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Lions beat Bears, take control of the NFC North

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears Getty Images

The Detroit Lions are well positioned to win their first division title in two decades.

Detroit, which last won the NFC North in 1993 when it was called the NFC Central, went to Chicago and won 21-19. Combined with the Packers’ loss to the Eagles’ today, that puts Detroit all alone in first place at 6-3, with both the Bears and Packers at 5-4. It’s the first season sweep for the Lions over the Bears since 2007.

But it wasn’t easy. It was a back-and-forth battle all day, and even late in the game, after Calvin Johnson scored his second touchdown to put the Lions ahead 21-13, and after Jay Cutler exited with an injury and was replaced by Josh McCown, the Bears kept fighting.

In fact, McCown was actually more effective than the hobbling Cutler, and he marched the Bears down the field for a touchdown that made the score 21-19. The Bears lined up for a two-point conversion and McCown threw incomplete, but Lions defensive end Willie Young was flagged for roughing the passer. That gave the Bears a second chance, but Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley burst through the line to tackle Matt Forte and stop the Bears’ second attempt. After that the Lions recovered the Bears’ onside kick, and the game was over.

Although Johnson’s numbers — six catches for 83 yards and those two touchdowns — look good, he missed several passes thrown his way and didn’t have a great game. Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, as he always does, played well against Megatron.

But Lions running back Reggie Bush had a big day, with 14 carries for 105 yards, and the Lions did a nice job of holding Bears running back Matt Forte to just 33 yards. This was a good performance for the Lions even on a day when their passing game wasn’t great. And it was a good sign that the Lions can make a run to the playoffs.

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69 Responses to “Lions beat Bears, take control of the NFC North”
  1. conner87 says: Nov 10, 2013 4:15 PM

    Good job sweeping the Bears. Good game Bears fans.

    Onto Pittsburgh next week. Go Lions.

  2. douglasgreenbriar says: Nov 10, 2013 4:16 PM

    The pack is whack.

  3. thepftpoet says: Nov 10, 2013 4:16 PM

    Top Starting QB’s in the NFC north:
    1. Matthew Stafford
    2. Jay Cutler
    3. Christian Ponder
    4. Matthew Staffords left toe
    5.
    6.
    7. Scott Tolzien

  4. Great Caesar's Ghost says: Nov 10, 2013 4:16 PM

    If we win the NFC North this will be one of the all time great Lions teams.

  5. staffordsyear says: Nov 10, 2013 4:17 PM

    1st place in the NFC NORTH!!!!!!!!!

  6. claymatthewshairplugs says: Nov 10, 2013 4:17 PM

    Trestman really needs to be questioned on his decisons. A hobbling Cutler was killing the Bears and Detroit dropped back in coverage the entire second half and Cutler couldn’t scramble. Why on Earth it took so long for him to put in McCown is simply stunning. and the 2pt conversion, the Bears were averaging less than 2 YPC and you run it? And cut Michael Bush for a guy who’s supposed to be a short yardage back the guy struggles to get half a yard. ESPN had a stat that Bush only got a first down 9% of the time he gets the ball. 107 RBs have a better stat than that. And Mel Tucker’s defense scheme is terrible, Stafford did everything short of having a picnic in the pocket today with that lack of pass rush. Where the hell is Peppers and McCllelin. And Corey Wotten sucks too.

  7. kingshockeyclub says: Nov 10, 2013 4:18 PM

    Sweeep !

  8. tutamus says: Nov 10, 2013 4:19 PM

    I love it… I hope they win the NFC north and win the Super Bowl so the hopeless and pathetic Vikings are the only team in the NFC North with out a title.

  9. ginop0981 says: Nov 10, 2013 4:19 PM

    Calvin might not had a great game but he did it a way with this nonsense the Bears defense (Tilman) shuts him down. Clutch touchdown coupled with another touchdown against my opinion the best DB or atleast the best defense at playin Calvin and we are on top of the NFC North. Just gotta finish now an injured Rodgers plus 2 victories over Chicago to not win the NFC north would be terrible and the Lions missing the playoffs would be unforgivable for this coaching staff

  10. angusosborne says: Nov 10, 2013 4:19 PM

    Game was pretty much a coin-flip all the way through.

  11. f1restarter says: Nov 10, 2013 4:20 PM

    This is good. Thanks to the Lions for throwing a wrench into the Bears’ attempt to make the playoffs.

  12. iowahbr says: Nov 10, 2013 4:20 PM

    Typical Cutler/Bears big game performance. Can’t blame the defense, can’t blame the refs can’t blame the weather. Please let him go elsewhere as it does not matter whether it was his groin or his gunsligning. No doubt he is tough player but a winner in tight games, no way.

    A second request: get Trestman back to Canada, both for not playing Josh earlier in the game and also for his 2nd 2 point play call.

    Another Bears building year wasted.

  13. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Nov 10, 2013 4:21 PM

    It was clear Cutler should have been pulled early in second half. This one goes on Trestman. McCown was put in one quarter too late.

    Congrats to Detroit on the sweep.

  14. contra74 says: Nov 10, 2013 4:22 PM

    Meanwhile in Green Bay…

  15. nfl4days says: Nov 10, 2013 4:23 PM

    bad 2pt conversion calls. Classic case of overthinking yourself. Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall have been catching fades all year and you call a roll out pass, then a shotgun run?

  16. 84smooninlambeaunevergetsold says: Nov 10, 2013 4:23 PM

    The roar has been restored! It’s the year of the cat!

    Meow-lways!…

  17. jazsrt says: Nov 10, 2013 4:25 PM

    I have tried to give Suh and the Lions the benefit of the doubt…but they are truly the dirtiest team in the
    League.

    The Lions will blow it like they always do.

  18. staffordsyear says: Nov 10, 2013 4:25 PM

    Wait for the bears fans to say “well if cutler got pulled and mcown was in we would have won”..injuries happen you lost deal with it.

    Go leos!!

  19. wisconsinhillfolk says: Nov 10, 2013 4:26 PM

    Alone at the Top!

  20. joeslacco says: Nov 10, 2013 4:27 PM

    Gonna have to thank Quitler on that one. Daaaaa Bunk Bears!!

    GOOOOOOOOO LIONS!

  21. Abattoir says: Nov 10, 2013 4:28 PM

    From a Bears fan, good game Lions. You deserved to win today. We couldn’t run the ball, and you made more plays than we could. Good luck going forward.

  22. jamezz23 says: Nov 10, 2013 4:29 PM

    Mccown came in when we were in a prevent defense, he made the right decisions but wasn’t like he was facing the defence cutler was going against. Cutler was a warrior today, surprised he didn’t finish it out

    Go Lions

  23. purplepillager says: Nov 10, 2013 4:30 PM

    Nice work Lions! The NFCN title is within grasp.

    Signed
    Vikings Fan

  24. larryboodry says: Nov 10, 2013 4:30 PM

    Hard, well-fought game, and the Lions won in the end.
    That said, the Lions showed some lack of discipline (and lack of class) with cheap shots and late hits all game long.

    I sincerely hope the Kitties choke down the stretch and miss the playoffs. And not because they won, either. Because they have earned their reputation as a dirty team.

  25. dtownsportslions says: Nov 10, 2013 4:34 PM

    Nick Fairley might have a well below average IQ but he’s a human gorilla on the field. Love him and Suh. Forward down the field!!!!!!!

  26. jazsrt says: Nov 10, 2013 4:34 PM

    It starts with the head coach-

    Dirty coach, dirty team.

  27. coachkilla6 says: Nov 10, 2013 4:34 PM

    All Cutler did today was hurt his team going forward. When they miss the playoffs, fans of Duh Bears should remember how Cutler and Trestman combined to make one of the dumbest decisions for this franchise. Intelligent decision making should have trumped ego and pride. Bears failed again.

  28. joeslacco says: Nov 10, 2013 4:35 PM

    Jazsrt, you would love to have Suh on your team so dont give anybody that crap. If your a Bears fan, yooooooou lose!

  29. jazsrt says: Nov 10, 2013 4:41 PM

    joeslacco says:
    Nov 10, 2013 4:35 PM
    Jazsrt, you would love to have Suh on your team so dont give anybody that crap. If your a Bears fan, yooooooou lose!

    ___________________________________

    I would rather have Incognito on the Bears than that piece of trash.

  30. maddbearfan says: Nov 10, 2013 4:46 PM

    Thank You coach Trestman for not pulling Cutler at the begining of the 4th qtr. This loss is on YOU, Jay could barely walk and had no business being in there!

  31. lionstildeath says: Nov 10, 2013 4:49 PM

    Lol dirty this dirty that…take the loss and the sweep like a man….the whole “dirty team” label is old news….better luck next year bums.

  32. lks311 says: Nov 10, 2013 4:52 PM

    It wasn’t pretty, but, in years past the Lions lose these type of games. It’s a step.

    As for hate of Suh, Fairley, etc.— fans have become pansies. This isn’t a tennis league, it’s football.

  33. tigersfandan says: Nov 10, 2013 4:53 PM

    I’ve ridiculed Jay Cutler quite a bit in the past, but he showed a lot of toughness today. Kudos to him from this very happy Lions fan!

  34. larryboodry says: Nov 10, 2013 4:56 PM

    @lionstildeath:

    Don’t meow too loud yet…A lot can happen in the next seven games. You haven’t won squat after the first nine.

  35. beelza says: Nov 10, 2013 5:01 PM

    Detroit fans love the Bears coach. Cutler was looked fantastic. Suh is a beast and the heartbeat of that Deetroit defense. Two roughing the passer penalties made McCown look better than he played.

  36. joergen12 says: Nov 10, 2013 5:02 PM

    Lions will win the division

  37. detroitpride says: Nov 10, 2013 5:02 PM

    Go lions, it’s nice to see them close out the close games. It’s sad that other fans have to call the d line “dirty”. They smacked you just get over it

  38. ivanpavlov0000 says: Nov 10, 2013 5:04 PM

    I’ve been saying it all week, the Bears should have rested Cutler today. It sounds like had a major setback in his recovery. Detroit is looking at not just winning the NFC North, but a possible first-round bye.

    The Bears o-line did a better job of protecting Cutler than I expected, but there were still major problems. The decision at the end to run for the 2 pointer conversion … I’m actually ok with it given the short yardage, but trying to get tricky was a mistake. That’s when you put in your supersized triple-with-cheese package and try to win the power match up.

  39. hermanthunderfootweaver says: Nov 10, 2013 5:05 PM

    Good job Lions even though dumb penalties have got to stop!! So happy we swept Da Bears!!!

  40. hermanthunderfootweaver says: Nov 10, 2013 5:09 PM

    @larryboodry:

    Don’t worry about the Lions not winning squat. Nobody in the North can stop us. Great offense – stout defense. Deal with it.

  41. metrocritical says: Nov 10, 2013 5:12 PM

    Ugly road wins still count and the run D was good, but, damn, Lions, we were lucky McCown didn’t start. The DBs can’t cover, the pass rush was mostly harmless, Fairly was brainless and Stafford was rusty. Yet, a win is a win, however, narrow and ugly.

  42. realitycheckbaby says: Nov 10, 2013 5:32 PM

    Quick question…

    The Bears and Lions?

    Who cares?

  43. so1ar says: Nov 10, 2013 5:46 PM

    any team can shutdown Calvin, but no team can SHUTDOWN Calvin.

  44. mylionsroaring says: Nov 10, 2013 6:23 PM

    As a Lions fan I am happy they won. Everyone knows it’s hard to get a road win, and we have done it three times this year. I am not happy we let the Bears play us this close. They are a beat up team, and had a qb that was hobbled. We must gain a killer instinct and start playing better no matter what. We have got to quit playing down to our competition. If we plan to win a Superbowl one day we can’t have stupid penalties at crucial times. I am thankful for the win, but if we don’t get back to smart football we wont win many more.

    Stafford needs to throw to the open guy rather than force it to CJ, he was doing well for a while, but since the Dallas game he is back to it again. The personal fouls have come back too. Get under control and play smart guys, and lets run the table.

  45. lionstildeath says: Nov 10, 2013 6:29 PM

    I still don’t understand how you can write “Tillman, as he always does, played well against megatron” and “didn’t have a great game” when this guy had 2 TOUCHDOWNS, 1 to win the game and 6 catches….maybe I’m confused, but that’s not a good game?!?!……

    But then again, when you have 328 yds in a single game….I “guess” this was a sub par game to Calvin’s standards huh?….

    Right….

  46. lionstildeath says: Nov 10, 2013 6:32 PM

    @mylionsroaring …not sure how avid of lions fan you are, or questioning it…but this is the first year stafford has actually been making progressions and reads…he’s not forcing to Calvin…he’s always open lol…..so if he’s the 1st or 2nd read, and he has the arm to fit it…how is he forcing it?…

    Stafford has grown into a serious legit QB this year, and his off season work and bigger leadership is really starting to show this season

  47. matt2calvin says: Nov 10, 2013 6:36 PM

    two of the top teams in the NFC – this game truly could have gone either way.

    i expect both will make the playoffs this year.

    …but the run call for the extra point was destine to fail…

  48. mikemills09 says: Nov 10, 2013 6:48 PM

    Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, as he always does, played well against Megatron

    Yea real well – stats applied over a year

    1328 yards and 32 TDS hopefully megatron can face tillman every game

  49. immafubared says: Nov 10, 2013 7:30 PM

    What I want to know is who are the total morons who had the Packers winning the NFC north. The Lions made great acquisitions in the off season to improve holes and issues on the team and the pack, had a horrendous draft. Lacy is a work horse but Lacy runs for three yards when we need a 20 yard break out guy.
    I sayweagles runners, 10, 15, 25 yard runs and Lacy had a bunch of 4 yard runs. He will not beat you.

  50. liontuss says: Nov 10, 2013 7:56 PM

    “Same Ol’ Lions” are dead.

    Long live the Kings of the jungle.

    P.S. I know that’s corny, but I’ve been waiting 50 years to say it. And it’s true.

  51. jtmartinez34 says: Nov 10, 2013 8:10 PM

    Neither team belongs in the playoffs after watching this. One and done, even in this season of NFL mediocrity. Clearly second tier teams. Don’t fool yourselves.

  52. freebird2011 says: Nov 10, 2013 8:22 PM

    Bears: 0 sacks; 0 QB hits against an OL starting 2 rookies on the right side–1 (Waddle) making only his second professional start.

  53. weaselpuppy says: Nov 10, 2013 9:46 PM

    Nice to see the few classy Bears fans here. Thanks! To the normal butthurt Bears slappy-

    HOW SWEEP IT IS!!!!!

  54. mylionsroaring says: Nov 10, 2013 11:23 PM

    lionstildeath says: Nov 10, 2013 6:32 PM

    @mylionsroaring …not sure how avid of lions fan you are, or questioning it…but this is the first year stafford has actually been making progressions and reads…he’s not forcing to Calvin…he’s always open lol…..so if he’s the 1st or 2nd read, and he has the arm to fit it…how is he forcing it?…

    Stafford has grown into a serious legit QB this year, and his off season work and bigger leadership is really starting to show this season
    ________________________________
    I have been a fan for a very long time and I agree with you on most of your post. He has become a much bigger leader, and has played better this year than in the past. My point was that last year he was just trying to throw to Calvin on almost every play, and not giving some of the other guys a chance to get open. Then this year he was really spreading the ball around, then when Burelson got hurt he was almost forced to go to Calvin, but then it started going back to last years style, then Calvin got hurt and through the process Durham and Ogletree built some chemistry with Stafford. After that he was spreading the ball nicely even though we lost the Cincy game he played well, but when Calvin got one on one with Dallas Stafford went nutz throwing to him (for good reason). This game though he seemed to try and force a few to Calvin when the better play was a check down to the back. I seen at least three plays that Stafford missed with CJ, and had a wide open guy in front of him that could have easily got a first or close to it. If that continues it will be the end of a great working offense.

    I believe when Stafford looks at the film of this game he will see what he was doing, and notice how much better the offense is when he spreads the ball around. He can throw it better than most, and has a rocket arm, but smart football wins championships, not a one trick pony. I will give you this though, if not for some of the great throws and catches by those two, we wouldn’t be leading the NORTH!!

    GO LIONS!!!!!

  55. mylionsroaring says: Nov 10, 2013 11:30 PM

    50 year curse is over. Lane was from Texas, Stafford was from Texas (same town, same road, same school) They both go to the Lions. Lane sets the passing record and wins Championship for the Lions. Lions trade him to Pittsburgh, he puts a 50 year curse on our team, now the Lions and Stafford are going to Pittsburgh where Stafford will break Lanes record now that the curse is broken. You can’t make this stuff up LOL

  56. crownofthehelmet says: Nov 10, 2013 11:32 PM

    Good game Detroit. Nice little 2-game win streak. That’ll be what you can can hang your hat on next week, or your 6-4 record which’ll be nothing to sneeze at.

  57. fourthand20 says: Nov 11, 2013 1:15 AM

    The Lions premature prevent defense almost cost the game. It was a nail biter until the Fairley sack.

  58. mcgee1mm says: Nov 11, 2013 1:50 AM

    I don’t care if the Lions are considered “dirty” Suh is looked under a microscope by the NFL and is a villain, so what? Cutler was piratically getting hit almost every play. After a while he was dropping back and throwing off-balanced and unset throws that were skipping into the ground and inaccurate because of the beating he took. D-line played great. Quit complaining about dirty plays, they were flagged on all of them and only hurt themselves. This is football and Lions play a physical brand and do no apologize for doing so.

  59. newguy925 says: Nov 11, 2013 5:55 AM

    Say what you want about Cutler, that guy is one tough S.O.B.

    But Stafford, this guy is one solid playoffs away from superstar. Averaging more than 400 yards a game? Back to back 5000 yard seasons? 2 other guys have back to back 5000, Brees and Brady.

    What’s the difference between Stafford now and Rodgers before the GB Superbowl win?

  60. couldziggybetheansah says: Nov 11, 2013 8:01 AM

    @larryboodry says :
    Yes your right, it was a hard fought game between division rivals, and the Lions haven’t won anything after 9 games.
    You call them dirty cheap shot artists and some of that is deserved, but we like to call them aggresive. And that’s how they are going to have to continue to play if they are going to make it to the playoffs.
    A little surpised at your comment because you are usually pretty fair and unbiased, and leave the trash talk to others.

  61. grumpyoleman says: Nov 11, 2013 10:13 AM

    Jizarts mommy wouldn’t let him play football because it was too rough. That has to be why he doesn’t realize football players are big and mean (dirty).

  62. larryboodry says: Nov 11, 2013 10:58 AM

    couldziggybetheansah says: Nov 11, 2013 8:01 AM

    “@larryboodry says :
    Yes your right, it was a hard fought game between division rivals, and the Lions haven’t won anything after 9 games.
    You call them dirty cheap shot artists and some of that is deserved, but we like to call them aggresive. And that’s how they are going to have to continue to play if they are going to make it to the playoffs.
    A little surpised at your comment because you are usually pretty fair and unbiased, and leave the trash talk to others.”

    Thank you for your kind words regarding my usual posts, I like to think I am fair…Most of the time, anyway.

    Here’s why yesterday ticked me off, and I’d feel this way had the Bears won, too. There were four unsportsmanlike calls against Detroit, another Lions fan seems to think that because a flag was thrown that makes it okay. That same fan also claimed that those were the only cheap shots by Detroit, but he is wrong. There was the play when Kyle Long got in Fairley’s grill afterward, and another play where a Lions defender pushed a Bears player to the ground ten feet out-of-bounds, and there was no flag.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I like tough physical football as much as the next guy, having grown up watching guys like Butkus, Plank, and Fencik terrorize the league. Doesn’t mean I have to like dirty play…I still regret the cheap shot Bostic laid on Durham at the end of the first Lions game this year, and was the only Bears fan on here to call him on it.

    Aggressive is good, so long as there is no intent to injure or maim. Worst dirty play I can remember was Green Bay’s Charles Martin slamming Jim McMahon to the turf way after the play was over.
    The fact I can still feel anger over that 28 years later should tell you how crap like that bothers me.

    All that being said, let me backtrack a bit, and wish your team well moving forward…I want a rematch in the playoffs!

    That’s it, I’m done ranting.

  63. larryboodry says: Nov 11, 2013 11:12 AM

    mikemills09 says: Nov 10, 2013 6:48 PM

    “Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, as he always does, played well against Megatron

    Yea real well – stats applied over a year

    1328 yards and 32 TDS hopefully megatron can face tillman every game”

    In that case Brandon Marshall wants to face Detroit every game…Over the year he’d have 112 catches for 2224 yards, and 32 TDs as well. And Calvin should face Dallas every week if he really wants monster stats.

  64. bringbackwayne says: Nov 11, 2013 11:35 AM

    Tillman is good but he got burned on that last TD by looking at the QB too long and Calvin was past him by the time he reacted.

  65. larryboodry says: Nov 11, 2013 11:43 AM

    @mikemills09:

    Or how ’bout this…

    In 13 career games against the Bears and Tillman, CJ has only 7 TDs, 2 of which came yesterday, plus one the refs called back ’cause he spun the ball in the end zone before ‘technically completing’ the catch.

    (Stupid rule, by the way…Cost us Jeffery’s TD yesterday, although at least he wasn’t showboating.)

    Anyway, in those 13 games against us, Johnson also has amassed 63 receptions (under 5 per game), 928 yards (71.38 ypg), and averaged one TD every other game.

    So yeah, the man is a beast, but against the Bears so far in his career he has been held in check very nicely.

  66. ocdn says: Nov 11, 2013 12:53 PM

    @ larryboodry

    Nice reply back there to ziggy. Stay above it and keep up the good comments. This reply section needs more fans that show good sportsmanship when giving their opinions.

  67. lovethelions says: Nov 11, 2013 1:16 PM

    Just win, baby!

    Go Lions!!!!!!!

  68. larryboodry says: Nov 11, 2013 1:37 PM

    Hard to pin down this year’s Bears team…3-0 start, but just 2-4 since then…Shoulda beat Washington after scoring 41 points, shoulda won at home yesterday after only giving up 21 to Detroit’s high-powered offense.

    Beating Pittsburgh and GB on the road is always tough, but we need to be more consistent…5-4 could easily be 7-2, but it’s not…It’s still 5-4, and the team probably needs to finish with 10 wins to sniff the playoffs, or 11 wins to take the division. We’ll see.

  69. couldziggybetheansah says: Nov 11, 2013 5:54 PM

    ocdn says:

    @larryboodry

    Yes it was a thoughful reply, and that’s what I
    would expect from him … that’s why I take the time to read his posts.

    This is a site where you can give your opinions, and that’s what we do.

    And your right it is about sportsmanship and sometimes that seems to get with some people. We are just fans rooting for our own teams.

    Go Lions Go Bears.

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