It was a game the Bears had to have. A game that would have put them alone in first place in the NFC North with just seven games left and a favorable schedule.
This game was just wacky in general and has Bears fans wondering the fate of their teams, now virtually two games behind the Lions in the NFC North with the tie-breaker.
The biggest question was on Jay Cutler who looked great on the Bears first drive, but looked hurt and hobbling around in the second half. The decision to keep Cutler looks to have costed the Bears the game.
Here is how the Bears graded.
Cutler looked great on the Bears first drive and played well in the first half. He was bothered by what we now know is an ankle injury in the second half of the game. Cutler couldn’t get much on his throws and it hurt the Bears.
Coach Marc Trestman decided to keep Cutler in until the final drive where Josh McCown came in for the final drive. McCown lead the Bears on a scoring drive and was a two-point conversion from tying the game.
One area of the game that really hurt the Bears was their inability to establish a run. Numerous times Matt Forte was tripped up where we usually see him run through opposing tackles. Forte was a non-factor all game long.
Michael Bush got one carry on a questionable fourth down call and was stuffed at the line of scrimmage.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
A continuing bright spot for the Bears is their receiving core who continue to have good games. Brandon Marshall finished the day with seven receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns. That included the game’s opening drive where he caught three passes and a touchdown.
Alshon Jeffery continues to emerge as a top target for the Bears. He finished with nine receptions for 114 yards, his fourth career 100 yard receiving game. All this season.
Tight end Martellus Bennett was relatively quiet with 4 receptions for 29 yards.
The Bears offensive line stood up well against a tough Detroit defensive line. They only allowed two sacks, one to Nick Fairley and one to Ndamukong Suh. Overall they played a pretty solid game but did struggle a little bit in the second half.
The big penalty came late in the fourth quarter when Matt Slauson was called for holding on what would have been the go ahead rushing touchdown from Matt Forte.
They did not record a false start and have only committed one false start the whole year.
In a game where the Bears defense played well for most of the game, the defensive line continued to struggle. At times there was no pressure on Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford who took advantage of a clean pocket.
The defensive line didn’t record a sack.
The Bears linebackers were quiet as well today, although they did make some nice plays. James Anderson and Jon Bostic both recorded six tackles which was a team high.
The unit is certainly missing Lance Briggs and is just trying to get by until he returns. Bostic didn’t look bad but didn’t look great either.
After being criticized the previous two games, safety Chris Conte made a few plays to help spark the improved play of the Bears secondary. Other players did struggle however, including Charles Tillman who continues to get banged up out there.
Conte whiffed on a run by Reggie Bush, but made up for it with an interception and a few key plays in the game.
It was a quiet day for the Bears special teams unit all-around. Robbie Gould connected on both field goal attempts. Devin Hester wasn’t much of a factor for the Bears in the return game.