By RICKY LINDSAY, Staff Reporter
Coming off an exciting comeback win, the Detroit Lions traveled to Chicago to play the Bears on Monday Night Football. The longtime rivalry reached a new level on national television, as it was meeting 165 between both teams.
The Lions continued to put their main focus on the passing game. Quarterback Matthew Stafford had 28 completions on 46 attempts for 261 yards. With seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Stafford threw a his lone touchdown pass to Ryan Broyles, the only points of the game for the Lions.
Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler struggled under the Lions’ heavy pressure, completing 16 passes on 31 attempts with a touchdown. Cutler played throughout the second half with a rib injury after a vicious hit by Lions’ defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Both Cutler and Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith said the hit was clean.
The Lions’ running game wasn’t a factor Monday night. Mikel Leshoure rushed for 63 yards on 12 attempts. Stafford also rushed for 23 yards on three attempts.
The Bears focused on the running game throughout the night, turning to stars Matt Forte and Michael Bush. The duo combined for 132 yards on 28 carries.
Lions’ receiver Broyles had three receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut. Broyles took pressure off of Calvin Johnson, who struggled against the Bears, managing three receptions for a mere 34 yards.
Bears’ receiver Brandon Marshall had a big game through the air. Cutler connected to Marshall for 81 yards on six receptions, and a touchdown.
The Lions outplayed the Bears stat wise, but were unable to win the primetime matchup, as the Bears cruised to a 13-7 victory. With the win, Bears’ head coach Lovie Smith increases his record to 9-2 in Monday Night Football games.
With the loss, the Lions now drop to 2-4 on the year, with many questions facing the team moving forward. Stafford, a huge part of the Lions’ offense, seems to have regressed after his breakout, 2011 season. The Lions’ also have to find a new number two receiver after losing Nate Burleson for the remainder of the season to a broken leg.
The Lions return to action Sunday, as they return to Detroit to face the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are 4-3 on the year, and may prove to be a tough matchup for the Lions, both offensively and defensively. The game can be seen on FOX at 1:00 PM.