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Lions-Bears recap: Detroit escapes Chicago thanks to late, missed field goal

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It was another ugly one, but Detroit got the job done.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

No, that wasn’t a replay. The Detroit Lions made life hard for themselves, much like they did against the Browns last week, but did just enough to squeeze by the Bears and move to 6-4 on the year.

The Lions, once again, got off to an extremely slow start. For the second week in a row, Detroit dug themselves into an early 10-0 hole. The Bears took the opening drive into the red zone, but stalled near the goal line.

The Lions failed to answer after drawing to midfield. Facing a third-and-8, pressure collapsed the pocket and Matthew Stafford took a sack and fumbled the ball away. After a big run by Jordan Howard, the Bears punched it in and found themselves up two possession before the first quarter was even over.

But much like last week, it was defensive play that kickstarted the Lions. Mitchell Trubisky fumbled a snap and DJ Hayden scooped and scored to bring the Lions within three.

The Lions defense continued to struggle as the Bears racked up 148 rushing yards in the first half alone. Howard added an 8-yard touchdown to push the Bears lead to 17-7.

However, that’s when Matthew Stafford woke up. He was surgical in dissecting the Bears defense in the second quarter.

Stafford connected with Marvin Jones Jr. on a brilliant double move for his first touchdown of the day. Then on the next drive, he connected with Ameer Abdullah for a 2-yard score. Despite another poor start, the Lions took a 21-17 lead into the half.

The offenses cooled off to start the second half. The teams traded a few three-and-outs. The Lions continued to struggle to run the ball, while the Bears running attack was slowed by Detroit’s front seven.

As the game moved to the fourth quarter, the Lions offense began to spring to life. A 12-play, seven-minute drive ended with a short field goal, pushing Detroit’s lead to 24-17 with 10 minutes left to play.

But the Bears answered the call with a five-minute drive of their own. Led by a running game that Detroit had no answer for, Chicago punched it in with a misdirection pitch to Tarik Cohen for a 15-yard score.

That left the Lions with the ball, tied and five minutes left in regulation. Detroit marched the ball down into field goal range almost immediately, thanks to a 26-yard play to Eric Ebron. But the Lions only moved backwards thanks to a holding penalty. Still, Matt Prater kicked a huge 52-yard field goal to give the Lions the lead with under two minutes remaining.

It would be up for the Lions defense to close the door. Detroit had Chicago in a fourth-and-13 situation, but Trubisky escaped the pocket and barely scrambled his way into a first down. Quickly the Bears got into field goal range, but Connor Barth missed from 46 yards and the Lions escaped.

Unfortunately the Vikings defeated the Rams, so the Lions remain two games back. But they’re surviving.