Chicago 07


Detroit 16Chicago 7
October 28, 2007Soldier Field-Attendance: 62,171 (61,000) Time: 3:02
Scoring Summary
 DET FG 14:56 Jason Hanson 26 yard field goal attempt is good.30
 DET TD 1:53 Kevin Jones rush to the left for 4 yards for a touchdown.90
 DET PAT 1:53 Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.100
 DET FG 0:05 Jason Hanson 52 yard field goal attempt is good.130
 CHI TD 5:26 Brian Griese pass completion to the right to Greg Olsen for 20 yards for a touchdown.136
 CHI PAT 5:26 Robbie Gould extra point attempt is good.137
 DET FG 14:42 Jason Hanson 20 yard field goal attempt is good.167

 Detroit Passing
 J. Kitna24/352687.700
 Chicago Passing
 B. Griese22/402085.214
 Detroit Rushing
 K. Jones231054.6134
 J. Bradley231.503
 C. Johnson11111.0011
 J. Kitna1-1-1.00-1
 T. Duckett111.001
 Chicago Rushing
 C. Benson13503.8012
 B. Griese382.709
 D. Hester2-6-3.000
 A. Peterson2115.508
 Detroit Receiving
 R. Williams8779.6024
 S. McDonald66410.7029
 M. Furrey34414.7023
 C. Johnson24422.0023
 K. Jones2105.009
 T. Walters188.008
 C. FitzSimmons11010.0010
 S. McHugh11111.0011
 Chicago Receiving
 G. Olsen6599.8120
 A. Peterson6416.8011
 B. Berrian44511.3016
 C. Benson2105.008
 M. Muhammad22311.5016
 D. Clark11111.0011
 D. Hester11919.0019
 Detroit Tackles
 P. Lenon10910-0
 F. Bryant7700-0
 E. Sims5410-0
 D. White3301-9
 A. Lewis3300-0
 K. Smith3300-0
 S. Rogers2201-7
 B. Bailey3210-0
 S. Wilson3210-0
 C. Redding2200-0
 K. Kennedy3210-0
 C. FitzSimmons1100-0
 T. Fisher1100-0
 G. Alexander2110-0
 L. Moore1100-0
 C. Smith1100-0
 D. Raiola1100-0
 Chicago Tackles
 T. McBride8800-0
 R. Manning Jr.8620-0
 A. Archuleta6600-0
 D. Manning5500-0
 L. Briggs7521-4
 A. Ogunleye4401-6
 C. Tillman6420-0
 T. Harris3301-5
 A. Brown3301-7
 B. Urlacher4220-0
 A. Adams2200-0
 H. Hillenmeyer2200-0
 A. Garay1100-0
 M. Bradley1100-0
 R. Wilson1100-0
 B. Berrian1100-0
 B. Ayanbadejo1100-0
 F. Miller1100-0
 D. Walker1100-0
 M. Anderson1100-0
 C. Graham1100-0
 Detroit Interceptions
 F. Bryant10000
 G. Alexander13636.0360
 K. Smith10000
 K. Kennedy177.070
 Chicago Interceptions
 Detroit Punting
 N. Harris520140.22
 Team 520140.22
 Chicago Punting
 B. Maynard523947.83
 Team 523947.83
 Detroit Punt Returns
 T. Walters2199.5130
 Chicago Punt Returns
 D. Hester24422390
 Detroit Kickoff Returns
 A. Cason11919190
 Chicago Kickoff Returns
 R. Davis11414140
 D. Hester12020200
 Detroit Fumbles
 K. Jones1100
 Chicago Fumbles
 B. Griese100-1
 Detroit Missed Field Goals
 J. Hanson29
 Chicago Missed Field Goals
 R. Gould40

Team Stat Comparison
 1st Downs22 16 
   3rd down efficiency4-13 7-14 
   4th down efficiency0-0 0-0 
 Total Yards365 255 
 Passing246 192 
   Comp-Att24-35 22-40 
   Yards per pass6.3 4.6 
 Rushing119 63 
   Rushing Attempts28 20 
   Yards per rush4.3 3.2 
 Penalties5-32 7-78 
 Sacks against4-22 2-16 
     Fumbles-lost1-1 1-0 
     Interceptions thrown
 Possession34:54 25:06 


Surprised? Yes, Roy Williams was surprised.

He was surprised to find out the Detroit Lions are 5-2 for the first time since 2000, not that they beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

''2000? Two thousand years?'' Williams asked.

Either way, it's been a long time.

Jon Kitna passed for 268 yards, Kevin Jones ran for 105 yards and a touchdown, and the Lions again showed they're serious contenders in the NFC with a 16-7 victory over the Bears on Sunday.

With the strong start, Detroit is making a bid for its first playoff appearance since 1999. The Lions have endured six straight seasons with at least 10 losses and won just three games last year, coach Rod Marinelli's first. But things are different now.

''This is uncharted territory for us,'' center Dominic Raiola said. ''I think Rod is going to keep us in there, keep us knowing that next week's game (against Denver) is even bigger. We know what it means. ... We need to keep it in perspective and got to keep that mind-set that every week is a big game.''

Four weeks earlier, the Lions scored an NFL-record 34 points in the fourth quarter to beat the Bears 37-27 in Detroit.

This time, they didn't need the dramatics.

They got two field goals by Jason Hanson along with a 4-yard touchdown run by Jones in the second quarter to take a 13-0 halftime lead and hung on from there.

Jones, making his second straight start after injuring his foot last December, was effective and Kitna was efficient, completing 24-of-35 without an interception. Roy Williams caught eight passes for 77 yards, and Shaun McDonald added six catches for 64 yards.

Greg Olsen's 20-yard touchdown catch with 5:26 left in the third quarter pulled the Bears within 13-7, but it was a dreary day for a team that was hoping to go into the bye with a .500 record. Instead, the defending NFC champions are 3-5 and reeling.

Brian Griese was unable to carry over the magic he used to orchestrate a game-winning 97-yard touchdown drive at Philadelphia the previous week, and the running game was a rumor again.

Griese threw four interceptions and got picked off three times in the end zone.

The Bears were threatening to pull within 16-14 when Gerald Alexander intercepted a pass intended for Mark Bradley midway through the fourth.

Blame for this loss goes beyond Griese, who was 22-of-40 for 208 yards.

Cedric Benson had another rough afternoon. He finished with 50 yards on 13 carries, 10 of those attempts coming in the first half. He dropped a pass on the game's first play, and things did not improve for him or the Bears.

Safety Adam Archuleta didn't help matters when he bumped Williams on a deep pass down the right side, a 47-yard penalty that moved the Lions to the 28. That set up a 26-yard field goal by Hanson on the first play of the second quarter.

Things continued to get worse for Chicago when Griese attempted to hit Mark Bradley in double coverage in the end zone. A leaping Kenoy Kennedy made the interception, and the Lions again made the Bears pay.

Jones ran it in from the 4, plowing over Lance Briggs, to make it 10-0 and cap a 93-yard drive.

''We didn't even know if we were going to have him at all this year,'' Kitna said. ''And to have him playing at the high level that he is playing at is great for us.''

Scott's Game Commentary:

Could it be? Could the honolulu blue and silver finally be on their way to a winning season??? They certainly surprised me in what was if not their best game played in years. Although the Offense only put up one touchdown, they controlled the clock and the Defense, which was shredded the past two road games gave up only a short touchdown and forced four turnovers. This was the first game since 2000 I did not attend at Soldier Field since I was fed up with the blow out losses in 2005 and 2006. I was literally speechless after what I witnessed this year. Like the Bears of 2006, the Lions won the battle of the turnovers and let the other team make the mistakes. The Defense, which has taken a lot of heat this year, has made some clutch plays and definitely was the reason the Lions were victorious for the first time on the road against an NFC team since they won the opener in 2004 - a memorable game in which they broke their long road losing streak. With the win the Lions pull within a 1/2 game of first place and for the most part will be battling the Packers for first place the rest of the season. I can honestly say that for the first time in over seven years, I am once again pumped up to see Lions football. That was also the last time the Lions started 5-2.


*Offense: --- B. The Offense only produced one touchdown and had great difficulty punching it into the endzone settling for only 6 points when they had the ball inside the ten three times. That aside, Kevin Jones is showing how big of a weapon he can be in the Lions pass happy offense as he had his first 100+ yard game in quite some time. If Kevin Jones can continue playing like he has the past few weeks, this will force defenses to think twice before dropping so many players back. Calvin Johnson had some nice catches along with another exciting run for a first down. Roy Williams finally broke out of his slump and had eigh catches. Jon Kitna was efficient and did not have any interceptions, something which killed him last year. The Offensive Line played better to although they gave up four sacks. If the Offense could ever put all the pieces together, they could very well be the best offense in the NFC. Unfortunately, the comparisons end there since Indy, San Diego and New England are in a league of their own.

*Defense: --- A. What a gusty performance by the Defense. They had four turnovers including two in the endzone that killed any chance the Bears had of getting some momentum. They also did a decent job getting to Griese and forcing pressure. Although they not be the most talented group in the NFL, they certainly have over achieved in their victories. If they can continue to play smart and force the turnovers, the Lions have a legitimate shot of winning the NFC North and dare I say make the playoffs.

*Special Teams: --- C. Marinelli said he would not kick to Devon Hester after he burned them back in Detroit. So how did Chicago's only touchdown get setup? By a Hester 39 yard punt return. Hanson made a lucky 52 yard field goal before the half off the cross bar but botched a 29 yarder in the 2nd half. He did kick two other field goals. Nick Harris did a decent job punting and coverage was better than it was the first time they played the Bears.

*Coaching: --- B. I will give Marinelli credit for getting the Lions to believe they could win in Soldier Field after two previous road blow outs. The play calling still gets me worked up at times. In the first half with the Lions inside their own ten facing third and an inch they decide to throw the ball and what happens? Kitna gets sacked! They also need to find a way to use Calvin Johnson more than three times a game. He has so much talent but good is it when he hardly gets the ball.

*Overall: --- A+. This was if not the biggest win of the Millen era since it puts the honolulu blue and silver in some unchartered territory. It is also nice to finally get motiviated to write my commentaries and game grades since the past six years have been so repetitive. With the win, the Lions are 5-2 and have one heck of a schedule on the horizon. Next up is a meeting with the Denver Broncos. Let me be the first to say this is a game the Lions should and will win. The Broncos are three plays away from being a winless team. They have a second year quarterback in Jay Cutler who is still going through the growing pains. Travis Henry is nicked up too. If the Lions play like they have this year at Ford Field they will find themselves at 6-2 heading into a very winnable game against a bad Arizona team. After that? Two home games against first place teams - the Giants and Packers. I can only envision how exciting November could be if the Lions keep doing what they are doing. One can only hope after six miserable losing seasons. But, lets all not eat too much cornbread and drink the koolaide. One game at a time :-)

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