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Bears use stingy defense to down Lions
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - An early touchdown and two field goals were all Chicago needed as a stingy defense shut down a potent Detroit offense in leading the Bears to a 13-7 win over the Lions at Soldier Field Monday night.
Brandon Marshall caught a touchdown pass from Jay Cutler on Chicago's opening drive, Robbie Gould added two field goals, and the defense caused three red- zone turnovers.
"Whenever you can end up with a plus-four on the turnover ratio and can rush the ball as well as you can, it speaks well for your game," said Chicago head coach Lovie Smith. "But they're a great team over there and they fought to the end, we were just able to do enough to hold them off."
Cutler finished the game a humble 16-of-31 for 150 yards and one touchdown along with three runs for 34 yards. He was hit hard by Ndamukong Suh and had his right shoulder driven into the ground in the second quarter. Cutler left for one snap and went to the locker room right before the half, but came back out for the second half and finished the game.
"Most people thought Jay would get up," Smith said of the injury, which turned out to be bruised ribs. "Unless it's a broken leg or something like that, he's going to get up. He is a tough guy. ... That was a gutsy effort by him. He was in some pain, but he fought through it."
Matt Forte had 22 carries for 96 yards while Marshall finished the game with six catches for 81 yards and the touchdown for the Bears (5-1), who were coming off their bye and have now won four straight.
Matthew Stafford went 28-for-46 with 261 yards, an interception and a late touchdown for the Lions (2-4), who were coming off an overtime win in Philadelphia last Sunday. Calvin Johnson had just three catches for 34 yards.
"They combined good coverage with pass rush all game long," said Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz. "We turn it over three times in the red zone, twice within the 5-yard line, and once on a punt, that's the tale of the game. You're not going to win that way."
Chicago began the second half with the ball and a 10-0 lead, but quickly had to punt. However, Stefan Logan, who had fumbled a punt earlier with the ball going out of bounds, muffed another punt and the Bears recovered at the Detroit 27.
The team moved down to the 3-yard line for a 1st-and-goal, but three straight incompletions led to a 21-yard field goal from Gould for a 13-0 lead with 11:20 left in the third.
Detroit then used a nice mix of run and pass to put together an impressive drive, but again came away empty. Facing a 1st-and-goal at the 1, Stafford tried to get the ball to Johnson at the right corner of the end zone, but Charles Tillman batted the ball away. Joique Bell then went for the leap over the pile, but fumbled the ball and Brian Urlacher came up with it.
The Bears ultimately had to punt, but so did the Lions after a quick possession and the Bears started the fourth quarter with the ball.
Chicago didn't get any points on the touch, but was able to kill off 6:13 of the clock before giving the ball back to the Lions.
Another three-and-out from Detroit saw the ball head back the other way, but the Bears did the same and the Lions had the ball at their own 12 with just over six minutes to play.
Yet again the Lions drove the field and got into the Chicago red zone. Facing a 1st-and-goal at the 6, Bell took a pass down to the 3-yard line, but the next two passes fell incomplete. On fourth down, Stafford rolled to his right and tried to force a pass to Ryan Broyles, but D.J. Moore came up with the interception.
Detroit burned its remaining timeouts to get the ball back before the two- minute warning and was finally able to get into the end zone on a 12-yard touchdown catch by Broyles, the first score of his career.
It came with just 30 seconds left, though, and the Lions were unable to come up with the ball on the onsides kick as the Bears took the victory.
Detroit went three-and-out on the opening possession of the game and the Bears offense went to work from its own 41.
Facing a 3rd-and-8, Cutler ran for the first down as he gained 11 yards. Two plays later, Forte busted a run for 39 yards down to the Detroit seven. The next play, Cutler hit Marshall for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead less than four minutes in.
Later in the first, the Bears started with the ball at midfield. A holding penalty pushed the ball back 10 yards, but Cutler scrambled for 24 yards, and an unnecessary roughness call on Corey Williams put the ball at the Detroit 21. The drive stalled there, though, and Gould hit a 39-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead with 1:23 to play in the opening quarter.
Chicago began another long drive in the second quarter and lined up for a 47- yard field goal attempt by Gould, but Lawrence Jackson blocked the kick and Detroit got the ball back at its 37 with 6:33 to play.
Following an exchange of punts, the Lions finally put together a drive and got into the Chicago red zone. On 1st-and-10, though, Mikel Leshoure fumbled the ball and the Bears recovered to keep the Lions off the board and take the 10- point lead into the break.
Chicago has won eight of the last nine games against Detroit and holds a 95-65-5 edge in the series ... Detroit hosts Seattle next week ... Chicago hosts Carolina ... Detroit wide receiver Nate Burleson left the game in the third quarter after his only catch of the game. Schwartz said that he suffered a broken leg and that he will be out for the year ... Leshoure had 12 carries for 63 yards while Titus Young led Detroit receivers with six catches for 81 yards .. Chicago controlled the ball for 34:35 ... Detroit had five sacks.
10/23 01:17:44 ET