LIONS INSIDER

TWENTYMAN: Lions defense helps spearhead 21-19 win in Chicago

Posted Nov 10, 2013

The victory, coupled with a Green Bay loss to Philadelphia, puts the Lions (6-3) in sole possession of first place in the NFC North and in the drivers seat to the playoffs

The Detroit Lions started the second half of their season much the same way they did the first half – with a victory over a division opponent.

It was Minnesota back at Ford Field in early September. Sunday, the Lions went on the road and won in Chicago, 21-19, for the first time since 2007. In doing so, Detroit swept the season series from the Bears, which they also did in 2007.

The victory, coupled with a Green Bay loss to Philadelphia, puts the Lions (6-3) in sole possession of first place in the NFC North and in the drivers seat to the playoffs.

The defense, particularly the front four, were the stars in this one. They held the Bears to just 38 rushing yards and were in Jay Cutler’s face all day long. They tallied 11 quarterback hits on the afternoon.

The unit stepped up in crucial situations time-after-time, which isn’t something they've done consistently all year.

Linebacker DeAndre Levy intercepted a Cutler pass in the Lions end zone after defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh topped it with just 24 seconds left in the first half.

They also held the Bears to a field goal in the fourth quarter after safety Chris Conte intercepted a Matthew Stafford pass and returned it inside the Lions 10-yard line.

After Stafford hit Calvin Johnson on a 14-yard touchdown pass that gave the Lions a 21-13 lead with 2:22 left, it was up to the defense to make a play again.

They showed their first real sign of weakness all day on the ensuing Bears drive, but again, came up with the big play when needed.

Chicago marched down and scored on a 15-yard pass form Josh McCown, who took over for starter Jay Cutler on the drive, with just 40 seconds left.

They got two cracks at the tying two-point conversion because of a Willie Young roughing-the-passer penalty on the first try, but defensive tackle Nick Fairley broke through the line and tackled Bears running back Matt Forte for a loss to preserve the win.

Joique Bell recovered the ensuing onside kick and the Lions start the second half of the season with a huge victory on the road.

Johnson scored two touchdowns in the game, giving him 63 receiving touchdowns in his career, which broke the franchise record set by Herman Moore (62).

Kris Durham scored the first Lions touchdown on a 5-yard pass from Stafford in the first quarter.

Stafford finished 18-of-35 for 219 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.

Cutler was 21-of-40 for 250 yards with a touchdown and an interception.