Final

Lions 20

(1-0, 1-0 away)

Bears 16

(0-1, 0-1 home)

1:00 PM ET, September 12, 2004

 

1 2 3 4 T
DET 0 3 10 720
CHI 7 0 0 916

Lions win first road game since 2000

CHICAGO (AP) -- Bracy Walker got one of the game balls and rightfully so.

Needing intravenous fluids to fight off dehydration, Walker rescued the Detroit Lions from the NFL's longest road losing streak Sunday.

Allen's Analysis

Eric Allen

Which young QB (Joey Harrington or Rex Grossman) do you expect to have a better season?

I expect Harrington to have a better season. He's had more snaps as a pro and has a better complement of receivers. He also looks like he'll have a better running game with rookie Kevin Jones running the ball. In addition, Harrington will be put in a position to succeed by coach Steve Mariucci, who has coached some of the best quarterbacks in the game. That will enable him to have more info for certain situations and he won't feel nearly as much pressure.

Grossman is probably a season and a few offensive components away from coming into his own as a quarterback. Once he does, he'll be a fine quarterback and duel with Harrington for a long time.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.

He rambled 92 yards for a TD after teammate Shaun Rogers blocked a third-quarter field goal attempt. And later he preserved Detroit's 20-16 victory over the Chicago Bears, intercepting Rex Grossman's pass in the end zone pass with 18 second left.

"It's important to end the streak for all the obvious reasons," Lions coach Steve Mariucci said after his team's 24-game stretch of road losses was wiped away. "We are glad it's over, believe me."

Detroit's victory spoiled the coaching debut of the Bears' Lovie Smith, whose team was bogged down by penalties and mistakes.

The victory was a costly one for the Lions. They lost WR Charles Rogers to a broken collarbone for the second straight year and he could miss most of the season. He got hurt going for a first-quarter pass. Rogers, the second overall pick in the 2003 draft, played only five games last season.

Pro Bowl cornerback Dre' Bly will have an MRI on Monday after spraining a knee ligament in the first quarter.

Joey Harrington tossed a 4-yard go-ahead TD pass to Az-Zahir Hakim in the fourth quarter and Detroit held on for its first road victory since beating the Jets on Dec. 17, 2000.

With 1:54 left, facing a difficult punt out of their own end zone, the Lions chose to have punter Nick Harris run out of the end zone for safety. It cut the lead to 20-16, but gave the Lions a free kick -- a strategy that nearly backfired.

R.W. McQuarters returned the free kick 37 yards to the Detroit's 47 and Grossman's 19-yard pass to David Terrell and a 15-yard run by Thomas Jones got the Bears to the Lions 9.

With no timeouts, Grossman was sacked and then had to spike the ball on second down. Scrambling on third down, he threw the ball to the corner for Terrell, but Walker made the pick.

"Grossman started to scramble and I thought he was going to try and run it into the end zone," Walker said. "He just so happened to throw the ball, and I looked and it fell into my hands."

Grossman, who lost a fumble and had two interceptions, took the blame.

"I was trying to throw it up for a jump ball situation for David in the back of the end zone. I threw it a little short," Grossman said. "I should have thrown it away. I didn't."

Thomas Jones' second 2-yard TD run, this one with 12:40 left , put the Bears up 14-13, a score set up by a roughing-the-passer penalty.

Trailing at the half 7-3, Detroit took the lead when Rogers blocked Paul Edinger's 27-yard field goal attempt and Walker grabbed the ball, picked up some blockers and cut back across the field on the 92-yard return.

"I heard that dreaded sound, "the thump" and the ball just happened to roll my way. My first instinct was to run," Walker said.

"It was all discombobulated and I thought about pitching it to Andre' Goodman, but he was running so fast it would have been a forward lateral. I didn't have any legs."

The Bears had three second-half turnovers and three big penalties -- one on Terrell for taunting after he made a catch along the sideline and then handed the ball to Harris. Two more were for personal fouls, one on center Olin Kreutz and another on defensive back Charles Tillman for shoving a scrambling Harrington after he'd run out of bounds.

"I just dropped the ball. I didn't throw it at him," Terrell said. "The refs called nitpicky fouls all day . The personal foul on Olin Kreutz wasn't a personal foul. So they made bad calls."

Rookie Roy Williams' spectacular one-handed grab of a Harrington pass went for a 26-yard gain to the Bears 17 late in the second quarter.

When McQuarters was called for pass interference on Williams in the end zone, Detroit had first-and-goal at the 1. But Kevin Jones' TD run was called back by holding on Schlesinger and the Lions had to settle for Jason Hanson's 26-yard field goal with 16 seconds to go.

Grossman connected with Terrell on back-to-back passes of 30 and 27 yards to set up Thomas Jones' 2-yard TD run in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.

Game notes


Former Bears coach Dick Jauron, fired in January, was also given a game ball as the Lions' defensive coordinator. ... There were 18 penalties, nine on each team. ... Harrington was 14-of-26 for 187 yards, Grossman 16-of-35 for 227. ... Terrell had the first 100-yard receiving day of his career, 5-126.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
Detroit
Chicago
1st Downs1318
3rd down efficiency
2-146-16
4th down efficiency
0-10-0
Total Yards262342
Yards per play4.64.9
Total Drives33
Passing185214
Comp-Att
14-2616-35
Yards per pass
7.16.1
Interceptions thrown
12
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-23-13
Rushing77128
Rushing Attempts
2932
Yards per rush
2.74.0
Penalties9-809-95
Turnovers14
Fumbles lost
02
Interceptions thrown
12
Possession29:4230:18

Passing Leaders

DETC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Harrington14/261877.2111-2
CHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Grossman16/352276.5023-13

Rushing Leaders

DETCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones15362.4015
Pinner5214.208
CHICARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones21673.2215
Grossman4215.308

Receiving Leaders

DETRECYDSAVGTDLG
Williams46917.3027
Jones13434.0034
CHIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Terrell512625.2035
Jones6386.3010

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERDETCHI
TD7:22THOMAS JONES 2 YD RUN (PAUL EDINGER KICK) 07
SECOND QUARTERDETCHI
FG14:44JASON HANSON 27 YD 37
THIRD QUARTERDETCHI
TD2:43BRACY WALKER 92 YD RETURN OF BLOCKED FIELD GOAL (JASON HANSON KICK) 107
FG7:23JASON HANSON 21 YD 137
FOURTH QUARTERDETCHI
TD2:20THOMAS JONES 2 YD RUN (PAUL EDINGER KICK) 1314
TD5:06AZ-ZAHIR HAKIM 4 YD PASS FROM JOEY HARRINGTON (JASON HANSON KICK) 2014
SF13:07BALL THROUGH END ZONE 2016