Instant Analysis: Bears Beat Lions 24-20
It was another one of those games that looked on paper like the Bears could not lose. This is why they play the games. The Detroit Lions gave a tremendous effort and actually led 17-14 at halftime. Only after the Bears defense buckled down in the second half were the Bears able to take the lead and eventually outlast the Lions for a 24-20 win.
The Bears offense appeared to be in command from the opening whistle, moving the ball steadily with another good combination of running and passing. Jay Cutler ended up the day with an efficient 21/26 for 234 yards and a TD and zero INT’s. He did fumble one away while being sacked 4 more times, taking the season total over 40. Yeesh!
Both Bears running backs tallied touchdowns en route to the Bears win. Matt Forte finished with 64 yards on just 13 carries while Chester Taylor added 33 yards on 9 carries. Jay Cutler continued to make plays with his feet, extending plays with his feet and scrambling for a couple of key first downs. One of the big plays late in the game that keyed the Bears’ final scoring drive was a personal foul by Ndamukong Suh on a Cutler scramble that added half the distance to the goal with the Brandon Manumaleuna TD reception coming on the next play.
Give the Bears’ defense big credit. They willed this team to victory in the second half after nearly blowing it late in the first half. In what may have been the key sequence in the game, a Brad Maynard punt pinned the Lions at their own 9-yard line with just over a minute to go in the first half. The Lions seemed like they would just mail it in by running a couple of running plays to let the clock run out. But after Jahvid Best looked to be bottled up at the line of scrimmage, he busted off a long 41 yard run. Calvin Johnson hauled in a Drew Stanton pass and left a pile of Bears defenders in his wake en route to the end zone for a 17-14 lead with the Lions covering 91 yards in 2 plays and 19 seconds off the clock.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Jay Cutler was sacked and fumbled on the Bears’ first drive of the second half deep in their own end. The Bears defense rallied and held the Lions to a field goal in what ended up to be the Lions’ final scoring of the day. After that, it was all Bears defense.
Brian Urlacher continued his bid for comeback player of the year with 9 solo tackles and 8 assists with half a sack to boot unofficially. Chipping in on 17 tackles is not a bad day at the office. A few more notes coming at you in bullet point form:
- DJ Moore had a nice game. He had a few key tackles and even added his first career sack. This kid is a playmaker.
- Nice to see some return on the Brandon Manumaleuna signing. Nice to see the big fella get in the end zone. Now about his blocking… When you get paid millions to be the blocking tight end, you’ve got to do better than the effort he gave.
- I’ll need to review the tape of who blew it on the big Jahvid Best play late in the first half, but there’s no excuse for that.
- Earl Bennett gets my game ball following his career day. He finished the day with 7 catches for over 100 yards. He isn’t flashy, but he gets the job done, especially on third down. During the game, Brad Biggs tweeted that he was becoming a dependable target like Bobby Engram was. Bobby Engram? If you want to talk about great Bears third down guys, it begins and ends with Tom Waddle for me.
- Just when you thought Greg Olsen was set to break out (again!) he finished the day with 1 catch of 5 yards. I’ll give him bonus points for a nice block on Matt Forte’s touchdown run.
- Devin Hester was thisclose to setting the all time return record. It looked like a done deal until the punter got him. The punter? Come on Devin!!! That’s OK, better to do it at home next week!
You get to do a little advanced scouting of the next Bears opponent, as the New England Patriots take on the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. If nothing else, the Bears get Tom Brady and Co. on a short week. The breaks just keep on coming.