The Lions rode into Chicago reeling after a brutal loss to Minnesota in which Matthew Stafford was sacked ten times. Still, they came with some optimism given their recent history of success against the Bears, and carrying the popular #WeOwnTheBears hashtag.
The Bears took that optimism and threw it directly into Detroit’s faces, punching them in the mouth right out of the gate and never looking back (okay, looking back a little) on the way to a 34-22 victory.
The stars of the game were two Bears who returned from injury (Allen Robinson and Khalil Mack), a rookie receiver who had his breakout game (Anthony Miller), a secondary that played tight, turnover-happy coverage all afternoon, and of course, Mitch Trubisky.
The Bears’ second-year signal caller led them to a 26-0 start, despite kicker Cody Parkey leaving eight points on the field with two missed field goals and two missed extra points. It looked like Detroit was going to make a comeback attempt and they did, bringing the game to within 12 in the fourth quarter (in large part thanks to an onside kick recovery after Miller batted the ball out of bounds for no reason at all) but the Bears picked up a couple first downs at the end to put the game away.
Trubisky played efficiently and showed the ability to push the ball down the field with ease, especially to Robinson and Miller. Robinson amounted for two scores: a 36-yard back-shoulder beauty down the right sideline and a 26-yarder over the middle where he burned tight man-to-man coverage and found nothing but open field in front of him.
Miller had the other one, catching a corner route before shaking off a tackle and galloping into the end zone. He had his first 100-yard day of his career with 122 through the air (second on the team to Robinson’s 133), contributing to 355 total from Trubisky.
The “Return of the Mack” came today and it certainly did not disappoint. Khalil Mack sacked Matthew Stafford twice including a play in which he brushed off a chipping tight end and proceeded to run over – literally – left tackle Taylor Decker on his way to Stafford. Leonard Floyd shined as well, contributing multiple pressures and picking up his first sack of the season.
Despite 22 points from Detroit, the secondary shone brightly all afternoon. Bryce Callahan picked off a pass, as did Prince Amukamara, and both of them plus fellow cornerback Kyle Fuller broke up multiple passes on the way to a Bears victory.
Chicago picked up their first division win in their last ten tries and they now move to 6-3 on the season, solidifying their lead in the NFC North. They face a tough test next week on Sunday Night Football when the Minnesota Vikings come to town, in a showdown eventually decide the division.
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