It was a rough day all around for the Bears in Detroit. They fell to 3-1 while the Lions improved to 3-1. Thanks to the tiebreaker, Detroit takes over the lead in the NFC North in this young season.
The Bears struggled big time on offense. They finished 1-13 on third downs and it is very hard to win games when you do that poorly. They were able to come back in the 4th quarter after falling down 24 points, but the Bears were unable to recover a late onside kick that ended up closing it out. Defensively, it was disastrous. The Bears surrendered a season high 33 defensive points, although Jay Cutler’s three interceptions and a long punt return didn’t help. The Bears forced three turnovers, including two fumble recoveries by Corey Wootton and Shea McClellin. Major Wright had the lone interception. Lance Briggs led the defensive effort with 13 tackles.
Compared to the 72 total points scored in today’s game, the six scored in the first made the first 15 minutes appear tame. The Bears put together a nice opening drive but only had a field goal to show for it. Jay Cutler threw an interception on the Bears second drive of the quarter that was picked off by safety Louis Delmas. The Lions put together a nice drive in the 1st that featured multiple 10+ yard carries by Reggie Bush. Bush finished with 139 yards on 18 carries and four catches for 34 yards.
The action picked up greatly in the second quarter, with the scoring leaning much more towards the Lions. Detroit outscored the Bears 27-10 in the second, giving them a 30-13 heading into the half. David Akers kicked 31 and 41 yard field goals early on in the quarter. Another big play early in the second came on a 53 yard run by Matt Forte that put the Bears ahead. That play followed a 27 yard run by Alshon Jeffrey on an end around. However, after the two play Bears drive, the second quarter was all Lions. Matthew Stafford and Reggie Bush each had rushing touchdowns while Stafford found Calvin Johnson for a two yard score as well. The Johnson touchdown catch was set up by Glover Quin’s interception return that put the Lions at the two yard line. Otherwise, the Bears offense was filled with three and outs until Shea McClellin was able to sack Stafford and recover a fumble. A long connection from Cutler to Jeffrey set up a Robbie Gould field goal as time expired.
By the end of the 3rd, the Lions seemed to emerge as the clear winner. They held a 40-16 lead at the end of 3. Their lone touchdown came on a fumble recovery after a magnificent sack by Ndamakoung Suh. Defensive tackle Nick Fairley easily returned it for a touchdown. Gould kicked his third field goal of the day after completions to Marshall and Jeffrey. Alshon led the Bears in receiving with five catches for 107 yards. Marshall finished with seven catches for 79 yards. Tight end Martellus Bennett also had a great game, catching eight passes for 90 yards.
The Bears were able to make the game interesting in the end. They scored two touchdowns on catches by Alshon Jeffrey and Earl Bennett. Martellus Bennett also played a huge role, catching six of his eight passes in the fourth quarter. The Bears were able to convert a pair of two point conversions to cut the lead to just eight points, but the Lions iced it by recovering an onside kick.
This game clearly didn’t go the Bears way and they will have to make a lot of adjustments, especially on defense. They allowed too many big plays and didn’t give the offense any confidence. Of course, Jay Cutler will also have to improve and limit his interceptions next week, when the Bears return home to play the undefeated Saints.