The Lions allowed the Bears to drive into field range with the clock winding down, but Connor Barth's kick went wide right with three seconds remaining and the Lions held on to beat the Bears 27-24.
Those final minutes are a perfect example of just how thankful Lions fans should be for Matt Prater, who hit a 52-yard field goal to win the game despite struggling from 45 yards in warmups due to the windy conditions.
The Final Drive: The Bears started at their own 17. The Lions had good coverage downfield on first down, forcing Mitch Trubisky to throw the ball away. A five-yard completion on second down set up a third-and-5, and that's when the rookie quarterback hit Tre McBride for a nine-yard gain out to the 31. Darius Slay nearly ended the game on the next play, but he dropped a would-be interception. On second down, Daniel Brown reeled in a 10-yard reception and got out of bounds with 47 seconds remaining. Trubisky sailed his next throw, and on second down, Brown got tangled up with Tavon Wilson as the ball sailed out of bounds. The Lions collapsed the pocket on third-and-10, sacking Trubisky and forcing the Bears to use a timeout with 28 seconds remaining. On fourth-and-13, Trubisky showed off his surprising elusiveness as he danced his way through the Lions defense for a 19-yard gain down to the Lions 43. On first-and-10, Trubisky hit Dontrelle Inman for 13 yards with eight seconds remaining.
Matt Stafford threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns.
Marvin Jones had four receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown, while T.J. Jones pitched in with four catches of his own for 55 yards.
Jordan Howard had 15 carries for 125 yards for the Bears.
Prater comes through in the clutch
Despite unfavorable conditions and a drive that stalled in Bears territory, Matt Prater drilled a 52-yard field goal with 1:35 remaining to give the Lions a 27-24 lead.
After an incomplete pass, Matt Stafford found T.J. Jones for a seven-yard gain. On third-and-3, Marvin Jones got open in the secondary and reeled in a 17-yard gain out near midfield. An Ameer Abdullah run went for no gain on first down, but Stafford found Eric Ebron for 26 yards down to the Chicago 26. T.J. Lang was called for holding on first down, putting the Lions behind the chains. Kenny Golladay dropped a pass across the middle, and Stafford was only able to get two yards back when he was flushed out of the pocket on second down. On third-and-18, Stafford's pass to Ebron was off target.
Bears tie the game with Cohen TD
A big penalty and an inability to stop the run cost the Lions when Tarik Cohen went 15 yards for a touchdown that ties the game at 24 with 5:02 remaining.
Jordan Howard went over 100 rushing yards for the day when he reeled off 16 on a carry that went out to the 40. He churned out seven more on the next play, and followed that up with a run of 12 down to the Lions 41. A poorly designed play from the Bears went for a loss of eight when Mitch Trubisky threw a screen to Cohen. The Bears picked up 16 when Trubisky hit Dontrelle Inman, and that play went for 15 more when Jeremiah Valoaga was called for roughing the passer, giving the Bears the ball at the 17.
Lions settle for Prater field goal
A 10-play, 54-yard drive resulted in a 27-yard Matt Prater field goal that gives the Lions a 24-17 lead with 10:01 remaining.
The drive: After forcing a three-and-out from the Chicago offense, Theo Riddick got a pair of carries and notched 18 yards to get the offense into Bears territory. Jamal Agnew got a carry out of the backfield that went for five yards and a first down. Darren Fells followed that up with a nine-yard reception as the third quarter came to an end. Riddick added a first down carry to his belt to set the Lions up at the 29. On third-and-9, Stafford hit Golden Tate for a 16-yard gain down to the 12. Ameer Abdullah showed off his skills with a spin move at the line that allowed him to get the ball down to the 6, but Stafford was dropped for a sack on second down and the Lions were forced to settle for three points.
Lions come up a yard short of first down
Matt Stafford hit T.J. Jones for a 14-yard gain on third-and-15 and the Lions were forced to punt for the third time in the third quarter. Sam Martin put a good boot on the ball and the Lions coverage team did its job, dropping the Bears return man at his own 16.
With 4:18 remaining in the third, the Lions still lead 21-17.
Bears stall after a pair of first downs
Mitch Trubisky hit Adam Shaheen for a 12-yard gain to get the Bears out of the shadow of their own end zone. On the next play, the young quarterback found Kendall Wright for 13 yards out to the Lions 29. After a loss on first down and a short pass on second down, Trubisky had his third down pass dropped by his tight end, Daniel Brown.
With 6:05 remaining in the third quarter, the Lions are holding onto their 21-17 lead.
Lions can't cash in on Bears penalty
Ameer Abdullah showed good patience by waiting for his blocks to set up an 11-yard screen pass on first down. After a four-yard run by Abdullah, the Bears were called for pass interfernce as Stafford tried to hit Kenny Golladay on a deep route. That gave the Lions 34 free yards down to the Chicago 41. After an Abdullah run produced a loss of one yard, Stafford went down for the sack on second down. Stafford was able to break the pocket on third-and-long, but he only got loose for a single yard before the Lions were forced to punt.
The good news? Sam Martin pinned the Bears at their own 3.
Penalty cots Lions to start second half
An illegal shift against the Lions negated a first down catch-and-run by Golden Tate. The Lions weren't able to recover on the opening possession of the second half, punting back to a Bears offense that will take over at midfield.
Lions storm back to take lead before the half
The fell behind by 10 twice in the first half, but Matt Stafford and the offense righted the ship and will take a 21-17 lead into halftime after Stafford found Ameer Abdullah for a two-yard touchdown with 20 seconds remaining in the first half.
The score was the cherry on top of an eight-play, 72-yard drive to finish the first half.
After forcing the Bears to punt for the first time today, Kenny Golladay hauled in a 12-yard reception out to the 40. Golden Tate followed that up with a 10-yard catch out to midfield. After the two-minute warning, Stafford found Marvin Jones for 24 yards down to the Chicago 26. Tate registered a six-yard reception, and on the next play, Eric Ebron brought in his third catch of the day to get the Lions inside the 10.
The Bears controlled the first quarter and a half, going up 10-0 and then 17-7 as they gashed the Lions defense with a powerful running game. Jordan Howard led the way with 88 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.
After two subpar possessions to start the game, Stafford finished the first half 13-for-17 for 195 yards and two touchdowns.
Jones has three receptions for 68 yards and a score, and Golladay has contributed 2 catches of his own for 52 yards.
Stafford finds Jones for TD
The Lions offense picked up a big third down conversion from deep in their own territory, and a few plays later, Matt Stafford found Marvin Jones wide open down the sideline for a 28-yard touchdown with 5:17 remaining in the first half.
After Kenny Golladay was called for offensive pass interference, Stafford found T.J. Jones for 17 yards on third-and-15, giving the Lions some cushion as they were in the shadow of their end zone. Golladay atoned for his earlier mistake with a 40-yard catch-and-run down to the Bears 30.
Howard waltzes into end zone
Chicago answered the Lions score with one of their own as Jordan Howard easily burst through the line for a 12-yard touchdown that puts the Lions in a 17-7 hole with 8:30 to play in the first half.
The Bears picked up a first down across their own 40 when Mitch Trubisky found Kendall Wright for 12 yards on third-and-3. A well-designed screen got Benny Cunningham in space, and the speedy running back took the ball 18 yards to the Lions 41. Two plays later, Trubisky faked Jeremiah Valoaga out of his boots with a nifty 10-yard gain down to the 27.
Lions get on the board with Hayden's scoop-and-score
One play after the Bears were called for a personal foul, Mitch Trubisky fumbled the snap. D.J. Hayden scooped it up for the Lions and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown that cuts the Chicago lead to 10-7 with 14:00 remaining in the second quarter.
Well, that's exactly what the doctor ordered. On the previous play, Trubisky had fled the pocket and picked up a first down at the 42, but Kyle Long's personal foul pushed the ball back 15 yards and the Lions pounced.
Stafford misses open receiver, Lions punt
T.J. Jones hauled in a 17-yard reception to get the Lions out near midfield. Back-to-back runs set up a third-and-7, and Matt Stafford threw a ball well over the head of a wide open Marvin Jones, forcing the Lions to punt.
With six seconds remaining in the first quarter, the Lions are down 10-0.
Bears capitalize on turnover
It didn't take Jordan Howard long to capitalize on the fumble recovery by his defense. The second year back took the first play of the ensuing drive 50 yards down to the Lions 5. After a four-yard Howard run, Mitch Trubisky hit Adam Shaheen for a one-yard touchdown strike that gives Chicago a 10-0 lead with 3:23 to play in the first quarter.
Stafford fumbles on third down
On third-and-8 from inside Chicago territory, Matt Stafford was dropped for a sack and lost the ball. The Bears recovered the fumble and will take over at their own 45 with 4:46 on the clock in the first quarter.
It's just 3-0, but the Lions aren't off to the best of starts today at Soldier Field.
Stafford hit Eric Ebron for a seven-yard gain on the first play of the drive. He followed with a 16-yard strike to Marvin Jones on the next play, quickly getting the Lions out near midfield. After a short gain from Ameer Abdullah on first down, the running back was able to get loose for 13 yards on the next play. With the ball at the Chicago 43, Stafford fired incomplete on a deep route to Jones. On second down, Ebron reeled in a short pass for a three yards.
Chicago settles for field goal on opening drive
The Bears knifed their way down to the Lions 5, but the defense stiffened from there and forced Chicago to settle for 23-yard Connor Barth field goal that gives the home team a 3-0 lead with 8:21 remaining in the first quarter.
It's the first time this season the Bears have put points on the board on their opening possession.
Mitch Trubisky wasn't able to connect with his receivers on the first two plays from scrimmage, but he was able to find Daniel Brown open on the outside, and his big tight end was able to get to the sticks for a first down. Trubisky picked up a first down with his feet to get the Bears out near midfield. Dontrelle Inman reeled in an 11-yard gain down to the Lions 41. Jordan Howard did some work on the ground on the next two plays for another Chicago first down, and Trubisky followed with a strike to Adam Shaheen to get the ball inside the 10.
LIONS VS. BEARS
When: Sunday, 1 p.m.
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago
TV / radio: Fox / WJR 760
Records: Lions 5-4, Bears 3-6
Line: Lions by 3