LIONS INSIDER

NOTEBOOK: Reggie's second half, rule changes, Stafford breaks his Chicago jinx and more

Posted Nov 10, 2013

Running back Reggie Bush had 89 second-half rushing yards to help spark the Lions offense

Reggie Bush had just 16 yards rushing in the first half against Chicago on Sunday.

The first time he touched the ball in the second half, however, he went 39 yards to set up the Lions second touchdown of the game. He never stopped producing from that point on.

Bush had 89 yards in the second half and finished with 105 yards on 14 carries (7.5 average).

"We didn’t really make too many adjustments," Bush said of the second half difference. "We talked about continuing to run the ball and continue to throw the ball down the field and get positive yards.

"We knew that eventually, at some point during the game, if we kept running the ball things would open up for us. I think that’s what you saw at the end of the game. We didn’t do anything different. We ran the ball like we normally do, and it just started to open up for us."

In a game that saw Matthew Stafford and the Lions passing attack finish nearly 100 yards below their season average of 317.9, Bush and the running game picked up the slack.

The Lions had 145 rushing yards total, which is closer to the balance they’ve been looking for.

RULE CHANGE

Willie Young is among the growing number of defensive players becoming frustrated with some of the rules regarding hits on quarterbacks.

"The players need to have a meeting after the season," said Young, who’s helmet-to-helmet hit drew a roughing the passer call on a failed two-point conversion attempt with 40 seconds left and gave the Bears another attempt to tie the game. "We need to get that stuff straight. We need to sit down and talk about that thing.

"You can see, man, guys are getting tagged left and right all across the league. It’s not just us. A lot of those hits come down to, even if that guy doesn’t get fined after it is reviewed, it’s still a free 15 (yards) and another opportunity to take the lead or go and tie the game.

"I think we’ve got to do something about that. It’s crazy right now. It’s just crazy leaving a lot of guys vulnerable."

McCown was scrambling trying to buy time on the play and Young hit him a little high as he released the ball.

"The quarterback was outside the pocket," head coach Jim Schwartz said. "He doesn’t keep the same sort of protection."

Young said he was going for the ball on the play

"I haven’t seen the film yet, but I felt like his helmet laid right here grazing the side of mine," Young said. "I spoke to him after the game and told him, 'You know it wasn’t even that type of ball game.'"

CHANGING LUCK

Stafford hadn’t had much success in the Windy City over his first four years in the league, until Sunday, that is.

Stafford won for the first time in Soldier Field, which had been kind of a house of horrors for him.

  • As a rookie in 2009, he injured a knee and had to leave the game early.
  • In 2010 Stafford injured his shoulder and didn't finish.
  • It was 2011 when he went to Chicago with an injured finger on his throwing hand and threw four interceptions in a blowout loss.
  • Stafford was plagued by drops and his teammates fumbled twice in the red zone in a close 13-7 loss on Monday night last year.

All that, though, seems like a distant memory now after Stafford threw three touchdowns and the Lions won in Chicago, 21-19, for the first time since 2007.

OFFENSIVE LINE PLAY

The Bears were short handed on defense, but credit the Lions offensive line for one of their best performances of the year.

Stafford wasn’t sacked or hit once in 35 dropbacks and the Lions racked up 145 rushing yards.

Meanwhile, Jay Cutler was sacked twice and hit 11 times and the Bears had just 38 yards rushing on 20 attempts.

EXTRA POINTS

  • Johnson had six catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns playing in his 100th career game. He now has 8,740 career receiving yards, the second-most in NFL history in a player’s first 100 games. He passed Randy Moss (8,680) and only trails Hall of Famer Lance Alworth (9,019).
  • Johnson (63) also passed Herman Moore (62) for the most receiving touchdowns in franchise history.
  • With his interception in the end zone to halt a Bears potential scoring drive near the end of the first half, linebacker DeAndre Levy became the fifth linebacker in team history to record five interceptions in a season and first since Jimmy Williams in 1989.

He joined Hall of Famer Alex Wojciechowicz (1944), Joe Schmidt (1958), Mike Lucci (1966, 1971) and Williams as the only linebackers to record five picks in a season.