Live blog: Lions fall to Bears in Chicago
The Lions were not able to recover the onside kick and the Bears have escaped with a much-need victory over their division rivals, 17-14.
The win snaps the Lions six-game win streak over Chicago.
The defense didn't play great, but they still held the Bears to just 17 points. It was the offense that looked sloppy and tired all game long. Matt Stafford threw interceptions on a late drive in the first half that cost the Lions points. He'd driven the team inside the Chicago 25 with just over four minutes remaining before throwing another crucial interception.
Rookie running back Jordan Howard carried the ball 22 times for 108 yards in his first start for Chicago. Brian Hoyer threw for 302 yards and two scores.
Stafford was 23-for-26 for 213 yards and the two interceptions.
The Lions rushed for just 66 yards, led by Theo Riddick's 31.
Lions get late life
The Lions allowed Chicago to pick up a first down before having to exhaust all of their timeouts to get the ball back for their offense. Well, Andre Roberts didn't feel like waiting for the Lions offense to make something happen, returning the punt 86 yards for a touchdown. Matt Stafford found Golden Tate on the two-point conversion to cut the Chicago lead to 17-14 with 1:52 to play.
This game is going to come down to an onside kick.
Stafford throws another brutal INT
Matt Stafford has thrown his second interception of the day with the Lions in Chicago territory, this one coming with just over four minutes remaining and the Lions down by two scores, 17-6.
After picking up a first down, the Lions found themselves behind the chains again, but Matt Stafford found Marvin Jones in Bears territory for a 19-yard gain on 3rd-and-15. Stafford took a 10-yard loss on a sack on the very next play, but he found Eric Ebron to set up a managable 3rd-and-6 from the Chicago 41. The Lions benefitted from a defensive holding call on the Bears to get a fresh set of downs. After Ebron picked up nine on first down, he was called for a hold. Riddick picked up 10 on the next pass play, setting up third and short, which was picked up on a short pass play to Anquan Boldin at the Chicago 24.
Bears settle for short field goal
The Bears put together a 10-play, 72-yard drive, but the Lions defense was able to get off the field and hold Chicago to a 25-yard Connor Barth field goal. The Bears now lead, 17-6, with 10:14 remaining.
After a 12-yard completion, Jordan Howard picked up 17 on the ground to get Chicago near midfield. Brian Hoyer then found Eddie Royal for a 13-yard pick up. Back-to-back short completions picked up another first down for the Bears. Howard reeled in a screen pass and spun his way to a nine-yard gain, picking up a second-and-short on the ground on the very next play. On first down from the Lions 14, Howard was stuffed on his next attempt before an incompletion set up third down.
Lions forced to punt again
Zach Zenner reeled off 22 yards on a screen pass to get the Lions out of the shadow of their own end zone on the first play of the drive. Zenner then rumbled to an 11-yard gain on the next play. After an incompletion, Zenner picked up four to set up 3rd-and-6, but the Lions weren't able to pick it up as Stafford threw behind Theo Riddick on third down.
After the punt, the Bears will start at their own 19.
Bears find pay dirt after big play
Brian Hoyer found Eddie Royal on third-and-long for a 64-yard gain down to the Lions 12. After a five-yard pickup on first down, the Lions stuffed Jordan Howard on second down, but Hoyer found Zach Miller for a seven-yard touchdown on third down to stretch the Chicago lead to 14-6 with 3:34 to play in the third quarter.
The Lions appeared to have some momentum, but that big play to Royal killed that. Miller was wide open for the touchdown in the end zone and is playing a position (tight end) that the Lions have struggled to cover this season.
Lions settle for short field goal after nice drive
The Lions offense got down to the Bears 1 but couldn't finish off the drive, getting stuffed on three straight runs (two by Theo Riddick, one by Zach Zenner) before settling for a 21-yard Matt Prater field goal to cut the Bears lead to 7-6.
The offense seemed to find a rhythm on the drive, taking nearly eight minutes off the clock in the third quarter, but they missed an opportunity to punch it in at the goal line. The fact that their most pure short-yardage running back, Dwayne Washington, is questionable to return to the game with an ankle injury didn't exactly help matters.
Andre Roberts set the Lions up with good field position at the 31, but back-to-back carries by Theo Riddick netted just two yards and a false start on Larry Warford made it 3rd-and-12. When on one could get open, Matt Stafford did the work on his own, pulling the ball and running for 15 yards and a first down. Marvin Jones reeled in a 15-yard catch and run, and Riddick picked up 11 on the ground to give the Lions three first down on three consecutive plays. Stafford found Eric Ebron for nine yards to the Chicago 20 and Riddick picked up the first down on second and short. After a short completion, Anquan Boldin reeled in a first down to get the Lions to the Bears 5.
Lions come up short, trail Chicago at halftime
In field goal range with 16 seconds left in the first half, Matt Stafford made a costly mistake, throwing an interception on a miscommunication with Golden Tate. Jacoby Glenn was the recipient of the gift from Stafford.
The play call made no sense, really, as Tate was heading towards the end zone with his quarterback expecting him to come back to the football. Had the ball been completed, Tate would have been tackled inbounds and the Lions wouldn't have been able to get off a field goal try. That's bad on everybody's part.
The Lions got the ball back at their own 40 with 39 seconds remaining in the first half. With two timeouts, Matt Stafford found Marvin Jones and Eric Ebron on back-to-back passes to get inside the Chicago 35. Stafford tried to go to Golden Tate in the end zone, but the ball was overthrown just a bit with 21 seconds remaining. Stafford hit Theo Riddick for a nine-yard gain down to the Chicago 22 with 16 seconds left and the Lions used their final timeout.
At the half, the Bears are outgaining the Lions, 230-99.
The Lions offense has looked lifeless in the first half. They'll need to show some urgency in the second half to avoid what would be an embarrassing loss to a bad Bears team.
Chicago misses late first half field goal try
Connor Barth set up for a 50-yard field goal but struck it wide right with 39 seconds remaining in the half to keep the Chicago lead at 7-3.
The Bears took over at their own 30 after the Lions went offsides on the kickoff. Jordan Howard reeled off a 17-yard gain before the two-minute warning. Out of the break, Brian Hoyer found Kevin White for a 15-yard gain to the Lions 35. After a five-yard screen pass to Howard, Kerry Hyder was able to drop Hoyer for his fifth sack of the season. The Bears committed a false start and were faced with a third-and-12 that they weren't able to pick up.
Prater field goal cuts into Chicago lead
The Lions got into Bears territory for the first time today, settling for a 50-yard field goal from Matt Prater to cut the Chicago lead to 7-3 with 2:19 to play until halftime.
After the Lions got behind the chains on a holding call on Taylor Decker, Matt Stafford hooked up with Marvin Jones for the first time today, finding his favorite receiver for 17 yards. The Bears forced a third down, but they went offsides and gave the Lions a new set of downs at midfield. After back-to-back incompletions, Stafford found Anquan Boldin for a first down at the Chicago 39. An offsides penalty on the Bears set the Lions up with a third-and-short, but Stafford's pass to Golden Tate was defended well.
Lions stuff Bears on 4th down
The Bears picked up three first downs and Kevin White reeled in three catches for 30 yards, but the Lions defense gritted its teeth and stuffed Joique Bell on a fourth and short attempt at the Lions 36 to get the ball back for its offense.
Chicago is piling up yards early on, but the Lions defense hasn't broken since allowing a touchdown on the Bears' second drive of the game.
The Bears lost a timeout when they challenged an incomplete pass on a ball that coach John Fox thought White reeled in. The incomplete pass was confirmed upon review.
The sluggish start continues for Lions offense
A holding penalty cut short another Chicago appearance on the Lions side of the field, forcing the Bears to punt the ball back to the Lions, who took over at their own 34.
The offense, however, couldn't do anything with the good field position. They went three-and-out for the third time today and have just one first down on their first four possessions.
End 1st: Bears 7, Lions 0
Brian Hoyer (7-for-8, 73 yds, TD)
Matt Stafford (3-for-6, 14 yds)
Bears, Lions exchange punts
After the Bears got into Lions territory for the third time today, Darius Slay came on a cornerback blitz and sacked Brian Hoyer to force a Chicago punt. The Lions offense was able to pick up its first first down of the day, but a sack of Stafford on second down put the Lions behind the chains. On third-and-16, a screen pass to Dwayne Washington wasn't enough to move the chains.
Of note, Eric Ebron came off the field after getting rolled up on the first play of the drive.
Offense stuck in a rut early on
The second drive of the game couldn't have been much uglier for the Lions (well, aside from a turnover). Eric Ebron started with a false start, Matt Stafford threw an illegal forward pass from about two yards beyond the line of scrimmage and the Lions went three-and-out for the second time today.
Bears take early lead
The Lions defense provided little resistance, getting carved up by Brian Hoyer and committing a bad penalty that has their team down 7-0 with 6:35 to play in the first quarter.
Alshon Jeffrey reeled in a 16 yard reception and Jordan Howard followed with a 12-yard run. Howard got up slowly and exited the game for a brief moment, making room for former Lions Joique Bell, whose first carry as a Bear went for two yards. On third down, Hoyer found Eddie Royal and Chicago was in business in Lions territory. After forcing another third down, the Lions allowed Jeffrey to beat them over the middle and down to the 25. A pass interference on Tahir Whitehead gave the Bears a first and goal at the Lions 4, where Hoyer found Royal for the score.
Lions go three-and-out
Theo Riddick rushed for six yards on the Lions first play of the game, but despite being ahead of the chains, the Lions offense went three-and-out. Matt Stafford completed a short pass to Anquan Boldin on second down before a third down throw to Eric Ebron fell incomplete.
Lions defense forces punt on opening drive
Chicago started on its own 33 and Brian Hoyer went to work, hitting Zach Miller for 17 yards. The Lions defense was able to stuff rookie running back Jordan Howard on back-to-back runs before a Hoyer incompletion brought the drive to a close.
After the punt, the Lions offense will start on its own 20.
Lions set to battle Bears in Chicago
The Lions are looking to bounce back from a loss last week at Green Bay and they'll have a good chance to pull to 2-2 today when they take on the winless Chicago Bears in Chicago.
Matt Stafford has done well in leading this new-look Lions offense in the early part of the season, putting up good numbers and developing a rapport with newcomer Marvin Jones Jr. while spreading the ball around to his many weapons.
The Lions defense, however, got slaughtered last week in Green Bay. Still shorthanded, it's given a bit of a reprieve today with Jay Cutler on the sidelines. Former Michigan State Spartans Brian Hoyer will take the snaps for a second consecutive game from Chicago.
It's probably not wise to put so much importance on an early season game, but if the Lions leave Chicago 1-3, their season will certainly feel like it's slipping away.