowed Chicago to return it to the 40 yard line with an opportunity to fold the game. But the lions’ defense quickly got the ball back with a three-pointer of their own.
Goff would get the ball back with 5:23 remaining on her own 9 yard line. A nice run from Jamaal Williams got the Lions out of the shadows of their own end zone, and then a laser for Raymond for 20 put them at the 40-yard line. Then, on a third and 8, Goff found Tom Kennedy for a huge 44-yard gain, pushing Detroit into the red zone.
After another St. Brown run, Jamaal Williams hit from 1 yard to give the Lions an A 31-30 lions Lead with 2:21 left.
With plenty of time remaining and all three timeouts, the Bears had plenty of time to mount a game-winning drive. Last week, the Lions stopped Aaron Rodgers, but could they stop Fields?
In fact they could. Detroit produced two sacks on the possible go-ahead drive, forcing the Bears to turnover on downs, essentially ending the game.