Lions Hold Off Bears With Above Average Performance
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By Chris Morgan
Sunday’s game between the Lions and Bears was a key one in the NFC playoff race, and in particular the NFC North race. With the Packers losing, not having Aaron Rodgers under center, the winner of Detroit’s game with Chicago at Soldier Field would take the lead in the division. Both teams were banged up, but the Bears got some good news when Jay Cutler was able to return. However, Cutler’s presence wasn’t enough to get the Bears the win. The Lions won 21-19 thanks to a stop by defensive tackle Nick Fairley on a two-point conversion attempt. Here is a look at how the Lions performed in the different aspects of the game.
Quarterback Grade: B
This was not Matthew Stafford’s best game. While he did throw three touchdowns, he only went 18-for-35 for 219 yards, and he threw an interception too. Stafford also fumbled, but the fumble was not lost. Even though this was a a relatively good performance for a road game, the Lions played against a Bears defense that isn’t what it used to be. Overall, Stafford delivered a solid performance. He did what was necessary to lead the team to a win, and was a part of all three of Detroit’s touchdowns.
Offense Grade: B
Overall, the Lions offense led by Stafford did pretty well. Calvin Johnson had another big game, catching six passes for 83 yards and two scores. Kris Durham scored the other touchdown. On the ground, Reggie Bush had a big game. He only rushed 14 times, but those rushes went for 105 yards, including a big 39-yard scamper that set up a touchdown. Joique Bell did well also. He rushed 10 times for 41 yards.
The offensive line performed admirably against the Bears. Not only did the Lions not give up a sack, and only three tackles for loss, but the Bears registered no quarterback hits. Scoring 21 points isn’t great, but it isn’t bad either.
Special Teams Grade: B-
It was not a good day for Detroit’s special teams. David Akers missed his lone field goal attempt. Sam Martin punted decently enough. The Lions had no punt returns, and only a few decent kick returns. Meanwhile, Devin Hester had a good day returning the ball. Although the Lions special teams did not have an effective, positive impact on the game, they didn’t have any big mistakes that hindered the outcome either.
Defense Grade: A-
If there is one place the Lions excelled in this game, it is on defense. Chicago’s offense has been very good this year. Admittedly, Cutler wasn’t completely healthy, and ended up leaving the game early, but Detroit still held the Bears to 19 points. They had a key interception, and they made that all-important stop on the final two-point conversion attempt.
Also, the Lions held the Bears to 38 yards rushing. Additionally, the Lions had two sacks, five tackles for loss, and 11 quarterback hits. Detroit’s defense came up big on the road in helping the Lions to their win.
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Chris Morgan has been a diehard Detroit Lions fan through the good (Barry Sanders) and the bad (Matt Millen) and that love has led him to take jobs writing about sports, including as a fantasy sports “expert.” His work can be found on Examiner.com. .