Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The Detroit Lions beat the Chicago Bears 24-13 to stay perfect through five National Football League games, their best start to the season in 55 years.
The Lions scored two second-half touchdowns last night while limiting Chicago to one field goal after trailing 10-7 at halftime in Detroit’s first Monday night game in 10 years.
The Lions haven’t had a better start to the season since they went 6-0 in 1956. Following a 24-20 loss to Chicago on Dec. 5, Detroit has won nine straight games, the longest active streak in the league and the first time the team has won that many games in a row since 1953-1954. The turnaround comes three years after Detroit became the only team in NFL history to fail to win in a 16-game regular season.
Calvin Johnson put the home team ahead in the second quarter at Ford Field in Detroit when he caught a 73-yard scoring pass from Matthew Stafford. Robbie Gould cut the deficit with a 44-yard field goal and Chicago took the lead 71 seconds before halftime when quarterback Jay Cutler connected with Kellen Davis on a 9-yard scoring play.
Stafford found Brandon Pettigrew with an 18-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to make it 14-10 for the Lions.
Less than five minutes later, no Chicago defender managed to lay a finger on Jahvid Best as he sprinted 88 yards for the second-longest scoring run in franchise history behind Bob Hoernschemeyer’s 96-yard dash against the New York Yanks on Nov. 23, 1950. It was also the second-longest rushing touchdown ever surrendered by the Bears.
Gould’s second field goal of the game, from 49 yards, cut the deficit to eight points with 4:07 to play and Jason Hanson completed the scoring with a 31-yard field goal for Detroit with just under two minutes remaining.
The Green Bay Packers are the only other undefeated team in the league, while the Bears drop to 2-3 with their second road loss of the year.
The Lions next face the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 16, while the Bears play the Minnesota Vikings the same day. San Francisco has won three straight games, while the Vikings two days ago beat the Arizona Cardinals 34-10 to improve to 1-4 and avoid matching their worst start to the season, set in 1962.
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