DETROIT - DECEMBER 05: Chester Taylor #29 of the Chicago Bears runs for a first down during the second quarter of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 5, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Chester Taylor
Chicago escaped Detroit with a victory, beating the Detroit Lions 24-20 on Sunday. This win secures their lead in the NFC North and inches the Bears ever closer to a playoff spot.
Brandon Manunameleuna gave the Bears the lead with a clutch touchdown in the fourth quarter, catching a TD-pass from Cutler and fighting to get in the end zone. The Bears were in position to score because of a huge catch from Earl Bennett, who finished the game with seven catches for 104 yards. Jay Cutler finished the game 21-26 with 236 yards, a fumble and four sacks.
Earlier in the game, the prospects of the Bears winning looked dim. In the third quarter, the offense decided to be the screw-ups. Jay Cutler was sacked by Cliff Avril and fumbled to give the Lions the ball on the Bears 25. Luckily, the defense held the Lions to a mere field goal. On the next offensive series, the Bears methodically moved down the field, but then Cutler was sacked on third down, forcing a punt.
Devin Hester and Robbie Gould did provide bright spots this quarter. After the D forced a 3-and-out from deep in Lions territory, Hester returned a punt for 30 yards. He was only stopped from a touchdown by the punter. Though the offense couldn't score after Hester gave them such good position, Gould kicked a 54-yard field goal, his all-time best.
The Bears started the game against the Lions at Ford Field shakily, letting the Lions march down the field and then score a touchdown to take the early lead. Third-string quarterback Drew Stanton took the ball in for the score.
Chicago answered with a 76-yard drive that featured three beautiful catches from Earl Bennett and then was capped off with a Chester Taylor touchdown run. The teams are tied up after one quarter.
The Bears offense played well in the second quarter while the defense struggled, allowing the Lions to take the lead just before halftime.
Taylor and Bennett continued to shine, both making contributions to get the Bears downfield. Bennett not only made a great catch but then fought for extra yardage to set up Matt Forte for a 14-yard touchdown run. This gave the Bears a 14-10 lead.
Near the end of the first half, Brad Maynard pinned the Lions on their own nine-yard line to start a drive with just 0:53 to go. The Bears D made two big mistakes, first by letting Jahvid Best escape untouched from a pile so that he could bounce off of tackles and run for 45 yards. On the next play, they let Stanton dump the ball off to Calvin "Megatron" Johnson, who broke free for a 46-yard run touchdown.
The Bears needed this win to keep the lead in the NFC North because the Packers beat up on the San Francisco 49ers today. Chicago will head home to face New England next Sunday.