Monday Night Football was back in Detroit for the first time in a decade, and the Lions delivered.
Jahvid Best and Calvin Johnson turned in big games for Detroit, as the Lions beat the Bears 24-13 to run their record to 5-0 — their best start since 1956.
Best had his first career 100-yard rushing game, finishing with 163 on the ground, including an 88-yard touchdown for the longest run in Lions franchise history. And after an ugly first quarter of football from both teams, Johnson got the game’s scoring started in the first minute of the second quarter with a splendid 73-yard touchdown catch, becoming the first player in NFL history to have nine receiving touchdowns in his team’s first five games.
For the Bears, Jay Cutler and Matt Forte both turned in solid games despite playing behind an offensive line that struggled with the Lions’ front four all night. But Cutler and Forte aren’t going to be able to win games all by themselves: The Bears absolutely have to get better up front.
And even if the Bears do get better up front, it may be too late: At 2-3 they’re now three games behind both the Lions and the Packers and have already lost to both. It’s going to be just about impossible for the Bears to repeat as champions of the NFC North.
Monday night’s game was sloppy, full of penalties and not particularly well played. But Detroit fans won’t mind. It’s mid-October, and the Lions are undefeated.