1:00 PM ET, November 10, 2013
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
The result was a franchise record for one of the NFL's best wide receivers, and a big win for the Detroit Lions.
More Lions-Bears coverage
The Lions are in an unusual situation for them, in charge of their own destiny and leading the division, writes Michael Rothstein. Blog
The Bears need to proceed cautiously with regard to how they'll bring along quarterback Jay Cutler in the coming weeks, writes Michael C. Wright. Blog
Marc Trestman's decision to stick with a limited Jay Cutler over a healthy Josh McCown until late cost the Bears, writes Jon Greenberg. Story
• Radio: Cris Carter weighs in
"I knew immediately that one of us on the outside was going to get it," Johnson said. "So I just wanted to work, be patient and he threw a great ball."
Johnson also had a tiebreaking TD reception in the third quarter and Reggie Bush rushed for 105 yards as Detroit (6-3) swept the season series against Chicago (5-4) for the first time since the 2007 season.
When Green Bay lost 27-13 to Philadelphia, the Lions were all alone in first in the division for the first time since the end of Week 5 of the 2005 season, according to STATS.
"We came out with a victory on the road against a really tough team," Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said. "It was a hard-fought win. Proud of the players, but that's the only thing that means (anything) today.
"I mean first place, you don't get any prizes for first place there nine games into the season."
Johnson's ninth touchdown grab of the season was the 63rd of his career, breaking a tie with Herman Moore for the Detroit record. Moore still leads with 670 career receptions for the Lions, but Johnson might take that record down at some point, too.
"To be a part of history for the Lions, that's a big deal," Johnson said.
Cutler threw for 250 yards and a touchdown in his first action since he injured his groin last month. He injured his left ankle in the second quarter and looked progressively worse as the game wore on.
Coach Marc Trestman finally decided to put in Josh McCown before the Bears' final drive.
Happy 100th For Megatron
Calvin Johnson has 8,740 receiving yards through 100 career games, the second-most of any player in NFL history. Johnson also had two touchdown catches Sunday to give him 63 for his career, the most in Lions franchise history.
Most Receiving Yards Through 100 Career Games in NFL History
|** 83 yards, 2 TD catches Sunday|
-- ESPN Stats & Information
"I didn't want to take him out unless he felt he couldn't do the job," Trestman said. "It was, I thought, a very courageous performance throughout. Then at the end I took him out because I knew he would have to run around in the two-minute drill and that's when we decided to put Josh in the game."
McCown drove the Bears down the field, throwing an 11-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall with 40 seconds left.
"I just figured it would be a run or a play-action pass," Fairley said. "I just scouted out the ball real good and it was just happy I made the play."
Stafford threw for 219 yards for Detroit, which has won two in a row for the first time since the end of September. Johnson had six catches for 83 yards.
The Lions were clinging to a 14-10 lead when Chris Conte intercepted an overthrown ball by Stafford and returned it 35 yards to the Detroit 9.
Forte then had a touchdown run negated by a holding penalty on left guard Matt Slauson and an apparent scoring pass to Alshon Jeffery was overturned when a replay showed he lost control of the ball when he hit the ground.
Robbie Gould's 32-yard field goal trimmed the Lions' lead to one with 9:17 remaining, setting the stage for the frantic finish.
It was Cutler's first game since he was sacked by Redskins nose tackle Chris Baker in the first half of Chicago's 45-41 loss at Washington on Oct. 20. He had to be helped off the field, and an MRI revealed a torn groin muscle that was expected to sideline the quarterback for at least four weeks.
Cutler had other ideas.
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The Bears had a bye week after the Washington loss, and Cutler watched while McCown led Chicago to a big 27-20 victory at Green Bay last Monday. Cutler then was cleared to play on Thursday and made the start against Detroit with the Lions, Bears and Packers all tied for the NFC North lead entering the day.
He insisted he was 100 percent, but it was clear his groin was bothering him more and more as the game wore on. He grabbed his groin area and dropped to the ground after one third-quarter throw. He then popped right back up and remained in the game.
"It held up OK. It's all on the same leg so I think that was a problem," said Cutler, referring the groin and ankle injuries. "But the groin, you take the ankle out of the equation and I would have been fine, I think."
Cutler threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Marshall on the first drive of the game. But he also had a pass tipped by Ndamukong Suh and grabbed by DeAndre Levy in the end zone for the linebacker's fifth interception.
Levy began the day tied with seven other players for the NFL lead in interceptions. ... Each team played without a key defensive end. Detroit rookie Ziggy Ansah was out with a left ankle injury, and Chicago's Shea McClellin tweaked a hamstring during practice after he had three sacks in the victory at Green Bay. ... Lions RB Montell Owens left in the first quarter with a knee injury and did not return.
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 10: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears will start against the Detroit Lions twenty one...(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||6.0||4.8|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||3-4||1-4|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|
|TD||12:45||Brandon Marshall 32 Yard Pass From Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 65 yds, 2:23
|TD||6:01||Kris Durham 5 Yard Pass From Matthew Stafford (David Akers Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 85 yds, 6:40
|TD||13:02||Calvin Johnson 4 Yard Pass From Matthew Stafford (David Akers Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 66 yds, 2:02
|FG||7:30||Robbie Gould 25 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 8 plays, 69 yds, 2:27
|FG||9:22||Robbie Gould 32 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 4 plays, -5 yds, 1:40
|TD||2:28||Calvin Johnson 14 Yard Pass From Matthew Stafford (David Akers Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 74 yds, 3:06
|TD||0:47||Brandon Marshall 11 Yard Pass From Josh Mccown (Matt Forte Run For Two-Point Conversion is No Good)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 74 yds, 1:42
Matt Forte gained 49 yards from scrimmage on 21 total touches (17 rushes, four catches). Forte had gained more than 90 yards from scrimmage in every game this season, topping the 100-yard mark in six of eight games. Forte's 2.3 yards per touch average is the second worst of his career among 47 games with at least 20 touches, and easily the worst of his time under Marc Trestman.[+]
Matt Forte From Scrimmage, 2013
Calvin Johnson had 83 receiving yards Sunday and according to Elias, his 567 receiving yards in his last three games is the third-most in three consecutive games in NFL history.[+]
Matthew Stafford has a Total QBR above 70.0 in four straight games (71.0 Sunday), the longest streak in his career.
Both of Reggie Bush's 100-yard rushing games this season have come against the Bears and he's done his damage up the middle. On Sunday, Bush rushed for 85 yards on 10 carries up the middle. In two games against Chicago, he's averaged 9.0 yards per rush up the middle compared to just 4.1 yards in all other games.
Matt Stafford is 287 yards shy of passing Bobby Layne for most passing yards in Lions history, they went to the same high school in Texas (Highland Park High in Dallas) Stafford has 24 career games with more than 287 passing yards.
Marc Trestman went to Michael Bush on a 4th down in field goal range and didn't convert. Bush (almost exclusively a short-yardage back) has a 1st down on 9.7 percent of his total rushes entering Sunday. 107 running backs have a better percentage this season.
Calvin Johnson has been targeted nine times on passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield his last two games with five receptions. The Lions didn't take shots deep to Johnson earlier in the season.[+]
Calvin Johnson Receiving 20+ Yds Downfield - This Season
Calvin Johnson has 8,740 Rec yds through 100 career games, the second most of any player in NFL history.[+]
The Bears have allowed a league-worst 56.7 completion percentage 20-plus yards downfield this season. Last season the Bears ranked ninth on such passes (29.0 completion percentage).[+]
Bears' Pass Defense 20+ Yds Downfield - This Season
ESPN Stats & Information