Detroit Lions 21, Chicago Bears 19 (box score)
The Detroit Lions seized control of the NFC North and secured a season-sweep of the Chicago Bears with a big win.
It was a close-played game, and even when the Lions gave themselves some breathing room with a late touchdown, it still wasn’t easy.
Matthew Stafford found Calvin Johnson for a 14-yard touchdown pass to put the Lions up eight with just 2:28 to play. The Bears offense had been severely limited in the second half as Jay Cutler‘s groin injury got progressively more prohibitive. When the Bears offense took the field down eight, it was Josh McCown who went under center.
The change worked as McCown took the Bears down the field and was able to scramble to extend a play long enough to find Brandon Marshall for a 11-yard touchdown. Needing a two-point conversion to tie, the Bears left the ball in McCown’s hands. It appeared the Lions had the Bears stopped but a helmet-to-helmet hit by Willie Young gave the Bears another chance to tie the game. However, a handoff to Matt Forte was swallowed up by Nick Fairley in the backfield.
A Bears onside kick attempt was recovered by the Lions and the offense ran out the final seconds.
The Lions got in the end zone through the air but they were successful on the ground too, particularly in the second half. Reggie Bush went over the 100-yard mark for the second time against the Bears this year. As a team, the Lions averaged a robust 5.6 yards per carry.
The win over the Bears combined with the Green Bay Packers loss to the Philadelphia Eagles gives the Lions sole possession of first place in the NFC North. The Lions look to keep their division-leading standing when they travel to face the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday afternoon.