Rapid Reaction: Lions 40, Bears 32
September, 29, 2013
By Michael C. Wright | ESPN.com
DETROIT -- A few thoughts on the Chicago Bears' 40-32 loss to the Detroit Lions:
What it means: Chicago tried to downplay the significance of this game, calling it just another outing. But internally, several within the organization called this an important indicator of just how far the team had advanced. The Bears failed their most significant test to date in spectacular fashion, but the division title remains in reach. What’s important now is how the team reacts to the setback.
Too much too early: The Bears allowed 27 points in the second quarter alone, marking the first time they’d given up that many in the second quarter since Dec. 21, 1985. Chicago gave up 26 in the second quarter to New England in 2010.
The 27 points in the first half were the most they surrendered in a half since Dec. 18, 2011, when Seattle scored 31 points in the second half.
Rush defense sinks Bears: Reggie Bush rushed for 112 yards on 11 attempts in the first half, including a 37-yard highlight-reel touchdown that gave Detroit a 30-13 lead.
Bush’s production opened up Detroit’s offense and exposed vulnerabilities in Chicago’s defense. The Bears allowed Bush to gain too much yardage up the middle, and once he reached the second and third levels, he made defenders miss too easily. The absence of Henry Melton might be more significant than expected.
Points off Cutler: The Lions scored 17 points off Jay Cutler turnovers in seizing a 37-16 advantage as the third quarter expired.
Nick Fairley returned a Cutler fumble four yards for a touchdown, while an underthrown pass intended for Brandon Marshall resulted in a Glover Quin interception that set up a Calvin Johnson touchdown. In the first quarter, Louis Delmas snagged one of his two interceptions on a pass intended for Alshon Jeffery. That interception, which didn’t appear to be Cutler’s fault, set up a David Akers field goal.
Tillman ailing: Playing with an injured knee and groin, cornerback Charles Tillman held Johnson to three catches for 25 yards and a touchdown in the first half but appeared to be in discomfort. Tillman left in the second quarter, was replaced by Zack Bowman and returned after halftime, only to be pulled again. Tillman’s health remains an issue.
What’s next: With a few players banged up after Sunday’s game, it’s likely coach Marc Trestman gives the Bears a day off before bringing them back Wednesday as the club prepares to host the New Orleans Saints.