Final

Bears 26

(13-2, 7-1 away)

Lions 21

(2-13, 2-6 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, December 24, 2006

Ford Field, Detroit, MI 

1 2 3 4 T
CHI 3 14 0 926
DET 7 0 14 021

Top Performers

Passing: J. Kitna (DET) - 283 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: T. Jones (CHI) - 12 CAR, 62 YDS

Receiving: M. Furrey (DET) - 10 REC, 107 YDS, 1 TD

Griese directs winning drive as Bears hold off Lions

DETROIT (AP) -- Making a quarterback change was part of the plan, the Chicago Bears insisted.

That probably won't stop questions about who is best suited to lead the NFC's top seed in the playoffs.

Lions Fans Growlin'
The Detroit Lions' latest miserable season can't end soon enough for their disappointed fans.

About 100 spectators left their seats midway through the second quarter of the Lions' 26-21 loss to the Chicago Bears and called for the firing of general manager Matt Millen as they gathered in Ford Field's atrium.

Many of the protesters headed for the exits at halftime, where they were greeted by stadium employees handing out "Go Lions" stickers.

Detroit is an NFL-worst 23-72 since Millen took control of football operations before the 2001 season. They have lost at least 10 games in all six of Millen's seasons, the second-longest streak in league history.

The walkout, planned by a group of bloggers, was scheduled to start with 8:57 left in the second quarter -- honoring the Lions' 1957 championship. Detroit has only won one playoff game since then.

The protest marked the second straight season that Lions fans joined together to voice their displeasure with the organization.

-- The Associated Press

Brian Griese replaced Rex Grossman in the fourth quarter and led two drives that set up field goals, helping Chicago beat the Detroit Lions 26-21 Sunday.

"I thought I was going to play the whole game," Grossman said. "But I guess they had plans that they were going to get me out mid-third quarter."

Griese directed a 72-yard drive that put Robbie Gould in position for a go-ahead field goal midway through the fourth quarter and made a pass to set up Gould's fourth field goal, giving Chicago a five-point cushion with 2:50 left.

"I hadn't played in a while, so it felt good to get out there and contribute to a win," said Griese, who didn't play in the previous seven games after being used sparingly. "I'm ready to play whenever they want me to, but I don't have any expectations."

Switching QBs added a touch of intrigue to a game with nothing at stake.

The Bears (13-2) clinched home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs last week and Detroit (2-13) has been relegated to playing for pride since midseason -- for the sixth straight year.

One possession after Jon Kitna's NFL-high 30th turnover, the Lions had a shot to win, but came up short as they have often this season.

Kitna threw a pass into the end zone on the final play that leaping wide receiver Mike Williams got his hands on, but couldn't control in the end zone while being closely defended by cornerback Devin Hester.

"I owe it to myself and the team to make that play," Williams said. "That's just a play you make."

Chicago coach Lovie Smith insisted before the game that he would play to win -- not to avoid injuries -- by using his starters as long as necessary in the hopes of staying sharp for the playoffs.

After the game, Smith said the move at QB was planned.

"We wanted to get a win in the worst way and we wanted to look at a few other players," Smith said.

Smith stuck with Grossman earlier this month as his starting QB after he threw three interceptions in two straight games.

Grossman responded by throwing four TDs without an interception in the next two games, adding a career-high 339 yards passing last week, in two wins that helped Chicago earn the right to stay at home in the NFC playoffs.

Against the Lions, he had another lackluster performance in what has been an up-and-down season -- but Chicago won its fourth straight.

Grossman was 20-of-36 for 197 yards with a TD. Griese was 6-of-9 for 51 yards.

Bernard Berrian's 13-yard score early in the second quarter gave the Bears the lead and was one of the only highlights Grossman had in a game that could lead to speculation during the final week of the regular season and into the playoffs.

"We'll leave the decisions up to the coaching staff," said wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad, whom Grossman overthrew badly on a play that likely would've been a touchdown in the third quarter. "I'm confident with both guys, but Rex has been our guy all season."

Kitna completed 27 of 45 passes for 283 yards and TDs to Roy Williams, Dan Campbell and Mike Furrey, who had 10 catches for 107 yards.

But Kitna fumbled when Mark Anderson sacked him late in the game, adding to his long line of miscues at crucial times. Adewale Ogunleye's recovery at the Detroit 32 with 3:46 left set up a field goal that forced the Lions to go for a TD on their final drive.

"We turned the ball over one time, but that was one time too many," Detroit coach Rod Marinelli said. "We didn't get any on defense, and that's critical in a game like this."

Like many games this season, the Lions were solid at times and had a shot to win but made too many mistakes.

"That's just how our year has gone," Campbell said.

Detroit has lost seven straight and is an NFL-worst 23-72 since 2001.

Game notes


The Bears had two starting defensive backs inactive -- Todd Johnson (ankle) and cornerback Charles Tillman (back) -- and lost starting fullback Jason McKie (ankle) early in the game. ... Detroit was without cornerback Fernando Bryant (concussion) and returner Eddie Drummond (hip), and defensive line coach Joe Cullen, who was suspended by the NFL for the game for two arrests -- one for nude driving and one for drunken driving. ... About 100 fans left their seats during the second quarter in a protest against team president Matt Millen, who took control of the franchise when its slide began in 2001. They gathered to chant "Fire Millen!" and left the stadium.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CHI
DET
1st Downs2218
Passing 1st downs
1015
Rushing 1st downs
92
1st downs from penalties
31
3rd down efficiency
6-173-13
4th down efficiency
1-12-3
Total Plays7766
Total Yards354327
Yards per play4.65.0
Total Drives1213
Passing238260
Comp-Att
26-4527-45
Yards per pass
5.15.4
Interceptions thrown
00
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-103-23
Rushing11667
Rushing Attempts
3018
Yards per rush
3.93.7
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-41-1
Penalties7-4811-92
Turnovers01
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
00
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession34:4325:17

Passing Leaders

CHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Grossman20/361975.5102-10
Griese6/9515.7000-0
DETC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Kitna27/452836.3303-23

Rushing Leaders

CHICARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones12625.2013
Benson15493.3010
DETCARYDSAVGTDLG
Harris10444.4018
Cason5316.2016

Receiving Leaders

CHIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Muhammad36421.3040
Berrian5438.6113
DETRECYDSAVGTDLG
Furrey1010710.7120
Williams67913.2126

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERCHIDET
chiFG8:42Robbie Gould 36 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 14 plays, 61 yds, 6:22
30
detTD2:38Dan Campbell, 23 yd pass from Jon Kitna (Jason Hanson kick is good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 49 yds, 0:47
37
SECOND QUARTERCHIDET
chiTD14:13Bernard Berrian, 13 yd pass from Rex Grossman (Robbie Gould kick is good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 75 yds, 3:27
107
chiTD0:30Adrian Peterson, 2 yd run (Robbie Gould kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 49 yds, 2:16
177
THIRD QUARTERCHIDET
detTD10:59Mike Furrey, 20 yd pass from Jon Kitna (Jason Hanson kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 71 yds, 4:07
1714
detTD4:31Roy Williams, 2 yd pass from Jon Kitna (Jason Hanson kick is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 61 yds, 5:06
1721
FOURTH QUARTERCHIDET
chiFG12:26Robbie Gould 36 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 13 plays, 58 yds, 6:05
2021
chiFG5:17Robbie Gould 39 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 72 yds, 4:54
2321
chiFG2:55Robbie Gould 44 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 6 yds, 0:56
2621