FIRST DOWN: RESILIENT GROUP
Quarterback Jared Goff stood behind the podium Sunday after Detroit's improbable 31-26 come-from-behind win and admitted it wasn't the best game he's played.
Goff's three interceptions helped the Chicago Bears build a double-digit lead with just over four minutes left in the game, but that's when Goff showed the kind of resiliency that's endeared him to his teammates and coaches over the last three years.
Goff led back-to-back 75 and 73-yard scoring drives in the final minutes to help improve the Lions to 8-2 for the first time since 1962.
"Here's what we know about Goff," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said after the game. "At the very least he's going to be mentally tough and physically tough. You can always count on that. You can bank on that. Today he showed his resiliency."
Goff found wide receiver Jameson Williams for a 32-yard touchdown with just under three minutes left in the game. Detroit's defense forced a three and out, giving the ball back to the offense. Goff orchestrated an 11-play, 75-yard drive ending with a one-yard David Montgomery touchdown run to give Detroit a 27-26 lead. The Lions extended the lead to 29-26 with a Goff to tight end Sam LaPorta two-point conversion.
"Not my best ball for about three and a half quarters but found a way to make it work there at the end," Goff said. "It's a sign of a good team. We're a resilient group. We're tough. We have a lot of courage and we don't back down from anything."
Goff didn't have his best game Sunday, but he played his best when it mattered the most. He showed his grit and resiliency and why he fits this team perfectly.
SECOND DOWN: MONTGOMERY FOR THE WIN
Needing to drive the football 73 yards for a go-ahead touchdown with just over two and a half minutes left in the game, the Detroit Lions turned to Goff and Montgomery.
Montgomery, who played his first four years in Chicago, racked up 45 yards on the final drive and scored the game winner against his former team.
"David is a stud," Goff said. "I know this game meant a little extra to him. He showed up. He really did. Him getting that touchdown at the end is kind of poetic. He played well all day."
Montgomery finished with 76 rushing yards on just 12 carries (6.3 average) with that game winner. He also caught two passes for 22 yards, both on the final scoring drive.
Montgomery has now rushed for eight touchdowns through his first seven games with Detroit, which marks the most rushing touchdowns a player has had through their first seven games with the team.
THIRD DOWN: DEFENSIVE STAND
Campbell walked over to the defense after the offense had taken a 29-26 lead and told them it doesn't get any better than this moment trying to keep Chicago out of field goal range with 29 seconds left to preserve the win.
Campbell always talks about embracing the critical moments and that's what his defense did Sunday to get the win.
"This is what you want to be in right now," Campbell said after the game of the conversation he had with the defense. "Game on the line and you have a chance to make the big stop, man, and win this game."
Second-year defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson got around right tackle Darnell Wright to sack and strip the ball from quarterback Justin Fields on the first play of the possession in what would eventually lead to a safety and the icing on the cake in Detroit's division win.
Detroit's defense gave up some plays Sunday but was also put in a bad spot four times because of Lions turnovers. When it mattered the most late in the game they stepped up and did their job holding Fields and the Bears to two field goals, a punt and a safety on their final four possessions.
FOURTH DOWN: 8-2 START
It's been over 60 years since the Detroit Lions have started a season 8-2. Not since 1962.
"That's a long time," Campbell said when asked about the statistic. "Look, it's something we talked about before the season. Not, 'Hey, let's get so many wins since the 1962 season,' but just let's make the most of this season. We have a chance to do something special and let's take it one week at a time."
As it currently stands the Lions have the second best record in the NFL behind only the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles, who play Kansas City on Monday Night Football. Detroit currently has a two-game lead in the NFC North over Minnesota with the Vikings playing in Denver on Sunday night.
The Lions finished 11-3 in 1962, a couple games behind the 13-1 Green Bay Packers, whose one loss was to Detroit. Detroit played in the third-place game that season.
The Lions are hoping for a much bigger finish this time around.