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Recap: Led by defense, Lions beat Bears 20-10

Geoff Robinson
The Detroit News
Lions' Marvin Jones Jr. takes the reception into the end zone for a touchdown past Bears' Eddie Jackson in the second quarter.

The Lions playoff hopes live on after a 20-10 win over the Bears Saturday evening at Ford Field.

The defense dominated a sloppy Bears offense, while Matt Stafford and Co. did what they had to do to get out with a win.

Darius Slay had two interceptions and Quandre Diggs notched one of his own in the second half as Chicago started to build some momentum. The Lions were also able to tally four sacks and hold stud running back Jordan Howard to just 37 yards on 10 carries.

Matt Stafford went 25-for-33 for 237 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Marvin Jones Jr. made a spectacular, 58-yard leaping grab in the first half to set up the game's first touchdown. Jones Jr. finished with three grabs for 85 yards.

Eric Ebron's third quarter touchdown put the Lions up 20-3. Ebron had a team-high five receptions, finishing with 33 yards and the score.

The Bears outgained the Lions 349-294, but that stat doesn't tell the whole story, as a lot of those yards for the Bears came with the Lions playing soft coverage late in the game.

Lions fans will now turn their attention to Seattle and Atlanta. The Lions badly need the Seahawks to fall to the Rams tomorrow, and they'll also be hoping to get help from the Buccaneers when they take on the Falcons on Monday night. The Lions are currently one game in the loss column behind both teams in the playoff chase. Atlanta holds the tiebreaker due to a Week 3 win at Ford Field.

Bears find the end zone

Chicago got the ball into the red zone and second life from a Lions penalty. That's when Mitch Trubisky hit Benny Cunningham out of the backfield for a 9-yard touchdown that cuts the Lions lead to 20-10 with 2:32 remaining.

Despite committing three consecutive penalties that pushed them back to their own 1, the Bears were able to dial up a couple of big passes from Mitch Trubisky to get them out to the 40. Trubisky then came back and hit Josh Bellamy to get Chicago into Lions territory. A defensive holding penalty on D.J. Hayden gave the Bears a first down and Trubisky took advantage with a first down throw to Daniel Brown. A fourth down scramble by Trubisky came up short of the line to gain, but Nevin Lawson was called for holding in the secondary and that gave the Bears new life.

Lions knocked out of field goal range

The Lions looked like they were about to completely shut the door on the Bears by getting the ball down to the Chicago 30, but back-to-back sacks of Matt Stafford knocked the Lions out of field goal range and forced them to punt.

With 9:34 remaining, the Lions still lead 20-3.

The drive: A Bears penalty and a completion to Kenny Golladay got the Lions out near midfield. Tion Green put them in plus-territory with a seven-yard run to the outside. That's when Golden Tate put Kyle Fuller on skates with a shifty move in the open field that went for 19 yards and saw the Bears defensive back fall on his backside without being touched. Back-to-back sacks followed and the drive stalled.

Diggs shuts the door on Bears offense

The Bears had a chance to make this game interesting, but Quandre Diggs had other plans.

On third down from the Lions 5, Mitch Trubisky fired into traffic in the end zone and was intercepted by Diggs, putting the Lions firmly in control as the fourth quarter gets underway.

With 13:31 remaining, it's still a 20-3 advantage.

Under heavy pressure on 3rd-and-18, Trubisky stayed in the pocket and delivered a first down strike to Markus Wheaton to give the Bears a first down in Lions territory. Two plays later, Trubisky hit Josh Bellamy for another first down at the 24. Jordan Howard was able to follow that up with a 16-yard scamper to get the ball inside the 10.

Lions, Bears exchange punts

After the Lions defense forced another Chicago punt, Matt Stafford was dropped for a big loss on the Lions' ensuing possession. That put them behind the chains, and a third completion to TJ Jones wasn't enough to pick up the first down.

With 3:52 remaining in the third quarter, the Lions still hold a 20-3 advantage over the Bears.

Lions extend lead on Ebron TD

Golden Tate and Ameer Abdullah both reeled in third down receptions to get the Lions inside the 10, but it was Eric Ebron's third-and-goal grab in the end zone that capped the drive and put the Lions up 20-3 with 9:48 remaining in the third quarter.

Slay gets Lions going with interception

On the second play of the second half, Mitch Trubisky let a ball sail over his receiver's head and Darius Slay came down with his sixth interception of the season to give the Lions the ball back 41 yards from pay dirt.

With 14:10 remaining in the third quarter, the Lions still lead 13-3.

Bears get on the board before the half

Theo Riddick fumbled the ball as the Lions were trying to run down the clock at the end of the first half, putting it on the ground at the 27. Mitch Trubisky completed a short pass to his tight end and the Bears brought on the field goal unit to follow, as Mike Nugent hit from 41 yards to cut the Lions lead to 13-3 at the half.

Starting at their own 7, the Lions decided to try and get some points with less than a minute remaining before halftime. Matt Stafford hit Marvin Jones Jr. to get out to the 20. He came back and hit Eric Ebron for a short completion with 32 seconds on the clock, forcing the Lions to use one of their two remaining timeouts. On a shot downfield, Kenny Golladay was called for offensive pass interference. The Lions tried to pack it in with the handoff to Riddick, but that's when disaster struck.

Stafford was 16-for-21 for 154 yards and a touchdown in the first half.

Riddick did rush for 49 yards on eight attempts.

Trubisky was an underwhelming 9-for-12 for 71 yards, as the Lions defense held the Bears to just 90 total yards in the first half.

Penalty slows down Bears

Mitch Trubisky hit Kendall Wright for a 12-yard gain out to the Lions 28. Akeem Spence spotted the Bears five more yards with an offsides penalty on first down. After Chicago notched another first down, Trubisky found Josh Bellamy in Lions territory as the game went to the two-minute warning. A holding penalty on second down put the Bears behind the chains and the drive stalled from there.

With two timeouts and a minute remaining in the half, the Lions will take over inside their own 10.

Jones Jr.'s incredible catch sets up TD

On third-and-long, Marvin Jones Jr. went up for a jump ball 58 yards down the field and brought it in over a Bears defender to set the Lions up just 12 yards from pay dirt. Three plays later, Matt Stafford found TJ Jones in the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown that gives the Lions a 13-0 lead with 6:10 remaining in the first half.

The drive: After the Lions defense forced a Bears punt, the offense took over at its own 10. On third down, a defensive holding penalty extended the Lions drive. After a nine-yard run by Theo Riddick, Stafford hit Marvin Jones in stride for a 14-yard gain. A holding penalty on first down put the Lions behind the chains. After a screen pass to Abdullah went nowhere, a completion to Riddick set up 3rd-and-18 and the deep ball to Jones Jr.

Lions settle for another Prater field goal

The Lions stalled in the red zone, settling for a 32-yard Matt Prater field goal that gives the Lions a 6-0 lead with 14:56 remaining in the second quarter.

Tion Green showed off some moves in picking up seven yards on the first play of a drive that started at the Detroit 38. Stafford hit Kenny Golladay for a 13-yard gain on second down to get the Lions into Bears territory. After Green went for four yards on first down, Stafford fired incomplete on second down. On third down, Golladay drew a pass interference flag on Kyle Fuller. Green went to work on the next two plays, totaling 11 yards for another first down. Ameer Abdullah reel in a completion for 10 yards down to the 13. The Lions drive stalled from there.

Slay being evaluated for concussion

During the Lions second drive of the game, Darius Slay headed back to the locker room and being evaluated for a concussion.

The drive: TJ Jones reeled in a 12-yard completion out to midfield on the first play of the drive. After a short run by Theo Riddick got the Lions into Chicago territory, a holding penalty on the Lions put the offense behind the chains. On 2nd-and-16, Stafford was dropped for a six-yard loss. The Lions cut their losses on third down when they handed off to Riddick and punted the ball back to Chicago.

With 7:22 remaining in the first quarter, the Lions still lead 3-0.

Diggs' big hit forces Bears punt

Mitch Trubisky hit Jordan Howard for a 10-yard gain on the opening play of the drive. After a short completion to Josh Bellamy on the next play, Howard was stuffed at the line of scrimmage on second down. On third down, Quandre Diggs delivered a big blow to Kendall Wright, who had settled down at the line to gain but was unable to hang on after taking the big hit.

With 9:45 remaining in the first quarter, it's 3-0 in favor of the Lions and their awful, awful gray uniforms.

Prater gets the Lions on the board

Matt Prater hit from 48 yards out on the opening drive of the game to give the Lions an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter.

The Lions got a break on the first play of the game when the Bears were called for an unsportsmanlike penalty that gave Matt Stafford and Co. 15 yards to get the ball out near the 40. The Lions didn't get much traction on first and second down, but Stafford found Eric Ebron on a crossing route for a first down in Chicago territory. On third-and-short, Stafford had his pass knocked down at the line of scrimmage.

Bears at Lions

Kickoff: 4:30, Ford Field

TV/radio: NFL/760 AM

Records: Bears 4-9, Lions 7-6

Line: Lions by 5


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