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O'HARA'S MONDAY COUNTDOWN: Lions counter Bears with big plays to notch second straight division win

The Detroit Lions are learning on the run – and on the pass, the catch, the sack and anything else it takes to string together wins in the National Football League.

They haven't advanced to grad school yet, but what they've done in the last two weeks shows that they're applying on the field what they've learned under head coach Dan Campbell and his staff.

Sunday's 31-30 win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field gave the Lions their first road win and their first back to back wins over NFC North rivals under Campbell. Coming on the heels of last week's 15-9 win over the Packers, it also reversed the Lions' trend earlier in the season of not being able to win close games.

As Campbell said in his postgame interview session, there are some elementary lessons in what the Lions have done of late.

"You want to win in close games, you win in close games," he said. "That's two now. That's two games we've been in it and done what we needed to do. You learn from those things. You learn from losing, too -- what not to do.

"Look ... that's two. We'll be on to the Giants."

Next up for the Lions is Sunday's road game against the New York Giants.

This week's Monday Countdown looks at how the Lions remained resolute and countered with big plays when it looked like the Bears had the game under control. There's a look at how the offense took advantage of opportunities, and how the Lions made key plays against Bears quarterback Justin Fields.

There's also an observation from quarterback Jared Goff on what it feels like to win, takeaways on offense, defense and special teams, what's trending and the bottom line.

1. We start with the Lions not giving in: There were times when it looked like Bears quarterback Justin Fields was too much for the Lions to contend with. He seemed like he would counter whatever the Lions did to keep it close.

One week after setting the record with 178 yards rushing in a loss to the Dolphins, Fields had another big game against the Lions – 147 yards rushing and two TD passes.

He was the master of the moment. A little more than a minute after cornerback Jeff Okudah returned an interception 20 yards for a TD to make it 24-24, Fields sprinted 67 yards for a TD to restore Chicago's lead to 30-24 – with a missed extra point that proved vital.

"At the end of the day, we bottled him up enough and made him stay in there," Campbell said. "We did what we needed to do. We got hurt on a couple of plays.

"They (the defense) stayed true to it. They played the game plan the way we wanted, other than a couple plays he slipped out of there."

2. Comeback: Despite Fields' stats – and they were impressive – there was a rally coming from the Lions on both sides of the ball in a fourth quarter that was an emotional roller coaster.

D’Andre Swift's nine-yard dash around left end followed by Okudah's interception return made it 24-24. Pressure from the Lions' pass rush forced Fields to make a high, looping throw down the right sideline that Okudah was able to catch and streak to the end zone.

Fields struck three plays later with a 67-yard TD run that made it 30-24 with the missed extra point kick.

There was one more hurrah by the offense – a 91-yard drive that ended in Jamaal Williams' one-yard run, and Michael Badgley's extra point that closed out the scoring with 2:21 left.

3. Two for the defense: This is where the Lions faded when they needed a stop against the Eagles, Vikings and Seahawks to either protect a lead or give the offense a chance to mount a game-winning final possession.

But that was before last week's win over the Packers and Sunday against the Bears.

The defense stoned Aaron Rodgers on four straight plays from the 17-yard line.

Fields never got that close.

Fields was sacked by Julian Okwara on what proved to be the Bears' final possession.

A seven-yard run by Williams for a first down sealed the game.

Okudah sees some carryover value from the defense's experience of the last two games.

"That's something you can put in the bank," he said. "Going forward, there can't be any excuses of why we can't get it done."

4. Enjoy the ride: That's what Goff expected to do. It was one of the perks of winning. He had a solid game – 19 of 26 for 236 yards, one TD and no turnovers.

"It's fun to get a road win any time," he said. "It's one time when you wish the plane ride was longer."

5. Takeaways, offense:

  • Amon-Ra St. Brown: He was Goff's go-to receiver, and for good reason. He had 10 catches out of 11 targets for 119 yards. "He's our best pass catcher," Goff said.
  • Key catch: Wide receiver Tom Kennedy had one reception, but it was a big one – a 44-yard catch that set up Williams' one-yard run for the game-winning points.
  • Short stuff: Tight end Brock Wright's two-yard catch was the shortest of the day for the Lions, but it was their only touchdown catch. He was wide open on the play.

6. Takeaways, defense:

  • Stops: The Bears had five possessions in the fourth quarter. Four gained five yards or fewer.
  • Fields: He has rushed for 325 yards in the last two games – 147 vs. the Lions and 178 vs. the Dolphins. The Bears lost both games.
  • Tackles: Okudah usually gets a lot of tackles, but Sunday was an exception. He had one tackle, but two passes defended and an interception return for a touchdown.

7. Takeaways, special teams:

  • The point: Badgley didn't miss any kicks – a 25-yard field goal and four extra points. The extra points made a difference. Bears kicker Cairo Santos missed an extra point that would have resulted in a tie game.
  • Return: Kalif Raymond had 47 yards on three receptions, but no yards on three punts. Two were fair catches, and the other was a touchback.

8. Trending:

  • Up: Lions winning on the road. It's only one game, but it looks like there are more to come.
  • Down: Stopping Fields' running. Nobody does. Not just the Lions.
  • Even: St. Brown. He plays well week in, week out.

9. Bottom line: The Lions got a few breaks and made a few for themselves. It all added up to a 31-30 win. Nothing else matters.

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