1:00 PM ET, December 2, 2001
Leon Johnson rolls into the end zone for the Bears' only touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
The Bears' offense hasn't been great in recent weeks. They haven't had a dominant rushing game and the receivers haven't been making plays -- they don't have that go-to guy down the field.
QB Jim Miller hasn't been making plays, either. Opponents are getting more pressure on Miller because running back Anthony Thomas has been injured and they don't have to be as concerned about a running threat.
It will help when the A-Train is healthy and back in the lineup (he'll probably play next week).
ESPN.com's Vinny Cerrato was director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.
Some will say the Bears are more lucky than good."I don't care," coach Dick Jauron said. "We'll take that lucky label as long as it sticks to us." The Lions, meanwhile, have lost their last eight games by a total of 35 points. Detroit's latest defeat came when the normally reliable Hanson, who had made 13 of 16 field goals entering the game, missed three times. "They're nowhere near an 0-11 team. A lot of those games they could have won," Bears linebacker Roosevelt Colvin said. Chicago (9-2) clinched its first winning season since 1995 by rallying against the Lions, who lost starting quarterback Charlie Batch to a separated shoulder for the rest of the season when he was sacked by a blitzing Brown. Right after a video replay upheld an on-field ruling that Chicago's R.W. McQuarters did not make an interception before Mike McMahon's pass hit the ground, Hanson lined up to try to tie the game. But after a high snap to new holder Leo Araguz, Hanson's kick into the wind went wide right and the Bears had won yet another tough game. Araguz was holding in place of the injured John Jett. "Leo got it down and he snagged it perfectly and that's my fault for looking up," Hanson said. "That was some stupid kicking." Detroit, matching its 0-11 record for the entire 1942 season, had 10 penalties, none more costly than an offside call on James Hall as the Bears lined up to punt on a fourth-and-6 in the fourth quarter. With the extra five yards, the Bears went for the first down on fourth-and-1 and Johnson got it with a 6-yard carry to the Lions 30. Five plays after a key third-down pass from Jim Miller to Marty Booker kept the drive alive, Johnson scored from the 1 and the Bears had their first lead at 13-10. Two minutes after Johnson's score, Brown hit McMahon, forced the ball loose and recovered the fumble at the 29 with 3:45 left. But Paul Edinger missed a 39-yard field goal and the Lions had one more chance with 2:18 left. The scrambling McMahon hit a key 21-yard pass to Larry Foster as Detroit reached Chicago's 21, but then threw three straight incompletions. Batch, who completed 18 of 28 passes, was hurt in the third quarter when Brown hit him and almost caught him for a safety. Batch got up slowly and then fumbled the snap on the next play before going to the locker room. "On that play I was supposed to be protected on my back side and I guess it broke down a little and they got through. My shoulder was driven in the ground," Batch said. The Bears got the ball on the 40 after a punt and moved to the Lions 7, but rookie David Terrell, who'd dropped an earlier TD pass, again failed to catch the ball, this time in the back of the end zone. The Bears settled for Edinger's 26-yard field goal to take a 10-6 lead early in the fourth. The Lions, despite seven penalties and field goal misses from 45 and 48 yards by Hanson, were able to take a 7-3 halftime lead with a tough defense and a 10-play, 95-yard drive capped by James Stewart's 3-yard run. Chicago's only points came on Edinger's line-drive 46-yard field goal in the second quarter. Hanson's 36-yard field goal gave the Lions a 10-3 lead midway through the third quarter.Game notes
Bears DE Phillip Daniels had to leave the game twice, once after teammate Ted Washington poked him in the eyes and again when he jammed his shoulder in a collision with teammate Keith Traylor. ... Batch said he initially was told he'd be out four to six weeks but said he'll know more Monday after he's re-examined. ... Hall was called for three of the Lions' penalties.