Lions defense helps mount HUGE fourth quarter comeback against Bears, 31-30 win

Lions defense helps mount HUGE fourth quarter comeback against Bears, 31-30 win

Last week, the Detroit Lions got the only defensive position they needed late in the game to contain the upset against the Green Bay Packers. On Sunday, they had a similar opportunity against Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears. And even though Fields gave the Lions a hard time all day, the defense held firm in the fourth quarter. Chicago threw twice, got picked once, and when the Bears needed a game-winning drive, the defense produced two sacks, spoiling Fields’ otherwise impressive day.

The Lions now have straight wins for the first time in the Dan Campbell era and it was the team’s first win on the road in two years. Here’s how it happened.

first quarter

The Bears offense took the field first, and Justin Fields immediately made his presence known with a 28-yard yard guard after Julian Okwara was sucked into the play action. Chicago made runs on the first five practice games, steadily dropping into the red zone. A holding penalty and a nice pass breakup from Jarrad Davis (!!) held the Bears back in a third-and-14, and Chicago made a toss in the middle and settled for a field goal. 3-0 Bears.

The Lions offense went through Amon-Ra St. Brown. The Lions’ second-year wide receiver collected a pair of third downs to start the first down. From there, the Lions began beating Chicago on the ground with a 9-yard run from Justin Jackson followed by a 13-yard run from Jamaal Williams. But like Chicago, the Lions stalled in the red zone and kicked the field goal in fourth and fourth. 3-3 draw.

Khalil Herbert kicked off the Bears’ next drive with a kick return to their own 49-yard line. However, another Chicago penalty put them behind the sticks, and a sack from Okwara put the Bears third-and-14 at the Detroit 44-yard line late in the quarter.

second quarter

Detroit got the save with nice pressure from John Cominsky and Okwara, and the Bears kicked for a touchdown.

The Lions offense quickly got into trouble with a broken pass and a run for the loss. However, Jared Goff found Kalif Raymond for a 22-yard gain. Detroit found themselves behind the chains again after a dodgy offensive pass interference call on Trinity Benson, but Detroit quickly moved the chains again thanks to St. Brown. Goff then found St. Brown on back-to-back plays for 22 and 20 yards, putting Detroit first and scoring 10. Pass interference in the end zone gave the Lions four shots in the end zone from 1 yard line, but Goff took a sack on first down, fending them off on 4. Detroit struggled, but eventually got it with a nice action play against Brock Wright on fourth down. 10-3 Lions.

The Bears offense responded with some good plays from Fields. On the first, he escaped pressure on a third-and-5 and found Byron Pringle for the first down. Then, once in the red zone, Fields again escaped pressure on a broken play after Isaiah Buggs failed to put him down. Fields raced into the end zone to level the ball game with just 12 seconds left in the half. 10-10 draw.

On that play, DeShon Elliott was taken out of play and put on concussion protocol. He didn’t come back. CJ Moore replaced him in security.

Third quarter

Detroit opened the second half with three straight runs, but Jamaal Williams was stuffed third-and-one after several Bears battled in the backfield, giving the guard no chance to convert.

Fields moved into Lions territory with a third and 5 completion to a wide open Darnell Mooney. Chicago managed to land its own third-and-one and a run at Dante Pettis, moving the team into the red zone. A few plays later, Fields found tight end Cole Kmet for the touchdown with Kerby Joseph in cover. 17-10 bears.

The Lions’ next run didn’t go much further. The entire practice exploded when the Lions tried to end Kalif Raymond, but the Lions receiver didn’t seem to know the transfer trade was coming, resulting in a fumble and a loss of 9 yards. They would play a game later in Chicago.

Detroit continued to have no answers for Fields and the Bears offense. On blown coverage, Fields found a wide-open Kmet for a 50-yard touchdown. 24-10 Bears.

The Lions were gifted with good field position thanks to the out-of-bounds kickoff, but Detroit couldn’t take advantage of it. Goff took a bad sack on a second play, and followed it up by briefly cocking a pass to an open Shane Zylstra, who dropped the low pass. A miserable Jack Fox punt ended a miserable quarterback for the Lions.

Fourth trimester

The Lions defense gave the team a glimmer of hope with a three-and-out thanks to a fine pass breakup from Alex Anzalone.

Goff ran for 10 yards on the first play of practice one and was hit as he went out of bounds, drawing a penalty and a minor skirmish between the two teams. Another penalty on the Bears moved Detroit into the red zone. Goff threw an interception intended for D’Andre Swift, but it was canceled out by another Chicago penalty. On the play that followed, Swift scored a touchdown on a beautifully blocked play. 24-17 Bears.

The Lions defense put on a huge play. Aidan Hutchinson was all over the place on a called screen pass, forcing Fields to hesitate and then knock the ball over. He landed in the hands of Jeff Okudah for a pick-six, tying the ball game to 24-24.

Fields responded quickly a few plays later. On third-and-first, Fields threw a play option and went 67 yards for a touchdown, though the Bears missed the extra run. 30-24 bears.

Detroit couldn’t keep pace with the shootout, however, and quickly made three outs and came back to Chicago with less than eight minutes to go.

Another poor punt allowed Chicago to bring it back to the 40-yard line with an opportunity to put the game away. But the Lions defense quickly got the ball back with a three-and-out on their side.

Goff would get the ball back with 5:23 remaining on his own 9-yard line. A fine run from Jamaal Williams brought the Lions out of the shadows of their own end zone, then a laser to Raymond for 20 took them to the 40-yard line. Then on a third-and-8, Goff found Tom Kennedy for a whopping 44-yard gain, pushing Detroit into the red zone.

After another run from St. Brown, Jamaal Williams hit him from one yard to give the Lions a 31-30 Leos lead with 2:21 to go.

With plenty of time remaining and the three timeouts, the Bears had plenty of time to mount a winning practice. Last week the Lions stopped Aaron Rodgers, but could they stop Fields?

Indeed, they could. Detroit produced two sacks on the potential go-ahead, forcing the Bears into a turnover on the downs, essentially ending the game.

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