The Chicago Bears had the lead late against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, but a rushing touchdown by Matthew Stafford changed all of that as the Lions stole a late 20-17 victory.
The Bears had a drive going late in the fourth quarter, but two straight holding penalties on Charles Leno Jr. and Ted Larsen killed their momentum, and a pass to Josh Bellamy on the final Bears play fell incomplete as the Lions sent Chicago to their 10th defeat of the season.
After stopping the Lions on their opening drive, the Bears’ offense went to work and slowly churned its way down the field. Cameron Meredith made two impressive grabs, and Jordan Howard racked up several long runs to put the Bears in prime position. Two offensive line penalties in a row hurt the Bears however, and they had to settle for a field goal and a 3-0 lead.
The Lions roared back in the second quarter, getting a field goal from Matt Prater to tie things up and then picking up a touchdown late in the first half to take the lead. Stafford rolled out and found Anquan Boldin open down the field for a touchdown and a 10-3 lead going into the halftime break.
Another field goal for the Lions in the third quarter extended their lead to 13-3, but the Bears’ offense refused to give up. Howard notched another long run to get the Bears within scoring range, and Matt Barkley showed off great passing touch on a long pass that Meredith hauled in for a 31-yard touchdown that cut Detroit’s lead to 13-10.
The Lions put on a drive of their own in the fourth quarter, but this time it was the Bears’ defense that made the big play to jump ahead on the scoreboard. Stafford attempted a pass to Boldin on a cutback route, but Cre’Von LeBlanc read the play beautifully, caught the pass in stride, and cruised into the end zone to put the Bears in front 17-13.
Unfortunately for the Bears, missed tackles in their secondary ended up costing them the game late. Deon Bush missed a tackle on Boldin, and it allowed the veteran wide receiver to get deep into Bears territory. With about three minutes to go, another missed tackle hurt Chicago, as John Timu was faked out badly by Stafford as the Lions’ quarterback scampered into the end zone to give the Lions a 20-17 lead.
The Bears had a chance to tie things up late, but holding calls on both Ted Larsen and Charles Leno Jr. set them back deep in their own territory, and Josh Bellamy dropped a potential first down catch to end the game and hand the Lions a victory.
The Bears will take the field again next week in a rivalry game, as they welcome the Green Bay Packers to Soldier Field.