Final

Lions 13

(6-3, 4-1 away)

Bears 37

(6-3, 4-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:15 PM ET, November 13, 2011

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL 

1 2 3 4 T
DET 0 6 0 713
CHI 10 10 17 037

Top Performers

Passing: M. Stafford (DET) - 329 YDS, 1 TD, 4 INT

Rushing: M. Forte (CHI) - 18 CAR, 64 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: N. Burleson (DET) - 8 REC, 83 YDS

TD returns fuel rout as Bears hammer Lions in testy affair

Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears understand where they were and can appreciate how far they've come.

Charles Tillman and Major Wright returned interceptions for touchdowns early in the third quarter, and Chicago picked off Matthew Stafford four times to beat the Detroit Lions 37-13 in a heated game on Sunday.

"We're getting better," Brian Urlacher said. "No doubt about that. We're not done yet. We've still got a long way to go. But we're going the right direction, that's for sure."

Beating Detroit was another big step.

The four interceptions by Stafford matched his season total entering the game and helped knock the Lions (6-3) into a second-place tie with the Bears in the NFC North. Stafford was also involved in a skirmish that led to an ejection of Chicago's D.J. Moore early in the fourth quarter.

By then, the Bears (6-3) had locked up their fourth straight win thanks to a dominant defense and another punt return for a touchdown by Devin Hester, who ran one back 82 yards. That extended his NFL record for punt-return TDs to 12 and combined kick-return touchdowns to 17.

Julius Peppers and Tim Jennings forced turnovers on Detroit's first two possessions, leading to a touchdown and field goal by Chicago. Wright and Tillman returned interceptions for touchdowns on the Lions' first two possessions of the second half to put game out of reach.

In between turnover binges, Hester caused his usual havoc before leaving with an undisclosed illness.

For a guy who was listed as questionable with a sprained left ankle, Hester sure looked good while he was in the game. He had already set up a field goal by Robbie Gould in the opening seconds of the second quarter with a 29-yard punt return before his long TD return along the left sideline, giving the Bears a 20-0 lead.

The idea that the Bears would be tied with the Lions seemed far-fetched after their 24-13 Monday night loss at Ford Field last month, but the teams have gone in different directions since.

"We had a lot riding on this game," Smith said. "NFC division game at home we just couldn't afford another loss. We've gotten better and better each week."

Detroit has dropped three of four after winning its first five, and this one was brutal -- particularly for Stafford and Calvin Johnson.

Johnson had 81 yards on seven catches with Tillman locking him down.

Stafford, playing with a fractured finger in his right hand, completed 33 of 63 passes for 329 yards, and any shot the Lions had at a comeback ended when Wright and Tillman picked him off early in the third.

Wright returned his interception 24 yards and Tillman ran his back 44 yards for TDs that made it 34-6, sending the Lions to their first road loss after they won their first four away from Ford Field.

Stafford said the finger wasn't really a factor, but the strong wind was.

"Wind was blowing the ball around, and they had a tough time throwing it and we had a tough time throwing it," he said.

Things really got chippy early in the fourth quarter after Stafford threw his third interception. Jennings picked him off and got shoved hard out of bounds by Nate Burleson. While that unfolded, Stafford grabbed Moore by the helmet and threw him to the ground, setting off a confrontation involving players from both teams that ultimately led to Moore's ejection.

"When you are going after my livelihood, my neck, and you're trying to hurt me, I just can't let that go," Moore said.

Stafford said he wasn't trying to injure Moore.

"He kind of blocked me and I was just trying to get him off me best I knew how," Stafford said. "And I guess he didn't like the way I did it. He wanted to ask me about it."

There was also some tension earlier in the game.

Jay Cutler had his helmet ripped off by Ndamukong Suh after a run, and he got slammed to the ground by Nick Fairley on a late hit in the third quarter.

And a few plays before Jennings' interception, Chicago's Lance Briggs had a hard hit on Johnson.

"It wasn't clean and it wasn't quiet," Cutler said. "I know that. That's just how it is."

Those incidents aside, there was little drama in this one.

The Bears pulled out an easy win even though Matt Forte and Cutler did not have big games.

Forte scored the game's first touchdown on a 6-yard run but finished with 64 yards -- 40 of them on one run.

Cutler was consistently under pressure while throwing for 123 yards, but for one game it didn't matter.

Game notes


Smith said LG Chris Williams was undergoing surgery Sunday after leaving the game with a wrist injury. ... Tillman tied Mike Brown and Bennie McRae for the club record with his fourth career interception return for a touchdown. He has 28 interceptions and ranks fourth on the Bears' all-time list. ... Peppers had an 11-yard sack on third down at the six that forced Detroit to kick a field goal in the second quarter. ... The Lions had won six straight road games dating back to last season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES

ESPNChicago.com 

Team Stat Comparison

 
DET
CHI
1st Downs2212
Passing 1st downs
175
Rushing 1st downs
44
1st downs from Penalties
13
3rd down efficiency
4-173-13
4th down efficiency
1-21-1
Total Plays8457
Total Yards393216
Yards per play4.73.8
Total Drives1614
Passing313107
Comp - Att
33-639-20
Yards per pass
5.05.4
Interceptions thrown
40
Sacks - Yards Lost
2-162-16
Rushing80109
Rushing Attempts
1935
Yards per rush
4.23.1
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-61-2
Penalties4-534-37
Turnovers61
Fumbles lost
21
Interceptions thrown
40
Defensive / Special Teams TDs03
Possession30:5429:06

Passing Leaders

DETC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Stafford33/633295.2142-16
CHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Cutler9/191236.5002-16
Forte0/100.0000-0

Rushing Leaders

DETCARYDSAVGTDLG
Morris10444.4013
Smith4194.8014
CHICARYDSAVGTDLG
Forte18643.6140
Barber13272.108

Receiving Leaders

DETRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Burleson88310.40209
Johnson78111.604019
CHIRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Bennett68113.50306
Hurd12121.00211

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERDETCHI
chiTD10:29Matt Forte 6 Yd Run (Robbie Gould Kick) 07
chiFG04:42Robbie Gould 43 Yd 010
SECOND QUARTERDETCHI
chiFG14:51Robbie Gould 35 Yd 013
chiTD14:15Devin Hester 82 Yd Punt Return (Robbie Gould Kick) 020
detFG12:01Jason Hanson 29 Yd 320
detFG01:23Jason Hanson 35 Yd 620
THIRD QUARTERDETCHI
chiTD13:16Major Wright 24 Yd Interception Return (Robbie Gould Kick) 627
chiTD11:24Charles Tillman 44 Yd Interception Return (Robbie Gould Kick) 634
chiFG06:18Robbie Gould 50 Yd 637
FOURTH QUARTERDETCHI
detTD05:00Tony Scheffler 10 Yd Pass From Matthew Stafford (Jason Hanson Kick) 1337

Research Notes

Despite entering Week 10 having thrown only 4 interceptions in 8 games this season, Matt Stafford struggled all day against the Bears throwing 4 interceptions on 63 pass attempts. Stafford was directly responsible for 14 of 30 incompletions (46.7 percent) due to over or underthrown balls on Sunday including 2 interceptions on underthrown pass attempts. Stafford also struggled against the front seven of the Bears, throwing 3 interceptions on passes that traveled 5 yards or less.
The Bears had 2 Int Ret TD in a single game vs the Lions. It was the first time they did that since Week 14 in 1993 vs Packers. Jeremy Lincoln and Mark Carrier had the 2 TD.
Matt Stafford had two of his interceptions returned for a touchdown Sunday against the Bears. It was the first time a Lions QB threw two interceptions that were returned for scores in the same game since Jon Kitna against the Packers on September 14, 2008.
With his 82-yard punt return for a touchdown Sunday, Devin Hester passed Rod Woodson for 2nd place for most return touchdowns in NFL history with 18.
  [+]

ESPN Stats & Information