Pro Football

Bears' defense still in full throttle against the Lions

2012-10-22T23:00:00Z 2012-11-20T23:39:14Z Bears' defense still in full throttle against the LionsAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
October 22, 2012 11:00 pm  • 

CHICAGO | Imagine tough guys like Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and Julius Peppers getting yelled at.

Well, it happens when you play defense for coach Lovie Smith's Bears, whose 17 takeaways and five interception return touchdowns were Detroit's focus in their Monday Night Football matchup.

Turnovers are to the Bears what variety is to Subway.

“We don't have a choice,” Urlacher said with a smile last week. “If we don't strip the football, if we don't score when we catch it, we get a tongue lashing, so we have to do that.”

There was no letup in Monday's sloppy game, won by the Bears 13-7.

Peppers recovered a Mikel Leshoure fumble at the Chicago 17.

Zack Bowman recovered a fumbled punt at the Detroit 27 to set up a Robbie Gould field goal.

Urlacher recovered a Joique Bell fumble, forced by Henry Melton, at the Bears' 1-yard line.

Charles Tillman was on Lions' standout receiver Calvin Johnson like a sunburn, holding him to one catch for six yards through three quarters.

Johnson came in with a team-leading 35 catches for 558 yards.

D.J. Moore tied a nice ribbon around the victory by picking off Matthew Stafford at the Chicago 3 in the final minutes.

Detroit scored with 30 seconds left in the game on Stafford's 12-yard throw to Ryan Broyles.

All this defensive nastiness -- four more takeaways -- was matched by some drama on the Bears' offense with quarterback Jay Cutler leaving in the second quarter with an apparent rib injury after Ndamukong Suh picked the QB up and slammed him to the turf like a rag doll.

Cutler lay motionless in obvious pain before leaving on his own power. He returned briefly, only to be replaced again by backup Jason Campbell.

When the second half began, Cutler was back under center as a Soldier Field crowd of 60,574 cheered his toughness.

The Bears (5-1) held their Motown visitors to five first downs and 91 total yards of offense in the first half of a 10-0 lead.

Cutler's 7-yard pass to Brandon Marshall and Gould's 39-yard field goal accounted for the scoring.

Matt Forte's 39-yard run set up the TD while Cutler's 24-yard jaunt and a Lions' personal foul led to Gould's chip-shot. He later had a 47-yarder blocked by Lawrence Jackson, but also converted from 21.

This sloppy NFC North showdown pitted Chicago's No. 3 defense (291.2 ypg.) against Detroit's No. 2 offense (419.6 ypg.).

Cutler had been sacked only five times the last three games -- wins over the Rams, Cowboys and Jaguars.

The Lions (2-4) nailed him three times in the first half alone.

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