The Lions are back on Monday Night Football.
It’s been a little over a year since the team has been featured on the NFL’s biggest regular season television broadcast, a 24-13 win over the Bears at Ford Field on Oct. 10, 2011. Tonight, the opponent is the same, but the location has changed. Soldier Field in Chicago will host this game, a place the Lions have not won at since 2007.
The Lions (2-3) are looking to build off the momentum of their 26-23 overtime win at Philadelphia last week. In that game, the Lions were down 10 points in the fourth quarter but rallied to tie and then win the game in overtime. The biggest reason they were able to do that was the pressure but on Philadelphia QB Michael Vick by the defensive line. A repeat performance will be needed for the Lions to beat the Bears.
Chicago is coming off its bye week but are 4-1 and last defeated Jacksonville 41-3 on Oct. 7. The Bears have won their four games by nearly 23 points per game with their only loss a 23-10 decision to Green Bay in Week 2.
Of course, the Lions are lead offensively by QB Matthew Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson, both of whom will be big factors in the game. In addition, we’ll see if S Louis Delmas really has had a big impact on the Lions defense, as it seemed against the Eagles last week.
For the Bears, QB Jay Cutler and RB Matt Forte lead the offense and could give the Lions fits.
Follow us throughout tonight’s game for the latest updates from Monday Night Football.
Live Updates EndedPlease read below for an archived view of this event.
Four turnovers, three in the red zone. A six-point loss.
The Lions fell 13-7 to the Bears on Monday at Soldier Field in Chicago. Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell both fumbled in the red zone in the first half and Matthew Stafford threw a fourth quarter interception there as well.
The game was there to be had for the Lions, who gave up just three second half points. The defense did its job but the offense failed miserably, not scoring until the final minute.
The Lions fall to 2-4 and will need to do something big to win the NFC North. The Bears improve to 5-1 now.
The Lions still have some life. Not much, but some.
Ryan Broyles caught his first career touchdown, a 12-yard pass from Matthew Stafford, to get the Lions on the board with 30 seconds remaining.
After the interception, the Bears used their possession to make the Lions use their timeouts, running the ball up the middle three times. The Lions got the ball back after a punt and were at midfield at the two minute warning.
Stafford, one play after a big sack, had to run for his life again but was able to sidearm a throw to Titus Young for 20 yards and a first down. He found Young again down to the 12 for 23 more yards with 41 seconds left. He found Broyles again for a 12-yard touchdown with 30 seconds left.
Another trip to the red zone, another turnover.
On fourth-and-goal at the 3-yard line, Matthew Stafford was given no time and was flushed out of the pocket. His pass was intercepted at the 2-yard line, ending another promising possession.
Pinned down deep in Bears territory, the Lions again looked to have some late-game magic. Catches by Titus Young and Calvin Johnson took the ball to midfield. Stafford forced a ball that was called an interception, but was overturned by video review.
A big completion down the middle to Ryan Broyles got the Lions to the 6-yard line with 3:30 to go. A dump-off to Joique Bell got them to the 3. Stafford was almost intercepted in the end zone on second down and threw incomplete to Johnson on third down.
The Lions have not put on a good show for Monday Night Football.
They continue to trail the Bears 13-0 in a game where there’s been more lowlights than highlights.
“It’s closing time for the Chicago Bears defense,” Jon Gruden said as the Lions took over with just less than nine minutes left to play. The Lions then went on to throw two incompletions and then a screen pass to Mikel Leshoure that was blown up for a 1-yard loss by Brian Urlacher. Not good.
The Bears have the ball in Lions territory following a punt looking to really close this one out with a score.
It’s the end of the third quarter and the Lions are painfully close to falling to 2-4 if they don’t shape up.
The Lions have fumbled six times tonight, losing three, including two in the red zone when it looked like they were on the brink of scoring. The other gave the Bears prime field position that they cashed in for a field goal.
The game has balanced out and the Lions are close to the Bears in many statistical categories, but the three turnovers have been the big difference.
Matthew Stafford is 14-of-25 for 105 yards and his No. 1 target, Calvin Johnson, has just one catch for six yards.
A lot is going to have to change for the Lions in the fourth quarter if they want to rally to win this game.
The Lions continue to shoot themselves in the foot in their “Monday Night Football” battle against the Bears.
After the Lions drove down to the 1-yard line, Joique Bell fumbled attempting to put the ball over the goal line and the Bears recovered yet again and will take over.
Nate Burleson left the game on the drive with an apparent knee injury. He went to the sidelines and was carted off. But rookie Ryan Broyles came in and, a few plays later, caught his first career pass for 16 yards, getting the Lions back in the red zone.
The Lions got inside the 5-yard line after a nice catch by Calvin Johnson for a first down on 3rd-and-3. They went to Johnson the next two plays, drawing a penalty and then an incomplete pass before Bell’s fumble.
The Lions defense did its job to open the second half. They got the Bears to go three-and-out.
Then the 2012 Lions special teams blooper reel got another low-light when Stefan Logan completely muffed the punt and the Bears recovered.
A few plays later, the Bears got inside the 5-yard line, but newcomer Alphonso Smith broke up a pass on third down and the Bears had to settle for a 21-yard field goal by Robbie Gould to take a 13-0 lead.
It’s time for the Lions offense to step up and do something. The defense, for the most part, has done its job. Now the offense has to get rolling.
The Lions offense showed signs of life for the first time all night, driving inside the Bears 20-yard line, but a fumble by Mikel Leshoure ended the drive, giving the Bears the ball with 1:22 remaining in the first half.
The play was upheld after a booth review and the Bears continue to lead the Lions 10-0 on “Monday Night Football.”
“The Lions offense has been unwatchable,” ESPN play-by-play man Mike Tirico said as the Lions opened their drive with about four minutes left in the first half. The Lions promptly took two plays to get a first down, driving into the red zone nicely before Leshoure’s fumble.
A few notes from the last couple minutes …
TE Brandon Pettigrew continues to be a concern. He fumbled out of bounds after catching a pass and then did the same thing one play later. He’s not dropping passes with as much frequency, but two straight fumbles is not very good.
DT Ndamukong Suh crushed Jay Cutler, sacking him on a first-down play. Cutler went down and was slow to get up, but got up and jogged off the field. Backup Jason Campbell came in for one play before Cutler returned. He played one play, but ended up going to the locker room right after the Leshoure fumble.
The Lions defense continues to bend but not break.
After a punt put the Bears at their own 1-yard line and a near safety on the first play, they managed to claw their way out of the terrible field position and drive down the field into Lions territory. But a sack on third down led to a 48-yard field goal chance by Robbie Gould, but the kick was blocked by Lawrence Jackson, who pushed through the Bears line and got his arm up to block it.
The Lions still trail 10-0 midway through the second quarter.
Now Matthew Stafford and company head back on offense, looking to do something, anything. But after a nice play on first down, gaining nine yards, a run lost yards and a third down pass was dropped by Nate Burleson, forcing another punt.
The Lions are 0-for-6 on third down. The Bears are 4-for-8, which is one of a few reasons why they lead this game.
The first quarter is not one that’s going to go in the Lions’ highlight reel.
On their most recent drive, Matthew Stafford completed a pass to Brandon Pettigrew for nine yards on the first play. But the Lions could not get one yard for a first down, including a decision to throw the ball on third down. It resulted in another punt and the Bears have the ball up 10-0 after the first quarter.
Outside of a few big Jay Cutler scrambles and one big Matt Forte run, the Lions defense hasn’t played poorly. The offense, though, looks like something we saw in Ann Arbor on Saturday. Not good.
The Lions got one first down in the quarter (the Bears had six) and were outgained 102-30.
Maybe the Lions should just pretend it’s the fourth quarter and then things will amp up a little bit.
This has been a horrible start by the Lions.
The offense is completely off. The offensive line can’t block anyone. The defense is letting Jay Cutler run all over them (that’s right, the quarterback, who has two carries for 35 yards). Then things weren’t helped any when Corey Williams was called for a personal foul that moved the ball forward more.
The drive sputtered, though, and the Bears had to settle for a 39-yard field goal by Robbie Gould to make it 10-0 with 1:23 left in the first quarter at Soldier Field.
Now the hapless Lions go back on offense, which has produced 21 yards on three drives, 22 of which has been on the ground. That’s right, the Lions have minus-1 passing yards so far.
After another unimpressive drive by the offense, the Lions defense bent a bit but didn’t let the Bears cross midfield, forcing a punt in the process.
The Bears lead 7-0.
The Lions really appear to not want to let Matt Forte hurt them catching the ball out of the backfield. On the play before the punt, Stephen Tulloch was right on Forte as Jay Cutler dumped it off to him in the middle.
After the Lions went three-and-out to start the game, mainly because of a dropped pass by Calvin Johnson, the Bears shook off a rough first few plays and went down the field quickly, capped by a 7-yard touchdown pass from Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall, who was wide open.
The extra point made it 7-0.
The two big plays on the drive were an 11-yard scramble for a first down by Cutler on third down and then a 39-yard run by Matt Forte to get the Bears deep into Lions territory.
Not exactly the start the Lions were looking for from either side of the ball.
Tonight’s “Monday Night Football” game has begun and the Lions will receive on a 63 degree night in Chicago.
The Lions won the toss and took the ball. Robbie Gould’s opening kick was downed nine yards deep into the end zone. The team came out passing on first down and Matthew Stafford’s pass to Calvin Johnson underneath was broken up by Charles Tillman.
It’s tough to really think about Week 7 games as being extra critical and super important, but if there ever was a need-to-win game for the Lions, tonight’s Monday Night Football tilt with the Bears is it.
The two teams meet at 8:30 p.m. on Ch. 7 and ESPN.
Here’s why this is a big game for the Lions: Right now, the team is 2-3, stuck in last place in the NFC North and carrying an 0-1 record in the division after a loss to the Vikings. A loss here to the Bears would drop the Lions to 2-4 (0-2 in the North) and force them to go, at worst, 7-3 the rest of the way in order to make the playoffs. And if you look at the Lions schedule (two games with Green Bay, at Minnesota, Houston, etc.) that’s probably asking a lot.
That’s what makes this game so huge. It’s not just against a division rival on the game’s biggest regular season stage, but it could really bolster or really break the team’s playoff hopes.
Of course, we’ve got you covered right here at The Detroit News for all your preview coverage. Here’s a few things to take a look at:
And from our own Josh Katzenstein at the scene at Soldier Field, here are the inactives tonight for the Lions:
Kellen Moore, Kevin Smith, Corey Hilliard, Jason Fox, Ronnell Lewis, Bill Bentley, Jacob Lacey.
He tells us Nick Fairley and Jonte Green will be starting for the Lions tonight.