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Chicago at Detroit

Cutler has another great week as Bears beat Lions

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

DETROIT -- The Chicago Bears were at their best early and late.

Chicago doomed a promising season, though, by losing eight of 10 games in between.

More Bears-Lions links

Postgame reports: Bears | Lions

Fan runs on field, causes ball spot confusion

Jay Cutler matched a career high for a second straight week with four touchdown passes, leading the Bears to a 37-23 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

"It just shows that we can play good football," Cutler said.

It might not be enough to save Lovie Smith's job.

The Bears (7-9) failed to make the playoffs for the third consecutive season after reaching the Super Bowl under Smith.

"Every year changes happen, we realize that's a part of it," Smith said. "We're enjoying this right now."

When Chicago hit rock bottom this season two weeks ago against the Baltimore Ravens and fell to 5-9, general manager Jerry Angelo shot down a report indicating Smith would be back for a seventh season.

The Bears owe Smith $11 million for the next two seasons and Angelo insisted money won't affect the decision.

"All the speculation about change is going to come and we know that," tight end Desmond Clark said. "If it does, we'll deal with it. But I will say, we have great coaches."

Jim Schwartz will be back for a second season to sort through the mess he inherited in Detroit.

"This isn't about coaching," kicker Jason Hanson said. "We went 0-16 with one coach and 2-14 with another coach, and that's unacceptable."

Detroit set a league record with 30 losses over two seasons.

The Lions gave up 517 points in 2008, the second most in a season, and allowed 494 this year, ranking fourth worst, according to STATS.

Detroit has won just three games since midway through the 2007 season in what has been the worst 40-game stretch since the Dayton Triangles were slightly less successful during the 1920s, according to STATS.

The Lions' 33-111 record since 2001 -- when ex-general manager Matt Millen turned a lackluster franchise into a laughingstock -- is the poorest nine-season stretch by an NFL team since World War II.

"I'm sick of losing," said linebacker Ernie Sims, who has endured much of it during his four-year career.

The Lions had a shot to beat the Bears, but they simply couldn't stop Cutler.

"We had a lot of chances to do good things, and we continued to make mistakes that cost us," Schwartz said.

Cutler threw a 1-yard pass to a wide-open Clark to give Chicago a 27-20 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Daunte Culpepper overthrew Calvin on the ensuing drive and Detroit settled for a field goal and a four-point deficit.

Chicago then sealed the victory with Cutler's second TD pass to Devin Aromashodu, who scored the game-winning TD on Monday night against Minnesota.

Cutler was 22 of 36 for 276 yards and didn't throw an interception against Detroit for the second time this season and for the fourth game this season.

His arrival in the offseason trade with Denver generated hope for success, but his NFL-high 26 interceptions led to a lackluster season for Chicago.

"We've got to get that other number down," Cutler said. "It's the bottom line."

Indeed.

Cutler had 16 TDs and just three interceptions in Chicago's seven wins. In its nine losses, he had 11 TDs and 23 interceptions.

Matt Forte ran for 100 yards for just the second time this season, and not coincidentally, both games were against the lowly Lions.

Greg Olsen had five receptions for a career-high 94 yards, breaking his previous mark that was set against Detroit last season, and his TD catch put Chicago ahead with 11 seconds left in the first half.

Culpepper, perhaps auditioning for a job elsewhere next season, was 23 of 34 for 262 yards with two scores and an interception in what was perhaps his best performance of a disappointing season as Matthew Stafford's backup.

Johnson had six catches for 86 yards and a score that tied the game 20-all early in the first quarter.

The Lions will have the No. 2 pick overall in the NFL draft because they finished ahead of only St. Louis, who avoided joining Detroit's dubious distinction with a win in the Motor City this season.

Notes

  • Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner said he expects to be back next season.
  • A fan ran onto the field in the first quarter, made hand gestures toward an official, ran the length of the field and went down in the end zone before being escorted off the field.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Sun. Jan. 3Final
Chicago
(7-9)
31071737
Detroit
(2-14)
3731023
BearsLions
Pass: J. Cutler (22-36, 276) D. Culpepper (23-34, 262)
Rush: M. Forte (16-101) M. Morris (16-65)
Rec: G. Olsen (5-94) C. Johnson (6-86)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
FGRobbie Gould 44 Yd, 9:49. Drive: 11 plays, 54 yards in 5:11.
FGJason Hanson 42 Yd, 1:01. Drive: 6 plays, 24 yards in 3:06.
2ND QUARTER
FGRobbie Gould 28 Yd, 12:59. Drive: 8 plays, 44 yards in 3:02.
TDBryant Johnson, 12 Yd pass from Daunte Culpepper (Jason Hanson kick is good), 2:59. Drive: 7 plays, 42 yards in 3:31.
TDGreg Olsen, 7 Yd pass from Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould kick is good), 0:11. Drive: 10 plays, 76 yards in 2:48.
3RD QUARTER
TDDevin Aromashodu, 9 Yd pass from Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould kick is good), 10:05. Drive: 7 plays, 39 yards in 2:53.
FGJason Hanson 48 Yd, 1:50. Drive: 8 plays, 42 yards in 4:11.
4TH QUARTER
TDCalvin Johnson, 5 Yd pass from Daunte Culpepper (Jason Hanson kick is good), 9:37. Drive: 8 plays, 58 yards in 5:11.
TDDesmond Clark, 1 Yd pass from Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould kick is good), 7:20. Drive: 6 plays, 87 yards in 2:17.
FGJason Hanson 32 Yd, 4:38. Drive: 8 plays, 59 yards in 2:42.
TDDevin Aromashodu, 12 Yd pass from Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould kick is good), 2:57. Drive: 6 plays, 85 yards in 1:41.
FGRobbie Gould 34 Yd, 1:09. Drive: 4 plays, 8 yards in 1:40.
Players of the Game

D. Culpepper
Att 34
Comp 23
Yds 262
TD 2
Chicago

J. Cutler
Att 36
Comp 22
Yds 276
TD 4
 
Chicago
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
J. Cutler22/3627640
RushingATTYDSTDLG
M. Forte16101053
K. Bell1144011
J. Cutler1505
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
G. Olsen594134
D. Hester375048
D. Aromashodu546212
E. Bennett327017
M. Forte323012
D. Clark2716
J. McKie1404
Detroit
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
D. Culpepper23/3426221
RushingATTYDSTDLG
M. Morris1665016
A. Brown321013
D. Culpepper4905
C. Johnson1404
K. Pearson1101
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
C. Johnson686123
B. Johnson442112
M. Morris541011
J. Felton237024
W. Heller230017
A. Brown319017
D. Northcutt1707
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
TEN 17 Final
SEA 13
WAS 20 Final
SD 23
BAL 21 Final
OAK 13
KC 44 Final
DEN 24
GB 33 Final
ARI 7
ATL 20 Final
TB 10
SF 28 Final
STL 6
CIN 0 Final
NYJ 37
NYG 7 Final
MIN 44
PIT 30 Final
MIA 24
NE 27 Final
HOU 34
PHI 0 Final
DAL 24
JAC 17 Final
CLE 23
NO 10 Final
CAR 23
IND 7 Final
BUF 30