by Carlos Nazario
When the Chicago Bears played the Detroit Lions in Week 5, the offense was overwhelmed by the Lions’ defensive linemen, and the Bears defense was torched by quarterback Matt Stafford and running back Jahvid Best in a 24-13 Lions victory. Thinking the 2 teams would be tied by Week 5 was foolish. Yet that is where the two teams stand (each 6-3) after the Bears thrashed the Lions 37-13.
Defensive end Julius Peppers forced Calvin Johnson into a fumble which Brian Urlacher recovered and it was downhill from there for the Lions. The Bears converted the turnover into a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead.
On the Lions 2nd possession, the Bears forced yet another turnover. Tim Jennings knocked the ball away from Nate Burleson and recovered it as well. The Bears went on to turn it into a Robbie Gould field goal.
In the 2nd quarter, with the Bears ahead 13-0, the Lions new punter, Robert Malone, who signed with the Lions earlier this week, made a crucial mistake: he kicked to Devin Hester. Hester made him pay for it.
Hester took the punt 82 yards for the score and made it 20-0 Bears, and the rout was on.
The Lions tried to get back in it. They moved the ball the rest of the quarter, but could not score touchdowns. Instead they had 2 field goals.
To start the 2nd half, the Bears defense roared. Again, the Lions had turnovers on their first 2 possessions. Major Wright intercepted Stafford’s pass and took it 24 yards for a touchdown. Minutes later, Charles Tillman picked off another Stafford pass and took it 44 yards for another score making it 34-6. The Bears defense was not finished, however. Tim Jennings got the Bears 3rd interception in the 4th quarter, and Corey Graham got the 4th and final interception of Stafford later in the quarter.
The four interceptions matched Stafford’s season total going into the game. He was also sacked twice and hounded and harassed all game long.
Brian Urlacher, a longtime leader for the Bears defense, enjoyed what they showed. “I don’t think you’re gonna lose too many games playing like that on defense,” he said. “As dominant since I’ve been around.”
With the blowout, things got chippy between the two teams. Nick Fairley was flagged for roughing Cutler. He hit Cutler late then slammed him on the turf. When the Bears were on defense, Lance Briggs was called for roughing Calvin Johnson. After Stafford’s interception, he went after DJ Moore and slammed him on the ground. Moore retaliated and got ejected from the game after multiple players got involved in the fight.
Thankfully nothing too serious happened before the end of the game. I am sure, however, that the Commissioner will be making a few phone calls to each team, and several players will have lighter pockets.
This was a very important game for the Bears and they played like it. Coach Lovie Smith admitted the importance of the game. “We had a lot riding on this game,” he said. “We just couldn’t afford another loss.”
With the great special teams and defense play, Cutler admitted he did not have to work too hard. “Didn’t have to do a whole lot, just hand it off and throw a few passes early on,” he said. “We weren’t put In the position where we had to do a whole lot.”
The Bears still have to do a lot to secure a playoff spot this season. Their schedule is rather favorable down the stretch, however. In a quirk, they play the entire AFC West division over the next 4 weeks. First up are the San Diego Chargers, who are reeling right now. The Bears are hoping to continue their struggles. Right now, though, they are savoring the taste of Lion meat.