By Chris Morgan

Before the Detroit Lions even took the field against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, they had gotten some big news. The Philadelphia Eagles lost on Saturday, guaranteeing the Lions a playoff spot no matter what they did against the Bears. More to the point, even with a loss, the Lions could still win the NFC North by beating the Green Bay Packers in their season finale. Well, it seemed like the Lions were intent to live down to that, as they had an awful first half against a Bears team that had been mailing it in for weeks, and who were starting Jimmy Clausen under center. However, in the second half, they righted the ship, and managed to pull off the 20-14 win for their 11th win of the season. It wasn’t their best game, in fact it was one of their worst, but they still won. Here are the grades for this forgettable, but harmless, performance.

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Offense: The Bears do not have a good defense, so even on the road the Lions should have been able to have a big game. To be fair, yardage wise, it wasn’t a bad day at all, as they had 367 total yards. The problem was that they’d march down the field, and then make a mistake that ended up costing them. However, those mistakes mostly came from Matthew Stafford, so that will be saved for a bit later.

Joique Bell and Reggie Bush carried the offense. Bell rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries while adding 13 yards receiving. Bush rushed seven times for 54 yards and a score and had six receptions for 44 yards. It was nice to see Bush actually do something after a period of stagnation. Calvin Johnson also had six catches for 103 yards, giving him his fifth straight 1,000 yard receiving season. The offense had a mediocre day overall, but the non-quarterbacks were actually pretty good. Grade: B-

Quarterback: Oh, Matthew Stafford. You can be so good, and then you can have games like this. Stafford went 22-for-39 for 243 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Both of those picks happened in the Chicago end zone, taking points away from the Lions. Fortunately, they were able to come back to win, but Stafford was not a big part of the reason why. The Bears are an easy team to throw the ball on, and Stafford couldn’t take advantage. Grade: C-

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Special Teams: However, the special teams decided they wanted to vie with Stafford for being the biggest problem for this team. Matt Prater went 2-for-3 on field goals, although kicking at Soldier Field this time of year can be tricky. The team didn’t do a great job on kick returns. However, the real low point for this group was when Jeremy Ross muffed a punt, which the Bears recovered just before half time and turned it into a touchdown. There were no good performances here. Even Sam Martin only punted once. Grade: D+

Defense: It kind of feels like this game should be graded on a curve because of the presence of Clausen. He had not started since 2010, and he was awful then. Then, he threw two touchdowns in this game, although one was on that aforementioned short field due to the fumbled punt. Overall though, he only went 23-for-39 for 181 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception, Glover Quin’s seventh of the season. Detroit kept Matt Forte in check again, although not to the same degree as on Thanksgiving, and the team only had two sacks, both from Ndamukong Suh. It wasn’t their best day, but let us not be spoiled by their greatness. Grade: B+

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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 .