The Lions handled the Bears 20-10. Here’s how it happened.
The Lions started the game out with a scoring drive, advancing the ball 47 yards in eight plays to take an early lead off of a 48 yard field goal from kicker Matt Prater.
Neither offense was able to do much for the middle of the first quarter. On the last drive of the quarter, the Lions started to move the ball, going 49 yards on 11 plays before the quarter ended.
Score: Lions lead 3-0
The first play of the second quarter was a 31 yard field goal from Matt Prater to extend the Lions advantage to six points.
The Bears were unable to answer this score and punted the ball. The Lions started the ensuing possession backed up deep at their own eight yard line, but a 58 yard pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford to wide receiver Marvin Jones put the Lions in scoring range, where Stafford connected with receiver TJ Jones for a three yard touchdown.
Shortly before halftime, Lions running back Theo Riddick fumbled the ball, giving Chicago good field position and setting them up for a field goal before halftime.
Score: Lions lead 13-3
The Lions got off to a fantastic start in the second half when cornerback Darius Slay intercepted Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s first pass of the third quarter.
This turnover set up the only score of the quarter, when Stafford found tight end Eric Ebron in the back of the end zone for an eight yard touchdown pass.
Score: Lions lead 20-3
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Bears offense had mounted its deepest drive of the game, reaching the Lions five yard line. However, on third and goal Trubisky threw his second interception of the game, this time to safety Quandre Diggs in the back of the end zone.
The Bears did finally cross the goal line on their next possession, running back Benny Cunningham caught a nine yard touchdown pass from Trubisky, but it was too little too late for the Bears.
Chicago got the ball one more time but Trubisky threw his third interception of the game, again to Darius Slay. After that, the Lions ran out the clock to end the game.
Score: Lions win 20-10
Detroit won the turnover battle 3 to 1
The Bears had many chances to score and make this a close game throughout the second half but the Lions defense was continually able to force Trubisky into mistakes. That was one of the biggest factors in the Lions winning this game.
The Lions ran for 91 yards at 4.6 yards per carry
When the Lions wanted to run the ball, they were able to. They had their most rushing yardage in weeks and had a respectable yards per carry. Whether it was with Theo Riddick or Tion Green, the Lions had success on the ground.
Chicago commited 13 penalties
Chicago kept shooting themselves in the foot on Saturday, as they had 13 accepted penalties. That is extremely hard to overcome in a football game and it shows in the box score.
The Lions offense scored 2 redzone touchdowns in 3 trips
The Detroit redzone offense was reasonably efficient this week, scoring two touchdowns on three tries inside the Bears 20 yard line. Keeping this up will be key down the stretch for the Lions.
Matthew Stafford was sacked 4 times
Missing starting lineman Travis Swanson, TJ Lang and Rick Wagner, the Lions offensive line struggled in pass protection. Stafford was sacked four times on Saturday and hit numerous others.
Mitchel Trubisky passed for a career high 314 yards
Although Detroit did a good job of keeping Chicago out of the end zone, Trubisky did make some good throws and put up his highest yardage total in an NFL game. Trubisky could be a good quarterback going forward and Detroit needs to be aware of that.
The offense was extremely efficient
The Lions had one of their most balanced games in recent memory, running and passing the ball effectively. However, this offense runs through Matthew Stafford and a few awesome throws from him was what allowed the Lions to win this game with ease. Here are a few examples:
On this play, the Lions were facing a third and 18 from their own 30 yard line. Stafford did a great job of keeping the play alive by scrambling to the right. Marvin Jones was on the same page, as he got open deep. Stafford threw a perfect deep ball and Jones went up and got it to set up the Lions for their first touchdown of the game.
This play is Stafford’s second touchdown pass of the game. He throws to Eric Ebron in the back of the endzone on the score. Ebron got behind the Bears linebackers, and Stafford threw an absolutely perfect pass over the head of the defender to where only Ebron could come down with it, making this a three possession game.
The defense made plays
The Lions defense made Mitch Trubisky’s day rough, sacking him twice and intercepting him three times. Here are a few of the big plays made by the Detroit defense:
On this play, defensive end Ziggy Ansah does a really good job of getting through his blocker and chasing Trubisky out to the right. Because of Ansah’s pursuit, Trubisky is forced to make a difficult throw on the run. He slightly overthrows the pass into the awaiting arms of Darius Slay, resulting in the first interception of the game.
On this third and goal from the Lions five yard line, Trubisky actually had a pretty clean pocket. He just tried to force a pass into a really tight window and safety Quandre Diggs made him pay for it with a great play to intercept the pass. Opportunistic defensive plays like this have been a recurring theme in Lions wins this year.
Trubisky carved up the Lions pass defense
Although Trubisky was sacked twice and turned the ball over three times, he did make some good plays against the Lions defense. He had his first career 300 yard passing game and completed 31 of 46 passing attempts. Throughout the second half, the Bears offense had no problem picking up yardage against the Lions defense, it was just that the Lions were able to force a few drives to end with turnovers.
Going forward, the Lions have to get better as a defensive unit if they want to have a shot at the playoffs. They cannot let teams like Chicago out gain them in offensive yardage (Chicago had 349 yards, Detroit 293) and expect to be in the conversation with legitimate Superbowl contenders.
Player Of The Game
Darius Slay is this weeks player of the game. Slay finished the game with five tackles, three passes defended and two interceptions. He now leads the entire NFL in intercepted passes with seven.
Slay has had a tremendous season and will be in the discussion to be named to the Pro Bowl and AP All Pro teams. He leads the NFL in interceptions and passes defended, so he has a very strong case this year.