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Bears Matchup Flashback: Lions Take the Game Away in the Last Two Minutes

Last December, the Bears looked to end their five-game losing streak against the Lions. However, Detroit had other plans.
David Montgomery Bears

Photo: Mike Dinovo/USA TODAY-Sports

On Sunday, the Chicago Bears take on the Detroit Lions. Of course, both of these teams have a combined 1-5 record. The Bears come into the matchup at 1-2, while the Lions sport a 0-3 record. Chicago took a beating at the hands of the Cleveland Browns in Week Three and lost 26-6 in Justin Fields' first start. Meanwhile, the Lions lost a heartbreaker to the Ravens. Justin Tucker hit a 66-yard field goal that bounced off the crossbar and went through the uprights as the clock expired.


Nevertheless, Chicago and Detroit will square off against each other on Sunday for the 183rd time. As it stands, Chicago holds a twenty-seven game lead in the series. The all-time record is 102-75-5. In the Matt Nagy era, the Bears have dominated the Lions. As a result, since 2018, the Bears own a 5-1 record over the Lions. During that span, they've outscored them 158 to 128.

Previous Matchup

It was a dreary Sunday at Soldier Field. A Week 13 matchup between two mediocre NFC North foes took place on December 6, 2020. The Bears went into the game sporting a 5-6 record after dropping five straight. Similarly, the Lions entered the matchup with a 4-7 record. The Lions were without head coach Matt Patricia, as they fired him earlier that week. However, their offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, was the interim head coach for Detroit.

First Quarter

Without delay, the Bears got off to a roaring start. Cordarrelle Patterson returned the opening kick-off 45 yards and set the offense up with great field position.

Cordarrelle Patterson Bears

Photo: TNS

Six plays and 27 yards later, the Bears took the lead on a Cairo Santos 45-yard field goal. Next, the Lions sustained a drive of their own that went 51 yards on seven plays. Ultimately, a gamble on fourth-and-1 failed as the Bears stopped the Lions dead in their tracks to force a turnover on downs. On the following drive, the Bears stormed down the field on a six-play, 71-yard drive that was dominated by Patterson and David Montgomery. As a result, Montgomery found pay dirt on a 13-yard scamper. However, the extra point was blocked and loomed large. The Bears held a 9-0 lead at that point.

In response to the Bears' touchdown, the Lions scored a touchdown of their own. Detroit went on a long, grinding twelve-play, 72-yard drive that spanned just a tick under six minutes. Ultimately, Adrian Peterson found the end zone on a 3-yard run. Likewise, the Lions missed their extra point. The Bears still held a 9-6 lead after one quarter.

Second Quarter

The Bears and Lions continued trading touchdowns. This time, Chicago responded to Detroit's score. Patterson ran it in from five yards out and increased the Bears lead to 16-6, capping off a ten-play, 75-yard, five-minute drive. Subsequently, both teams traded punts before the scoring picked up yet again. First, it was Detroit narrowing the gap. They went on a four-play, 72-yard drive that saw a 49-yard TD pass from Matthew Stafford to Quintez Cephus.

Quintez Cephus Lions

Photo: Sports Illustrated

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The touchdown was set up a play earlier when Matthew Stafford connected with Marvin Jones for 25 yards. The Bears' lead shrunk to 16-13.

However, the Bears responded with just over two minutes left before halftime. Chicago marched 68 yards on six plays which was capped off by a 4-yard Montgomery touchdown run. Now, heading into halftime the Bears held a 23-13 lead.

Third Quarter

Coming out of the half, the Bears defense buckled down and forced the Lions to punt on their first possession. However, their offense didn't do much of anything themselves and punted the ball back to Detroit. Once again, both teams traded touchdowns. Detroit started it off first by going on a five-minute drive that saw their offense go 66 yards on ten plays. The scoring drive was capped off by a familiar face, as Jesse James hauled in a 9-yard touchdown reception.

Another 10-point Bears lead had dwindled down to three yet again as the score was 23-20. Chicago stormed right back on a 12-play, 72-yard drive of their own that spanned seven and a half minutes. As a result, Mitchell Trubisky connected with Cole Kmet for an 11-yard score. The Bears lead once more was back up to ten points, 30-20. Unfortunately, that was the last time the Bears would score in this contest.

Fourth Quarter

On the following Lions drive, Bilal Nichols intercepted a Stafford pass intended for James, which gave the Bears great field position. A las, Chicago did not capitalize on the gift and punted the ball back to Detroit. Consequently, both teams traded punts following that empty Bears possession. This proved to be the turning point in the game as Detroit marched 96 yards on seven plays in just over two minutes. Stafford connected with Jones for a 25-yard score and cut the Bears lead to 30-27.

However, what happened next was detrimental to the Bears. After the Lions' kick-off and two-minute warning, the Bears turned the ball over deep in their own territory. Trubisky was strip-sacked and Detroit recovered at Chicago's 7-yard line with just 1:46 left in the game.

Mitchell Trubisky Bears

Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Nonetheless, two plays later, Peterson broke the goal line on a 5-yard run and gave the Lions their first lead of the game, 34-30. Subsequently, the Bears moved the ball 55 yards on seven plays and entered the red zone, only to falter and turn the ball over on downs. The last gasp fell short, which goes back to the earlier blocked extra point. If Santos had connected on it, maybe only a field goal to tie the game would have been needed instead of being forced to score a touchdown down four points.

In conclusion, the Bears blew a 10-point lead in the final two minutes and dropped the game 34-30.


Ultimately, the loss extended Chicago's losing streak to six games and brought their record to 5-7. Meanwhile, the Lions' win raised their record to 5-7 as well. The Bears won three straight games following this defeat before losing in Week 17 to the Green Bay Packers. Furthermore, with some help, the Bears snuck into the playoffs at 8-8. However, their playoff run was short-lived as they lost to the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card game. As for Detroit, they lost the remaining four games and finished 5-11.