Detroit Lions 40, Chicago Bears 32 (box score)
The Detroit Lions totally dominated the Chicago Bears today. That wasn’t a foregone conclusion right from the beginning with the Lions settling for three first half field goals instead of punching it in for six, but the Lions consistently made plays on both sides of the ball.
Here are the important details: the Lions defense forced out bad Jay Cutler, Reggie Bush was as dynamic as anyone had hoped when he signed as a free agent, Nick Fairley scored a fat guy touchdown and the final score makes the game look a lot closer than it really was.
But the impressive aspect of the win wasn’t in the stats or the play-by-play, it was that the Lions were able to shed a lot popular narratives in dominating the Bears. Rather than the typical game recap, I thought I would take a look at those busted narratives.
The Lions can’t run the ball
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson may be the biggest stars for the Lions offense but they took control today by dominating the line of scrimmage. The Lions ran the ball 30 times for 159 yards – good for an average of 5.3 yards per carry. That’ll do, especially considering the average was up at six yards per carry before the Lions took three knees to run out the clock..
Reggie Bush can’t run between the tackles
There were some that downplayed the Lions’ signing of Reggie Bush in the offseason. Bush isn’t any every down back, they said. In fairness to the critics, Bush didn’t have a ton of success in the NFL when used as a traditional running back. The Lions picked up Bush with particular ways to use him in mind that more resemble the multi-purpose back he was at USC. The Lions have been able to get the ball in his hands in a variety of ways but he has been far more than a gimmick back. The Lions line did a good job giving Bush room between the tackles and he took advantage in a huge way.
The Lions are undisciplined
Yeah, the Lions have committed penalties at too high of a rate but that wasn’t the case today against the Bears. The Lions were flagged just twice for 20 yards before picking up a third in garbage time.
Dirty Ndamukong Suh
Ndamukong Suh had his name called all day long and not once was it for a penalty. Some might try to make something of his sack of Jay Cutler when he grabbed at the ankles but the play wasn’t flagged as Suh was on the ground at the hands of Bears guard Kyle Long. Suh was aggressive and impactful, and completely within the rules. He finished with four tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits.