Bears serve Lions harsh reality check

Posted Nov. 14, 2011 @ 10:58 a.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

There are statement wins, and then there is making an opponent look like it had no business showing up. Yes, much of the harm done to the Lions in Week 10 was self-inflicted, but the Bears made Detroit pay for every mistake and never relented on their way to a blowout victory.

It was the Bears' first chance to beat a team that they had lost to back in Week Five, and if there was any lingering doubt about the direction they were headed in before kickoff on Sunday, there was none shortly after it.

Chicago marched out to a 20-0 lead and didn't stop to enjoy it until time ran out, giving Detroit its worst beating of the season, 37-13.

The Bears won the turnover battle, taking the ball away from the Lions six times — two of Matthew Stafford's four interceptions were returned for touchdowns. Stafford, who was playing with a broken index finger on his throwing hand, had thrown only four picks all season prior to Sunday.

Devin Hester, who was playing with strep throat, had an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter, when the game wasn't a complete blowout.

Anthony Adams, the nose tackle who was a healthy scratch in Week Nine, made his first sack of the season.

"It was just one of those games where everything seemed to click," Adams said.

Calvin Johnson, who has a league-high 11 touchdowns, was targeted 19 times but only made seven catches and didn't score a TD, thanks in large part to the airtight coverage of Charles Tillman.

When Lance Briggs was flagged for unnecessary roughness early in the fourth quarter on a hit against Johnson that looked pretty clean, it only fired up his teammates even more.

"You see me?" Adams asked, looking back on that play. "I almost hit Briggs. I almost got a penalty for hitting Briggs. Great hit, man. I was ready to play after that."

The Lions were scoring nearly 30 points per game heading into Week 10 and all they could muster was two field goals and a garbage-time touchdown.

Back in Week Five, the Bears fell to 2-3 in a 24-13 loss to the Lions on a Monday night in Ford Field. The Bears looked like they didn't belong on the same field as the Lions. Detroit shredded Chicago's defense, scoring touchdowns on plays of 88 (on the ground) and 73 yards (through the air). It was dubbed the Lions' breakthrough game.

Momentum has swung in the opposite direction since, however, and the Lions look like the outsiders.

The Bears haven't lost since that Monday-nighter, and the Lions have dropped three of their last four. Both teams are 6-3 and in the lead for the two wild-card spots in the NFC, but the Lions face even tougher tests in the coming weeks.

Up next, the Bears have four consecutive games against teams from the AFC West — where every team has given up more points than it has scored and only one team has a record above .500. The Lions, on the other hand, will face arguably the two best teams in the NFC — the Packers and Saints — in consecutive weeks after a date with the Panthers in Week 11.

Both teams have difficult work ahead, but only one appeared ready to meet the challenge on Sunday.