DETROIT (WOOD) — Even when the Lions weren’t at their best, they found a way.
Down by 12 points with just 4:15 remaining in the game, Detroit found themselves looking for answers to avoid being upset by their rival Chicago Bears.
The Lions put together two scoring drives resulting in touchdowns with a defense stop sandwiched between them and pulled out the 31-26 victory.
For the first time since 1962, the Lions have started the season 8-2.
“It’s just fun,” Lions offensive lineman Taylor Decker said. “Going into every game expecting to win, it’s just great to be a part of something like this when you’ve seen the bad times as well.”
The Lions didn’t help themselves with four turnovers throughout the game. Three of them came on interceptions from quarterback Jared Goff but when it mattered most, Goff put together a pair of 70-plus yard drives with perfect execution.
The first of the two resulted in a Jameson Williams 34-yard touchdown grab, his second of the season and one Lions fans have been waiting to see again.
“Jared (Goff) hung in there and did his thing when we needed it most,” Williams said. “And credit to Ben (Johnson) man, he just did it man you know what I’m saying. We did it.”
It was a shaky start to the game for the Lions. The Bears came out of the gates with a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive followed by a Goff interception on Detroit’s first possession.
As if one wasn’t enough, Goff would throw another the following possession and give the Bears more life.
A packed Ford Field began to feel uneasy, until the defense made a difference. Chicago wideout Tyler Scott fumbled after catching a crossing route and in a scrum of players, Alex Anzalone came up with the loose ball.
It led to a Jahmyr Gibbs touchdown from two yards out and changed the feeling of the game immediately as the crowd got back into it.
However, the Bears didn’t lay down. They answered with a Ciaro Santos field goal before the Lions would get the ball back with 1:47 left in the first half. That’s when Goff found his groove for a moment.
The Lions signal caller led a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive with 73 of the yards coming from his right arm. It was capped off with a 7-yard catch for a score from Amon-Ra St. Brown, who led the Lions with six catches for 56 yards in the first half.
Coming out of the locker room, the Bears stopped the Lions near midfield and answered with another Santos field goal to make it a 1-point game. They weren’t done.
As heavy road underdogs, the Bears began to really put a home win for Detroit into question. Following a fumble on the kickoff recovered by the Bears, Justin Fields connected with DJ Moore on a deep route for a 39-yard score. Just like that, Chicago recaptured the momentum and a 20-14 lead.
Following two more field goals from Santos who went 4-for-4 on the game, the Lions’ chances were looking dim down 12. But Goff found a way to block out the first three and a half quarters and work a nearly perfect two drives.
He threw for 127 of his 236 yards in the final two drives of the game. Detroit and former Chicago running back David Montgomery scored the go-ahead touchdown that won the game.
In between those drives, the Lions defense, who struggled to get off the field on third down all day, was able to force a three-and-out when they needed it most.
Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell said he wasn’t stressed when he talked to the defense before that possession.
“I told them this is why you play the game at this level,” Campbell said. “This is what it’s all about.”
Montgomery talked more about the city of Detroit instead of how it felt to play against his former team.
“You can tell when a city has been through it man, there’s a lot of people (in Detroit) who don’t feel like they’ve been taken seriously,” Montgomery said. “It’s good to know we are doing this for them.”
The Lions will remain in first place of the NFC North Division with the win, adding their second win against a division opponent this season. They will have a chance to sweep the season series with the Green Bay Packers (4-6) in just a few days on Thanksgiving from Ford Field.