Bears-Lions score, takeaways: Detroit keeps playoff hopes alive, Trubisky struggles
The Lions cruised to a victory but will need to win out to have any chance of reaching the postseason
The Lions needed a win on Saturday, and while it was far from exciting, that's exactly what they did against an overmatched Bears outfit, 20-10. Matthew Stafford was an efficient 25-of-33 passing for 237 yards and two touchdowns and no turnovers, and Marvin Jones led all receivers with 85 yards on three catches. In case you're wondering, Theo Riddick led the Lions with 49 rushing yards, which keeps the team's streak of games without a 100-yard rusher since Thanksgiving Day 2013, when Reggie Bush ( ) ran for 117 yards against the Packers.
But there was no need for a running game against the Bears, whose offense sputtered early and never really was a threat to mount a comeback after trailing 20-3 early in the third quarter. As has been the case all season, Detroit's offense goes through Stafford, who passed Tony Romo in all-time passing yards in the win. Needing 197 yards coming into the game, he bested that by 40 and now has 34,223 yards for his career. Next up: 30th on the list, Steve DeBerg, who has 34,241. Stafford's two passing touchdowns also tied him with Matt Hasselbeck and Terry Bradshaw for No. 33 on the all-time list.
Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky showed glimpses of why he could be a special player -- he was 31 of 46, and many of those 31 completions were thrown accurately into tight windows, and on time. Unfortunately, he also had three interceptions, including one that came in the red zone and another that killed Chicago's final drive.
Detroit moves to 8-6 on the season and will need to keep winning to have a chance to pass the Seahawks and Falcons for the final wild-card spot. The Bears, meanwhile, fall to 4-10. It's the third straight season they'll lose at least 10 games -- all during the John Fox era (though it's worth noting that the team went 5-11 under Marc Trestman in 2014).
Here are six more takeaways from Saturday's win:
John Fox's days remain numbered
If you want to know why John Fox will almost certainly be fired at the end of the season, look no further than this decision with 12 minutes to go in the second quarter. The Bears, trailing 6-0 and with their playoff hopes long gone, faced a fourth-and-1 from their own 45-yard line. Fox didn't hesitate and promptly punted to Jamal Agnew, the NFL's most dangerous punt returner.
Good news: The Lions' ensuing drive started on their own 8-yard line. Bad news: Everything that followed, including an impressive Stafford-to-Jones completion on third-and-18 that set up a touchdown:
We get why safety Eddie Jackson wanted to make the interception, but: a. Marvin Jones is two inches taller and appears to have a better vertical, and b. it was third-and-18 from the Lions' 30. Just punch the ball to the turf and force the Lions to punt. It didn't happen, of course, and three plays later, the Lions were in the end zone:
Grade the celebration
One of the under-the-radar highlights of the 2017 season has been allowing players to celebrate touchdowns. On the score above, here's what the Lions came up with:
Riddick aside, not too shabby. And apparently the Lions have Keegan-Michael Key to thank:
The Bears were able to force a fumble at the end of the first half and turn it into three points. This led to a brief conversation by play-by-play man Mike Tirico and his partner Kurt Warner about how the Bears were now in position to do what the Patriots are so good at: score to end the first half, get the ball to start the second half, and score there too.
Well, the Bears got the ball after the break and two plays in this happened:
And because these are the John Fox-coached Bears, the Lions scored a touchdown nine plays later to expand the lead to 20-3. If we can say anything about Fox, it's that no one will ever accuse him of being Bill Belichick.
Huge win, ugly uniforms
Just for the record, we really liked the Lions' gray-on-gray Color Rush uniforms. According to Twitter, we were in the minority.
No sad trombonesky for Trubisky
Mitchell Trubisky looks like he could be a legit franchise quarterback. And the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft is coming off his best game of the season. He went 25 of 32 for 271 yards, a touchdown and no turnovers as the Bears dismantled the Bengals, 33-7. That was the peak.
And while Saturday's effort against the Lions probably doesn't qualify as a valley, Trubisky wasn't at his best. When it was over, he was 31 of 46 for 314 yards with a touchdown and the aforementioned interception -- and two more, including this one, in the end zone early in the fourth quarter:
Meredith suffered a serious knee injury in the preseason and was placed on injured reserve. Coming into Saturday, Kendall Wright was the team's leading receiver (43 catches, 477 yards, one touchdown). No. 2 on the list? Rookie running back Tarik Cohen (41-311-1). Then it's tight end Zach Miller (20-236-2), who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 8.
That was 2013. Worth noting: In addition to Meredith, the Bears and Trubisky are without 2016 first-rounder Kevin White, the wide receiver who is on injured reserve and has just 21 receptions over two seasons.
Here's your good news, Bears fans
In addition to Trubisky, Cohen and Jordan Howard, who are all critical pieces to any Bears' offensive success, defensive ilneman Akiem Hicks has proven to be one of Chicago's best players on the other side of the ball:
The Lions' playoff hopes are still alive. Now 8-6, they remain the No. 8 seed, two spots out of the final wild-card berth (currently occupied by the 8-5 Falcons). Detroit needs to win its final two regular-season games and get some help from the two teams in front of them: Atlanta and Seattle. Next up: The Lions are in Cincinnati and then return home to face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
According to FiveThirtyEight.com, the Lions currently have a 23 percent chance to make the postseason. Beat the Bengals and it improves to 37 percent. Beat the Packers and it's 57 percent.
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