Final

Bears 37

(7-9, 2-6 away)

Lions 23

(2-14, 2-6 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, January 3, 2010

Ford Field, Detroit, MI 

1 2 3 4 T
CHI 3 10 7 1737
DET 3 7 3 1023

Top Performers

Passing: J. Cutler (CHI) - 276 YDS, 4 TD

Rushing: M. Forte (CHI) - 16 CAR, 101 YDS

Receiving: G. Olsen (CHI) - 5 REC, 94 YDS, 1 TD

Cutler ties career best with 4 TDs to help drop Lions to 2-14

Associated Press

DETROIT -- The Chicago Bears were at their best early and late.

Chicago doomed a promising season, though, by losing eight of 10 games in between.

Jay Cutler matched a career high for a second straight week with four touchdown passes, leading the Bears to a 37-23 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Fast Facts

• The Bears swept the series with the Lions for fourth time in five seasons, finishing the season 7-9.

• Chicago scored 73 points over its final two games compared to 74 points over the previous six before those.

• Jay Cutler threw four touchdown passes for the second straight game (fourth in his career), with two going to Devin Aromashodu, who had two career TDs entering the game.

• The Lions ended the season on a six-game losing streak, finishing 2-14 (2-30 over last two seasons).

• Bloggers' wrapups

• Rapid reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

"It just shows that we can play good football," Cutler said.

It might not be enough to save Lovie Smith's job.

The Bears (7-9) failed to make the playoffs for the third straight season after reaching the Super Bowl under Smith.

"Every year changes happen, we realize that's a part of it," Smith said. "We're enjoying this right now."

When Chicago hit rock bottom this season two weeks ago against the Baltimore Ravens and fell to 5-9, general manager Jerry Angelo shot down a report indicating Smith would be back for a seventh season.

The Bears owe Smith $11 million for the next two seasons and Angelo insisted money won't affect the decision.

"All the speculation about change is going to come and we know that," tight end Desmond Clark said. "If it does, we'll deal with it. But I will say, we have great coaches."

Jim Schwartz will be back for a second season to sort through the mess he inherited in Detroit.

"This isn't about coaching," kicker Jason Hanson said. "We went 0-16 with one coach and 2-14 with another coach, and that's unacceptable."

Detroit set a league record with 30 losses over two seasons.

The Lions gave up 517 points in 2008, the second most in a season, and allowed 494 this year, ranking fourth worst, according to STATS.

Detroit has won just three games since midway through the 2007 season in what has been the worst 40-game stretch since the Dayton Triangles were slightly less successful during the 1920s, according to STATS.

The Lions' 33-111 record since 2001 -- when ex-general manager Matt Millen turned a lackluster franchise into a laughingstock -- is the poorest nine-season stretch by an NFL team since World War II.

"I'm sick of losing," said linebacker Ernie Sims, who has endured much of it during his four-year career.

The Lions had a shot to beat the Bears, but they simply couldn't stop Cutler.

"We had a lot of chances to do good things, and we continued to make mistakes that cost us," Schwartz said.

Cutler threw a 1-yard pass to a wide-open Clark to give Chicago a 27-20 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Daunte Culpepper overthrew Calvin Johnson on the ensuing drive and Detroit settled for a field goal and a four-point deficit.

Chicago then sealed the victory with Cutler's second TD pass to Devin Aromashodu, who scored the game-winning TD on Monday night against Minnesota.

Cutler was 22 of 36 for 276 yards and didn't throw an interception against Detroit for the second time this season and for the fourth game this season.

His arrival in the offseason trade with Denver generated hope for success, but his NFL-high 26 interceptions led to a lackluster season for Chicago.

"We've got to get that other number down," Cutler said. "It's the bottom line."

Indeed.

Cutler had 16 TDs and just three interceptions in Chicago's seven wins. In its nine losses, he had 11 TDs and 23 interceptions.

Matt Forte ran for 100 yards for just the second time this season, and not coincidentally, both games were against the lowly Lions.

Greg Olsen had five receptions for a career-high 94 yards, breaking his previous mark that was set against Detroit last season, and his TD catch put Chicago ahead with 11 seconds left in the first half.

Culpepper, perhaps auditioning for a job elsewhere next season, was 23 of 34 for 262 yards with two scores and an interception in what was perhaps his best performance of a disappointing season as Matthew Stafford's backup.

Johnson had six catches for 86 yards and a score that tied the game 20-all early in the first quarter.

The Lions will have the No. 2 pick overall in the NFL draft because they finished ahead of only St. Louis, who avoided joining Detroit's dubious distinction with a win in the Motor City this season.

Game notes


Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner said he expects to be back next season. ... A fan ran onto the field in the first quarter, made hand gestures toward an official, ran the length of the field and went down in the end zone before being escorted off the field.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CHI
DET
1st Downs2218
Passing 1st downs
1613
Rushing 1st downs
45
1st downs from penalties
20
3rd down efficiency
7-155-14
4th down efficiency
0-01-2
Total Plays6661
Total Yards418349
Yards per play6.35.7
Total Drives1312
Passing268249
Comp-Att
22-3623-34
Yards per pass
7.16.9
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-82-13
Rushing150100
Rushing Attempts
2825
Yards per rush
5.44.0
Red Zone (Made-Att)4-62-4
Penalties5-356-35
Turnovers02
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession29:1330:47

Passing Leaders

CHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Cutler22/362767.7402-8
DETC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Culpepper23/342627.7212-13

Rushing Leaders

CHICARYDSAVGTDLG
Forte161016.3053
Bell11444.0011
DETCARYDSAVGTDLG
Morris16654.1016
Brown3217.0013

Receiving Leaders

CHIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Olsen59418.8134
Hester37525.0048
DETRECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson68614.3123
Johnson44210.5112

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERCHIDET
chiFG9:53Robbie Gould 44 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 11 plays, 54 yds, 5:11
30
detFG1:06Jason Hanson 42 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 6 plays, 24 yds, 3:06
33
SECOND QUARTERCHIDET
chiFG13:02Robbie Gould 28 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 44 yds, 3:02
63
detTD3:03Bryant Johnson 12 Yard Pass From Daunte Culpepper (Jason Hanson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 42 yds, 3:31
610
chiTD0:15Greg Olsen 7 Yard Pass From Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould Kick is Good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 76 yds, 2:48
1310
THIRD QUARTERCHIDET
chiTD10:09Devin Aromashodu 9 Yard Pass From Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 39 yds, 2:53
2010
detFG1:56Jason Hanson 48 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 42 yds, 4:11
2013
FOURTH QUARTERCHIDET
detTD9:42Calvin Johnson 5 Yard Pass From Daunte Culpepper (Jason Hanson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 58 yds, 5:11
2020
chiTD7:25Desmond Clark 1 Yard Pass From Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 87 yds, 2:17
2720
detFG4:42Jason Hanson 32 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 59 yds, 2:42
2723
chiTD3:02Devin Aromashodu 12 Yard Pass From Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 85 yds, 1:41
3423
chiFG1:13Robbie Gould 34 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 8 yds, 1:40
3723