The Lions (4-7) and Bears (5-6) are both free-falling in the standings. The Lions have lost two straight, and fired coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn after the Thanksgiving Day blowout loss to Houston.
Now, Lions interim coach Darrell Bevell gets his first shot as an NFL head coach and is geeked about it. He’s without starters D’Andre Swift, Kenny Golladay and Jeff Okudah.
The Bears have lost five in a row to drop a game behind in the NFC playoff standings, and are giving fourth-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky a second consecutive start. He has inexplicably owned the Lions the past 2½ seasons, starting and winning all four games, throwing for 277 yards per game with 12 touchdowns and one interception.
Free Press sports writer Carlos Monarrez recaps each drive and big play during the game. Join the discussion in the comment section of this story.
3:46 p.m.: Griffen sacks Trubisky to force a three-and-out. After a punt, the Lions still take over from their 4 with 4:33 left.
3:40 p.m.: The Lions’ offense returns the favor by going three and out and punting to the Bears’ 45, where they will take over with 6:38 left. Stafford completed a 5-yard pass to Jones but couldn’t connect with Hockenson on second down and threw a deep pass incomplete to Jones on third down. A little surprising the Lions didn’t go for it on fourth down with time ticking down.
3:35 p.m.: The Lions’ defense forced a three-and-out with a blitz on third-and-4 that led to an incomplete pass. They were aided by a holding call on lineman Charles Leno that forced the Bears into second-and-11. After a punt and fair catch, the Lions will start from their 8 with 7:22 left in the fourth quarter.
3:28 p.m.: Stafford was picked off by defensive tackle Bilal Nichols while he was throwing sidearm to James. The Bears will take over at the Detroit 46 with 9:22 left in the fourth quarter. The Lions avoided a three-and-out when Amendola motioned to his left and revealed the Bears to be playing in zone and Stafford hit him wide open for a 23-yard gain to the Chicago 49.
3:22 p.m.: The Bears took a 30-20 lead on Trubisky’s pass to Kmet with 11:23 left in the fourth quarter. The Bears wiggled out of trouble on third-and-6 when Everson Griffen jumped offside on a hard count and was penalized for a neutral zone infraction. That allowed Trubisky to run for an easy first down on third-and-1. The defense rebounded on the next play with Jamie Collins’ tackle of Montgomery for a 1-yard loss. The Bears beat a blitz on third-and-7 when Trubisky hit Miller for a 21-yard gain to the Detroit 24. For a third time, the Bears converted on third down when he stretched his arm out over the first-down maker while being tackled by Tracy Walker for a 4-yard gain on third-and-4 to the 14.
3:05 p.m.: Jesse James’ 9-yard touchdown catch with 3:55 left in the third quarter cut the Bears lead to 23-20. On fourth-and-1, Stafford dove for a first down to the Chicago 34. Hockenson made two nice catches, including a catch while diving backward by the sideline for a 24-yard gain to the Chicago 10.
2:56 p.m.: After trading punts to start the second half, the Lions go back on offense with 9:02 left in the third quarter. They’ll start from their 34.
2:32 p.m.: The Lions couldn’t convert on two Hail Marys and head into halftime down, 23-13. On third-and-10, Stafford hit Jones up the middle for a 22-yard gain to the Chicago 47. Halftime stats are pretty even, but the Bears are crushing the Lions in rushing, 106 yards to 38. The Lions have a big advantage on third down, converting 71% to the Bears’ 33% — although the Bears have been so efficient they’ve only faced three third downs.
2:24 p.m.: David Montgomery scored on a 4-yard run to give the Bears a 23-13 lead with 36 seconds left in the second quarter. Montgomery broke several tackles as he took up the gut for his second touchdown of the game. The Bears went with a hurry-up offense and marched 68 yards on six plays in 1:46 and never faced a third down. The Bears’ big play came on Anthony Miller catching a low pass and then running for some extra yards on a 19-yard gain to the Detroit 18.
2:11 p.m.: The Lions cut the Bears’ lead to 16-13 on Stafford’s 49-yard bomb to Quintez Cephus with 2:22 left in the second quarter. Cephus beat Kyle Fuller deep down the right sideline and caught Stafford’s pass while falling into the end zone. The Lions avoided a three-and-out on the previous play when Stafford hit Jones up the middle or a 25-yard gain to the Bears’ 49. They went 72 yards on four plays in 1:58.
2:02 p.m.: The Lions’ defense forced its first punt when Jayron Kearse dove to break up…