On a night when the offense managed just one TD and a pair of field goals, the Bears defense did their part in a hard fought 13-7 win over the Lions on Monday Night Football at Solider Field.
The one high powered Lions offense was held to just seven points, as the Bears extended their lead over Detroit in the NFC North to three games with their 5th win against one loss.
The setback puts the Lions at 2-4 on the season. Chicago leads the North overall by a half game over the 5-2 Vikings, and 1 1/2 over the 4-3 Packers, who are the only team to beat the Bears in 2012.
Detroit came in after a big OT win last week over Philadelphia, but they failed to carry that momentum over, as their offense was held to a lone touchdown with :30 seconds left when Matthew Stafford hit Ryan Broyles with a 12-yard score.
Stafford went 28-for-46 on the night with 261 yards to go along with the one score and one interception. The Lions running game, led by Mikel LeShoure with 63 yards, put up 99 yards on 18 carries, but it wasn’t enough to garner a win.
The Bears defense, regarded by many as the best in the NFL this season so far, forced four Lions turnovers, one fumble each at the end of the first half and the start of the second half, and a key pick after an 85-yard drive with 2:39 left at the Bears three-yard line.
Three of the four Lions turnovers came when they counted, in the red zone. Five of the Lions’ first six possessions were three-and-outs. Calvin Johnson, the Lions’ star receiver, was held without a catch until just 6:10 remained in the third quarter.
Then, after the Lions advanced to a first-and-goal at the Bears’ 1-yard line, defensive tackle Henry Melton forced a fumble by running back Joique Bell that linebacker Brian Urlacher recovered.
Jay Cutler threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall about four minutes into the game to give the Bears a quick 7-0 lead. The rest of the night they got two field goals from kicker Robbie Gould, but it was enough to hold off Detroit.
The Bears got a scare when Cutler when down with a rib injury in the second quarter when he was sacked by Ndamukong Suh and ultimately wound up going to the locker room to have his ribs examined.
He proved his toughness, coming back in the second half and going 16 of 31 for 150 yards and a touchdown in the game, but with the defense locking down the Lions, the Bears prevailed.