Motown Meltdown: Lions Run Over Bears 40-32 to Leap into First Place in NFC North

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Sep 29, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush (21) leaps over Chicago Bears strong safety Major Wright (21) on his way to a thirty seven yard touchdown run in the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

You weren’t really thinking the Bears were going to go 16-0, were you?  The Lions made sure of that with a big 40-32 win over the Bears in a game where the score was not really indicative of the beatdown the Lions put on the Bears to take early control of the NFC North by virtue of the tiebreaker.

Jay Cutler played by far his worst game of the season throwing 3 interceptions and fumbling away another ball as the Bears lost the turnover battle – and a game – for the first time this season.   It was a poor effort across the board – on offense, defense and special teams.

Offensive Woes

It starts and ends with Jay Cutler.  While #6 has been stellar in managing the game and playing relatively mistake-free football in the first three wins, he was careless with the ball in Detroit on Sunday.  He threw three interceptions and coughed up a fumble on a strip sack that led directly to a Lions touchdown as Nick Fairley rumbled in for a touchdown.  I thought that this is why Trestman was brought to the Bears, to prevent these types of meltdown games.

The offensive line had their hands full with Ndamukong Suh and Company on Sunday, surrendering three sacks and committing a couple of costly penalties.  Cutler seemed rushed for much of the day, with Suh getting a couple of sacks and a forced fumble, backing up his big talk.

The running game didn’t get much going behind the offensive line either.  Matt Forte had a sweet 53 yard rushing touchdown but besides that play, Forte had 13 rushes for 42 yards.  Alshon Jeffery added a nice 27 yard end around to make the overall rushing totals a little more respectable.   I don’t think that I saw Michael Bush at all today, but chasing such a big deficit didn’t really give many rushing opportunities in the second half.

The biggest problem the Bears offense faced all afternoon was converting 3rd downs.  They converted their first 3rd down late in the fourth quarter and went a woeful 1 for 13 (7%) on the day.  You’re not going to win many games converted so poorly.

Give the Bears offense credit; they did mount a bit of a comeback in the fourth quarter, but that wasn’t without it’s own problems.  With the Lions up 40-16, the Bears went into hurry up mode.  Well, sort of hurry up mode.  They took what the Lions gave them and marched down for a 12-play 77 yard drive that consumed 4:57 of precious time.  When you consider that they ended up cutting it to within 8 points in the final minute, having a better organized 2-minute drill would have really helped try to tie it up late.

Alshon Jeffery had a really nice game, scoring a touchdown and a 2 point conversion on 5 catches for 107 yards.  He also added that nice run on an end around.  Martellus Bennett got some nice garbage time work, leading the team with 8 catches for 90 yards.  Earl Bennett added a late TD to make it close, but it was all for naught.