It wasn’t the prettiest game the Chicago Bears have ever played, but it was good enough for a victory as they beat the Detroit Lions on Sunday, improving their record to 4-5 on the season.
Naturally, the win came with a few interesting statistics attached to it, and we’re breaking that down in today’s Stats of the Game.
First Quarter Defense Remains a Strength
The Bears have been really stout on defense on their opponents’ opening drive of games, and they were once again able to keep the Lions out of the end zone on Sunday, limiting the team to a field goal on their first possession.
Sunday’s success runs the Bears’ streak of preventing their opponents from scoring a first-drive touchdown to 19 games, dating back to last season when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots scored on their opening drive at Soldier Field.
A Day of Firsts for The Bears
Sunday was a memorable day for a pair of Bears players, as both tight end Ben Braunecker and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski made big impacts on the game.
For Braunecker, his 18-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter of the game not only put the Bears ahead on the scoreboard, but it was also the first touchdown reception of his NFL career. The catch was the 10th of Braunecker’s career, and came on a day where Adam Shaheen was inactive for the Bears.
Kwiatkoski also had a big day as he was pressed into service after an injury knocked Danny Trevathan out of the game, and he stepped up to the plate in a big way, registering 10 total tackles, including a sack, in the victory.
Sunday was Kwiatkoski’s 50th career game, and he celebrated the occasion by intercepting Jeff Driskel in the third quarter. The pick was the first of his career, and helped set up an easy touchdown drive for Mitchell Trubisky and company.
Matt Prater’s Prodigious Leg Just Keeps Kicking
Prater has been bombing in field goals from long distance throughout his NFL career, and on Sunday he knocked through another one as he made a 54-yard field goal during the contest.
According to NFL Research, the kick of more than 50 yards was the 52nd such kick that Prater has made in his NFL career, the second-most of any kicker in the Super Bowl era.
Only former Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski had more, nailing 58 such field goals in his NFL career.