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TIM AND MIKE: Week 13 observations

In the hunt: Interim head coach Darrell Bevell wanted the Lions to play loose, fast and like their hair was on fire. We saw some of that in their ability to wipe out a 10-point Bears' fourth-quarter lead. Now the Lions (5-7) have put themselves one game back from the final wild card spot in the NFC behind Minnesota (6-6) and Arizona (6-6). San Francisco (5-6) plays Buffalo Monday night.

"His first message to our team was, hey, guys, we're – whatever we were, two games back of Arizona with five to play; there's a lot of football left," quarterback Matthew Stafford said Sunday of Bevell's first message to the team last week. "We just gotta go out there and continue to play, continue to show up to work with a great attitude, be ready to work and have fun while we do it and go out there and turn it loose on Sundays." – Tim Twentyman

High points: Defensive end Romeo Okwara is having a career high in several areas. His sack that set up the game-winning touchdown was his seventh, leaving him a half sack short of his career high of 8.5, set in 2018. He also had a quarterback hit, giving him a career high of 15 for the season. Two forced fumbles are also a career high. – Mike O'Hara

Second-half defense: The Bears racked up 106 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns to build a halftime lead Sunday. Credit Cory Undlin and the Lions' defense for making the right adjustments at the half. Detroit's defense allowed just 34 rushing yards, no rushing touchdowns and just seven points in the second half. – Tim Twentyman

Marvin Jones Jr. rising: He is closing in on some personal milestones in his ninth NFL season and fifth with the Lions. Jones had eight catches for 116 yards and a TD Sunday. He needs two more catches for 400 for his career, and two more TDs for 50. He needs 63 receiving yards for 4,000 as a Lion. Jones also is durable. He played 64 of 68 offensive snaps, most of any Lions receiver. – Mike O'Hara

Big plays: Five different Lions pass catchers caught a pass of 20-plus yards Sunday. Two of Stafford's three touchdown passes were on balls that traveled at least 20-plus yards in the air. On passes in the 10-to-20-yard range, Stafford was 13-of-13 for 204 yards with a touchdown. Stafford's 9.57 average yards gained per pass attempt against Chicago was his highest in any game this season. The Lions did a great job pushing the ball down the field, and it resulted in them scoring at least 34 points in Chicago for the first time since 1983. – Tim Twentyman

Hockenson stats: T.J. Hockenson had seven catches for 84 yards, and it seemed like a routine day for the second-year tight end. That's a sign of how consistently good Hockenson has become. He is set up for a strong finish. – Mike O'Hara

Pro Football Focus grades: The top graded Lions players by PFF on offense Sunday were: Stafford, Hockenson and center Frank Ragnow. On defense it was: defensive tackle Nick Williams, linebacker Jahlani Tavai and safety Jayron Kearse. – Tim Twentyman

All in, in the air: On the Lions' 96-yard drive to a fourth-quarter TD that cut Chicago's lead to 30-27 all the yards came on Stafford's six pass completions. He finished off the drive with a 25-yard TD pass to Jones. – Mike O'Hara

Stepping in: Backup tackle Matt Nelson was pressed into playing 49 snaps after starting right tackle Tyrell Crosby injured an ankle. Nelson was in on 35 pass-blocking reps and allowed two hurries all game. Khalil Mack, who Nelson faced often Sunday, didn't record a statistic in the final game book. OL coach Hank Fraley has talked all year about how he likes the depth in that room. It showed Sunday. – Tim Twentyman

All in, on the ground: The drive to the game-winning TD, set up by Okwara's strip sack of Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky, covered only seven yards in two plays. Adrian Peterson had both – a two-yard run, followed by a five-yard run for the touchdown. – Mike O'Hara

National note: The Lions haven't been mentioned often this season on NBC's Sunday night games, but they got this from host Mike Tirico Sunday night "The Lions are down double digits. They never come back from double digits. Hold the phone ..." – Mike O'Hara

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