A roaring fourth quarter run wins it for the Detroit Lions, snapping a 13-game losing streak on the road. Detroit (3-6) took down Chicago (3-7), 31-30 at Soldier Field for its second straight victory Sunday.
Jared Goff lead the way for Detroit with 239 passing yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions on 19-for-26 passing. His favorite target? Amon-Ra St. Brown, of course, who caught 10 passes for 119 yards.
Despite another loss, Bears quarterback Justin Fields was stellar. He combined for 314 total yards (167 passing and 147 rushing), two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns, with one interception.
The key to the Lions victory was very simple. No turnovers and minimal penalties.
Fields interception was the Bears only turnover, but it was costly. More importantly, Detroit was only called for two penalties for 15 yards. Conversely, Chicago racked up nine penalties for 86 yards lost.
The Lions offense was great when it got rolling, but stagnant in the third quarter.
Detroit’s defense was, expectedly, up and down all game. Fortunately when it mattered the most defense stepped up mightily.
Goff started the game hot. He finished the first half with 119 passing yards and a touchdown on 10-14 passing. He threw darts to his receivers and moved out of the pocket when needed.
Detroit’s run game in the first half was less to be desired. Only 36 yards on the ground between three backs and a receiver.
Detroit’s second half was not as smooth.
A fumble late in the third quarter stunted a promising Lions drive. Kalif Raymond came around on a Jet Sweep, but was not expecting the ball, he did recover the fumble. Third and 19 was too much for Detroit to handle. It punted.
On the following drive Goff did not command the pocket and was sacked. Tight end Shane Zylistra dropped a first down pass on the next play.
Just as things began to falter for the Lions, it picked back up. It wasn’t entirely on the Lions offense. The Bears began a penalty streak leading Detroit to within a score.
In typical Lions fashion they roared back for the last score of the game, leaving Chicago with only a little over two-minutes to comeback.
The Lions defense had a good first half despite Chicago running all over it. One hundred twenty six total rushing yards for the Bears in the first half, but those numbers can be misleading. Fields only threw the ball nine times in the first half.
The run-game was a common theme against Detroit’s defense.
Detroit’s defense in the second half could not contain Fields air and ground attack. Outside of a huge pick-six from Jeff Okudah, the secondary fizzled.
It wasn’t until the Chicago’s final drive that the Lions defense stepped up mightily. The final two plays on Detroits defensive stand were huge. Aidan Hutchinson came up big with a sack to force a fourth down try from Chicago. It took the three Lions defenders, but Julian Okwara took down Fields for his second sack of the game.
The opening drive for the Bears was as expected. Chicago ran the ball every play besides one pass attempt. They got where they wanted and Justin Fields already piled up 47 yards rushing on three carries. The only pass attempt was batted by Jarrad Davis (brought up from the practice squad) and nearly intercepted by Alex Anzalone. The defense held up in the redone as Chicago settled for a field goal.
Lions 0, Bears 3
Detroit’s opening drive wasn’t as spectacular as Chicago’s, but it resulted in three points. The Lions methodically went all the way down to the Bears seven yard line, with a mix of short passes and solid run gains. They got five first downs and converted two third downs.
Lions 3, Bears 3
The Lions kept their game-plan the same for their second drive. Another high-play drive (13) that ate up neatly seven and a half minutes off the clock. St. Brown and Goff led the way connecting three times for 56 yards. Detroit was able to string in some long gains here forcing their way into the red zone. It took them four tries for the touchdown, but tight end Brock Wright found himself wide-open for a touchdown from Goff.
Lions 10, Bears 3
Just before the end of the half Fields willed the Bears to tie things up. It was another long grueling drive that lasted seven minutes and 15 plays. A lot of chip plays got Chicago into the red zone, but once they got their Detroits defense bolstered up. Anzalone forced Fields to fumble at the one-yard line and Aidan Hutchinson flew behind the line for a wrestling takedown.
It looked like the Bears were going to have to settle for a field goal, as Fields was nearly sacked way behind the line. His elusiveness took over and brought him to the end zone, but without taking a major hit at the goal line.
Lions 10, Bears 10
A quick drive with solid play calling helped the Bears get their second touchdown of the game. The Bears marched down the field with little resistance. Bears tight end Cole Kmet was wide open in the end zone for his fourth touchdown in three games.
Lions 10, Bears 17
Detroit’s defense was so concerned with Fields they forgot he can also throw the ball. Fields connected with a wide open Kmet for a 50-yard touchdown.
Lions 10, Bears 24
The Bears single handily led the Lions all the way down the field for a touchdown. Chicago was called for penalty after penalty allowing Detroit to do very little for a whole lot. After a timeout De’Andre Swift was untouched for a six-yard touchdown run.
Lions 17, Bears 24
After another penalty on Chicago Fields made a poor decision throwing an interception backed up into their own zone. Okudah picked off his former Ohio State teammate and returned it for a touchdown. It was Okudah’s first interception of the season.
Lions 24, Bears 24
Three plays later Fields gave one right back to Okudah. A hole opened up on the line and Fields bottled through and out ran every Lions defender for a 67-yard touchdown run. Chicago missed the extra-point.
Lions 24, Bears 30
Eight plays 91 yards, Detroit took the lead. A drive full of chunk plays was highlighted by a 44-yard reception by Tom Kennedy. St. Brown went down for one play, but came right back to get Detroit to the goal-line.
Lions 31, Bears 30
Detroit stays on the road to face the New York Giants at 1 p.m. on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Photo Credit: Matt Marton – USA TODAY Sports