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(Sunday, January 3rd)
Final Score: Chicago 37, Detroit 23
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Jay Cutler threw four touchdown passes and the Chicago Bears ended the season on a high note with a 37-23 win over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
Cutler was 22-for-36 with 276 yards while Devin Aromashodu had five catches for 46 yards and two scores for the Bears (7-9), who won their final two games of the season. Greg Olsen had five catches for 94 yards and a score and Matt Forte finished the game with 101 yards on 16 carries.
"There were some disappointing things this season since we didn't have the season we wanted," said Chicago head coach Lovie Smith. "But we wanted to finish strong our last two games strong and put a better product on the field and we did put a better product on the field."
Daunte Culpepper was 23-for-34 with 262 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Calvin Johnson and Bryant Johnson each caught a score for the Lions (2-14), who dropped their final six games of the season.
"During the season is not about improving, that is what the offseason and training camp is about," said Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz. "During the season it's about winning games. We won two games, there is really nothing positive to point to that. We have to be able make plays to open things up for Calvin. He's a great player, but we have to do things around him to open things up for him."
Trailing by 10 points in the third, Detroit got a 48-yard field goal from Jason Hanson with 1:50 to play in the frame to make it a one-possession game.
Detroit forced Chicago to punt on its next touch and tied the contest with an eight-play, 58-yard drive that ended on a leaping five-yard catch by Calvin Johnson in the right corner of the end zone to make it a 20-20 game with 9:37 to play.
The Bears, though, answered on their next possession with a quick six-play drive as Cutler hit a wide open Desmond Clark in the end zone from a yard out for a 27-20 lead with 7:20 to play. The big play of the drive saw Cutler and Devin Hester hook up on a 48-yard catch-and-run.
The Lions came back and made it a four-point game on Hanson's 32-yard boot with 4:38 to play, but the Bears answered back and sealed the win on a 12-yard touchdown catch by Aromashodu with 2:49 to go.
Detroit fumbled the ensuing kickoff and a 34-yard field goal from Robbie Gould capped the scoring.
Chicago started the game with an 11-play march that covered 54 yards and was capped on a 44-yard field goal from Gould. The Lions put up three points of their own with 1:01 to play in the first when Hanson booted a 42-yarder between the uprights.
Chicago took a 6-3 lead just over two minutes into the second on Gould's second field goal of the day, this one a 28-yarder that finished a 44-yard, eight-play drive.
After an exchange of punts, Detroit started a drive at the Chicago 42 and used the short field to take the lead. The seven-play series finished on Culpepper's laser pass over the middle to Bryant Johnson for a 12-yard score and a 10-6 lead with 2:59 to play in the second.
The Bears, though, marched back down the field and took a 13-10 lead into the locker room as Cutler rifled a pass to Olsen for a seven-yard touchdown with 11 seconds left in the half.
Detroit's failed fake punt attempt to start the second half gave Chicago the ball at the Detroit 39-yard line. The short field helped Chicago take a 20-10 lead as Aromashodu caught a nine-yard pass in the end zone with 10:05 to play in the third.
In the first quarter, a fan ran onto the field and was quickly apprehended by security personnel...Cutler finished the season with 336 completions, setting a new Bears franchise record in surpassing Erik Kramer's 315 in 1995...The Bears have won eight of the past 10 games against the Lions...Detroit finished the season 2-6 at home while Chicago went 2-6 on the road...Maurice Morris had 65 yards on 16 carries for Detroit.
01/03 17:52:17 ET