Bears vs. Lions: Breaking Down Chicago's 40-32 Loss to Detroit
Chicago took a 10-6 lead in the second quarter, but Detroit scored 24 consecutive points to take a 30-13 lead into the break.
Detroit extended its lead to as many as 24 points in the second half before settling for a 40-32 win.
Let's take a quick look at what factors contributed to the Bears' first loss of the season.
Inability to Stop the Run
Although Chicago's front four had struggled to generate a formidable pass rush through the first three weeks of the season, the run defense was pretty solid allowing just one 100-yard rusher.
Against the Lions, however, that would not be the case as Reggie Bush shredded the Bears defense for 139 yards (112 in the first half) on 18 carries to go along with a touchdown.
Per ESPN, Bush had this to say about Detroit's success with the ground game, "We felt like we could dominate the line of scrimmage in this game, especially after they lost a key player to injury."
Whether it was a case of Bush making defenders miss or the Bears feeling the absence Henry Melton, he was definitely the best tailback on the field in this contest.
Too Many Turnovers
Usually we are discussing how often the Bears force their opponents into committing turnovers, and rightfully so because they led the league in takeaways (11) coming into this game, per Josh Katzenstein of The Detroit News.
Unfortunately, in this matchup, Chicago was the team that failed to take care of the football.
Jay Cutler threw three interceptions and had one fumble that was returned for a touchdown. This was a huge factor because he had thrown a total of just three picks prior to this outing.
So although Cutler recorded his highest number of passing yards in a game this season with 317 to go along with two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter, too many turnovers and bad decisions with the football were too much for Chicago to overcome.
Lions Pass Rush
Earlier this week Ndamukong Suh made headlines when he issued the following statement after being informed of the reason Chicago selected Kyle Long in the draft, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press:
We'll see how well he is prepared to block me when we play on Sunday. That's their opinion, that's their choice, that's their draft. That's not anything of my concern. I just look forward to and digest whoever I have in front of me.
While Suh didn't literally digest the Bears linemen, he did make an impact on the game with two sacks and two tackles for losses. He was also credited with two quarterback hits and was one of multiple players to put a hit on Cutler during the course of the game.
Unlike the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3, the Lions were able to successfully pressure Cutler into some bad throws, which resulted in additional scoring opportunities for the home team.
The bad news is the Bears lost a game to a divisional opponent. The good news is the team continued to fight until the end and turned a blowout into a close game in the final moments.
While the final score was closer than the game indicated, make no mistake, there are no moral victories in sports, and I'm certain that Marc Trestman will emphasize this point to his players over the next few days.
Next week, Chicago will return home to face the New Orleans Saints and although they are a team that can put up points in bunches, I expect the Bears to make the necessary adjustments and get back on the winning track.
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