Stafford, Johnson play heroes as Lions improve to 1-5
Lions coaches wanted "chunks" on offense.
How's this for a chunk -- 57 yards from Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johsnon, leading to a 37-34 victory over the Bears at Ford Field.
Stafford did a nice escape job -- his second of the drive -- before heaving it toward the end zone, where Johnson leaped and caught it to the delight of the fans who stayed for this thriller.
Matt Prater made a 27-yard field goal in overtime to end it.
It's the first win of the season for the Lions, who are 1-5.
The Bears are 2-4.
Bears punt on first drive in OT
The Bears have punted.
So the next team to score will win the game. It's now sudden death.
It looked like the Bears had a first down on a pass from Jay Cutler to Martellus Bennett, but an officials' review overturned the spot.
So Chicago had to punt.
The Lions' drive starts on the 18, and the first play was a holding call. Of course.
Lions punt on first drive of OT
The Lions picked up a couple first downs on their first possession of overtime, but the drive quickly stalled.
Matthew Stafford overthrew a pass, Theo Riddick got stuffed and Matthew Stafford got sacked by Pernell McPhee.
The Bears started from the 21-yard line.
If they score, this one's over.
Bears tie it on field goal, we're going to OT
We're going to overtime.
Robbie Gould kicked a 29-yard field goal as time expired to tie this thing up at 34.
The Bears went 69 yards on just three plays, in 21 seconds.
Jay Cutler found Alshon Jeffery for back-to-back catches of 25 and 20 yards, then Darius Slay committed a huge pass-interference penalty that moved the Bears all the 11.
From there, Gould made the tying kick.
The Lions will receive to start overtime.
Crazy finish at Ford Field
Lions fans didn't know why Jim Caldwell kicked a field goal on the last possession.
The Bears went three-and-out, the Lions got the ball back -- and Matthew Stafford drove them 66 yards in about two minutes.
The drive was capped with a 6-yard TD pass from Stafford to Calvin Johnson, putting Detroit up 34-31 with just 21 seconds left.
Lance Moore also had a huge catch on the drive.
The Bears committed a huge roughing-the-passer penalty to move it from fourth-and-goal from the 12 for the Lions to first-and-goal from the 6.
On the previous play, the Lions were called for an intentional grounding penalty that looked like it would kill their hopes of finding their first win.
Lions field goal cuts Bears lead to 31-27
The Lions kicked a field goal to cut the Bears lead to 31-27.
Of course, there's just two minutes, 46 seconds left, which is why fans were booing when Detroit opted not go for it on fourth-and-4 from the 14.
Matt Prater nailed the kick from 32 yards, but now the Lions need to hope the defense can limit Jay Cutler and the Bears to a three-and-out.
Otherwise, the Lions will fall to 0-6.
The big play of the drive was a fake punt, on which safety Isa Abdul-Quddus took the ball 30 yards for a key first down. A great catch by Golden Tate got the Lions another first down.
But that's where the Lions drive stalled, and where the coaches decided to play it safe. For some reason.
Bears pick off Stafford, take 31-24 lead over Lions
Just like that, the Bears now lead this thing.
That's what three consecutive turnovers will do for you.
After the Lions muffed the last two punts and lost them to the Bears, Chicago's Jonathan Anderson intercepted a Matthew Stafford pass at Detroit's 24-yard line.
The Lions defense -- which has played well, and a lot -- almost stopped the Bears, until Josh Bynes was called for holding on third-and-8.
Three plays later, Matt Forte scored a touchdown on a 2-yard run. This time, the Bears went for two -- and got it, when Cutler hit Forte in the left corner of the end zone.
That means it's now the Bears leading, 31-24, with under 8 minutes to go.
Wow. What a turn of events.
Another muffed punt cuts Lions lead to 24-23
There's been a lot of drama on the punts lately, from the Michigan-Michigan State game last night to the Lions-Bears game today.
The Lions muffed a second consecutive punt here in the fourth quarter, the Bears recovered at the 21 -- and have cut Detroit's lead down to 24-23.
The punt appeared to hit off Corey Fuller's leg, and into the arms of Chris Prosinski. After a review, the call stood.
Three plays later, despite a pass-interference penalty, the Bears punched it in on a Jay Cutler pass to Alshon Jeffery from the 10.
Interestingly, the Bears decided to kick the extra point rather than try a conversion that could've tied the game.
Matt Forte had an 11-yard run on the drive, and Eddie Royal caught a 9-yard pass.
Lions answer back with field goal
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is making all kinds of good decisions today, and it has the Lions up, 24-16, on the Bears after a 39-yard field goal by Matt Prater.
It could've been a touchdown drive, but a pass-interference call on Calvin Johnson killed a nice reception by Golden Tate.
The big play of the drive was a 49-yard strike from Stafford to Lance Moore, who's having a heck of a game, as well.
The Lions coaches have talked for weeks about getting "chunks" of yards on offensive plays, and finally, today, they are getting chunks.
Theo Riddick had a good run on the six-play, 59-yard drive. That's good news for Detroit, which now is examining Ameer Abdullah on the sidelines.
Lions' fumble leads to Bears' points
The Lions defense limited the Bears to three points -- three points, of course, courtesy of the Lions special-teams unit.
Lions punt returner TJ Jones fumbled a punt at Detroit's 19-yard line, and it was recovered by Bears wide receiver Josh Bellamy.
It could've been a huge blow for Detroit, but again the defense held the Bears in check -- they went negative-1 yard on the drive and had to settle for a field goal by Robbie Gould.
That makes it 21-16 Lions with about 5 minutes left in the third quarter.
The Bears had another big penalty, holding, to push them back.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler had open receivers on two plays, but way overthrew them.
Lions make another huge play on defense
For the second time in three Bears possessions, the Lions got tough with Chicago inside the 10.
On the Bears' first possession of the second half, Cutler took them a long ways, but stumbled from the 6.
On second-and-goal from the 6, Cutler tried to find Alshon Jeffery in the left corner of the end zone, but he was off target, and Lions cornerback Rashean Mathis picked it off to the delight of a loud and large crowd here at Ford Field.
Cutler made some big plays on the drive, including a 46-yard pass to Marquess Wilson to get Chicago inside the 10.
But the Lions stepped up and the score remains 21-13 Detroit.
Injury update for the Bears: Defensive end Jarvis Jenkins is being evaluated for a concussion.
Lions get a call, lead 21-13 at half
Wow. The Lions got a favorable call from the officials. That's different.
On third-and-2, Matthew Stafford hit Golden Tate for what seemed to be a touchdown -- before the ball was stripped from Tate and landed in the hands of a Bears defender.
It was ruled a pick on the field, which would've been a huge blow after a great drive.
But after review, it was ruled Tate had the ball long enough to complete the process. The touchdown put the Lions up, 21-13, at the end of the first half.
That completed an 85-yard drive for the Lions, which featured another huge pass to Calvin Johnson, for 39 yards to get the Lions near the goal line. Ameer Abdullah also had a couple impressive runs on the drive, one for 12 yards. Stafford, himself, even scrambled for a first down.
It's been a gritty effort by the Lions, who don't look the same offense that's slogged to an 0-5 start.
Lions limit Bears to field goal
The Bears scored, but it could've been worse.
A huge pass by Jay Cutler to Alshon Jeffery got the Bears to first-and-goal from the 5, but they could't move the ball. On second and third down, Cutler threw into the end zone -- where Lions Josh Wilson and Tahir Whitehead stepped up with big pass blocks.
Chicago settled for a 23-yard field goal from Robbie Gould to make it 14-13 Lions.
A Glover Quin personal-foul penalty didn't help matters on that 10-play, 72-yard drive -- but the big play was a 45-yard pass from Cutler to Jeffery. Cutler was nearly sacked twice before rolling to his left and firing a heave downfield.
It appeared Jeffery might've pushed off to create space at the 5, but replays showed it probably was a clean play.
Zenner out with injury
More bad news for the Lions. Running back Zach Zenner, who had a couple nice runs in this game, left the game with an injury.
The Lions announced it's a chest injury, and his return is "questionable."
Lions radio sideline reporter Tony Ortiz also said there might be a back injury, as well.
If he's out all game, that leaves the Lions with just Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick in the backfield. Joique Bell remains out with injury.
Lions retake lead, 14-7
The Lions offense has a pulse. Tell your friends!
Matthew Stafford led Detroit on a 79-yard drive in just six plays, finishing with an 8-yard pass to Tim Wright for the touchdown. Detroit leads, 14-7.
It was an impressive play from, with Stafford scrambling to his left and releasing the ball just before a massive hit by the Bears defense.
The biggest play on the drive was a 49-yard pass from Stafford to Calvin Johnson; that's a "chunk," which Jim Caldwell has been looking for.
The Bears also helped out with an offsides penalty and a pivotal personal-foul penalty that got the Lions into first-and-goal territory.
Bears take 10-7 lead on Lions
The Lions have had trouble with ex-MSU stars this season.
Bennie Fowler helped the Broncos beat the Lions, and now Jeremy Langford has given the Bears the lead.
The former MSU running back pounded it in from the 1-yard line early in the second quarter to put Chicago up, 10-7. Once Langford's name was announced, he received a huge roar from the late-arriving crowd.
Jay Cutler had a good drive, leading the Bears 67 yards in 10 plays, spanning 4 minutes and 51 seconds.
A key offsides penalty on Josh Bynes was critical, coming on third-and-1 near the end zone.
Lions defense picks it up
The Lions defense was far from spectacular on its first drive of the game, but linebacker Josh Bynes made two key stops when the Bears had goal-to-go.
Chicago needed just six plays to reach the Detroit 10 on its opening drive with wide receiver Eddie Royal's 30-yard catch-and-run setting up the Bears in scoring territory.
But, after Royal put Chicago at the 10, Bynes tackled running back Matt Forte for a 1-yard loss, quarterback Jay Cutler picked up just 2 yards on a run and Bynes broke up the third-down pass from Cutler to tight end Martellus Bennett.
The Bears settled for a 27-yard field goal to cut the Lions' lead to 7-3 with 4:48 left in the first quarter.
Lions offense clicks on opening drive
If there Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was negatively effected by his benching last week, it didn't show on the first drive today.
To start the game against the Bears, Stafford went 4-for-5 for 50 yards with a 20-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Lance Moore as the Lions grabbed a 7-0 lead with 9:29 left in the first quarter.
The Lions had lots of contributions on the opening drive. Running back Ameer Abdullah had three carries for 16 yards, receiver Golden Tate added a 22-yard catch with a great move along the sideline and the offensive line gave Stafford plenty of time. Stafford also had a 10-yard run on the drive, his longest of the season.
Lions must establish run game
Before the season, the current three-game homestand was supposed to be a nice reprieve for the Lions are starting with three of four games on the road, but Sunday's game against the Bears looks a lot tougher than expected before the season.
The Lions already lost the first game of their three straight home games with a 42-17 loss to the Cardinals last week, and they come into today's game against Chicago dealing with several injuries as starters like safety James Ihedigbo, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and
Regardless of which players are on the field, though, the Lions must try to get their run game going against a Bears defense that ranks 24th against the run. Running back Joique Bell will miss his third straight game for the Lions, but the coaches should consistently feed rookies Ameer Abdullah and Zach Zenner as success in the run game could open things in the pass game.
The game kicks off at 1 p.m., and the Lions, who rank 32nd in rushing offense, will try desperately to avoid starting 0-6 against a Chicago team that's won two in a row after losing its first three games.