The Detroit Lions beat the Chicago Bears by a score of 21-19 on Sunday. Here are my three main takeaways from the game:
Not the "same ol' Lions" this time
When David Akers missed a 45-yard field goal that would have extended the Lions' 1-point lead, it really seemed like they were trying to give this game away. Just a possession earlier, Matthew Stafford got picked off and nearly set up a go-ahead touchdown for the Bears. However, Chicago had to settle for a field goal, and the Lions ultimately came up with the touchdown response they needed, as well as the defensive stop they needed on the late 2-point conversion. The Lions shot themselves in the foot quite a bit on Sunday, but the fact that they won anyway was the opposite of "same ol' Lions."
The Lions' run defense was dominant
The Lions had some issues early in the season against the run, but that no longer seems to be a problem. Matt Forte rushed for only 33 yards on 17 carries on Sunday, and Alshon Jeffery gained only 5 yards on two end-around plays. As a team, the Bears were only able to pick up 1.9 yards per carry. The Lions were outstanding against the run.
The secondary needs work
The Lions were not outstanding against the pass. Jay Cutler finished with 250 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception, and Josh McCown went 6 for 9 for 62 yards and 1 touchdown on his only drive of the game. If Cutler had been 100 percent, his numbers likely would have been even better. Even with his injuries, he had a lot of success when throwing in the direction of Brandon Marshall and Jeffery.
Clearly, the Lions need to be better against the pass, and it's time to pull the plug on playing Darius Slay at cornerback this season (he was only in because Bill Bentley was out with an injury). He is just not good, and I'd much rather see the Lions continue to play Don Carey until Bentley returns as the nickelback.
Bonus: Jay Cutler shouldn't have played, but I'm glad he did
Cutler had decent numbers and was pretty good in the first half, but he could just not do much of anything outside of a couple throws in the second half. His groin injury was noticeably bothering him, and I have to think McCown would have given the Bears a better chance to win. With that said, I'm glad Cutler stayed in the game for as long as he did. I admire his toughness, but his injury played a part in Chicago (thankfully) coming up short.