CHICAGO — Jay Cutler shook off an apparent rib injury, Brian Urlacher made a key fumble recovery and the Chicago Bears won their fourth straight, beating the Detroit Lions 13-7 on Monday night.
It was certainly not an easy night for the NFC North leaders, particularly their quarterback, but they came away with the win after a week off and possibly buried Detroit (2-4) in the process despite getting a major scare along the way.
That happened in the second quarter when Cutler was sacked by Ndamukong Suh and ultimately wound up going to the locker room to have his ribs examined.
Cutler started the second half and was 16 of 31 for 150 yards and a touchdown in the game, but with the defense locking down the Lions, the Bears (5-1) prevailed. It was a huge blow for last-place Detroit, a team many expected to contend for the division championship after making the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade.
Back from their week off, the Bears took advantage of a dropped pass by Calvin Johnson, who was wide open for a potential big gain on third down on Detroitís opening possession. On the Bearsí ensuing drive, Cutler kept it alive by running for 10 yards on third-and-long. One play later, Matt Forte preceded Marshallís touchdown catch with a 39-yard run.
Chicago has already tied a club record by returning five interceptions for touchdowns Ė all in the past three games. They didnít get the big play on defense, but they forced four Lionsí turnovers.
On Chicagoís third drive of the quarter, Cutler scrambled for 24 yards and 15 more yards was tacked on after Corey Williams was called for a personal foul. The Bears eventually settled for a 39-yard field goal by Robbie Gould for a 10-0 lead.
The Bears had another opportunity to score after driving from its own one yard line, but Gould had his 47-yard field goal attempt blocked by Lawrence Jackson.
After Detroitís defense forced a Chicago three and out on the first possession of the third quarter. Stefan Logan dropped a punt and it was recovered by Chicagoís Zack Bowman, who was signed last week. Michael Bush had 12 yard run and Cutler connected on a pass to Marshall for 12 yards, his first completion since being injured. But the Bears had to settle for another field goal from Gould to put them up 13-0.
Johnson finally caught a pass for Detroit midway through the third quarter as the Lions were putting together an impressive drive. On the following play, Johnson drew a pass interference call on Charles Tillman putting the ball at the Chicago 1. On the next play, Tillman denied Johnson a touchdown reception and the Lions tried to punch it in with a run by Joique Bell. Bell tried to leap into the end zone, but while he was reaching out the ball, Henry Melton knocked it out and it was recovered at the 5 by Brian Urlacher. The turnover knocked out a Lionsí 79-yard drive.
The Lions didnít score until there were just 30 seconds left; a 12-yard pass from Stafford to Ryan Broyles.