Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) -- The Chicago Bears extended their winning streak to four games with a 13-7 victory over the Detroit Lions in which the National Football League’s top defense forced four turnovers and came within seconds of its first shutout in almost two years.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall and Robbie Gould kicked a pair of field goals last night at Soldier Field in Chicago to close out Week 7 of the regular season.
The Bears’ defense, which has allowed a league-low 13 points a game, held the Lions scoreless until Matthew Stafford threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Broyles with 30 seconds left in the game.
“It was good team defense again,” Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said in a televised interview. “We ran to the football and got some turnovers when we needed to -- the same thing we’ve been doing all year.”
Chicago improved its record to 3-0 at home and is now 5-1 overall, taking a half-game lead over the 5-2 Minnesota Vikings in the National Football Conference’s North Division. Detroit remains in last place in the division at 2-4 and has lost four of its past five games.
After opening a 13-0 lead early in the second half, the Bears kept the Lions off the scoreboard by forcing a fumble by running back Joique Bell on the Chicago 1-yard line midway through the third quarter. Detroit had driven 79 yards before Brian Urlacher recovered the fumble caused by Henry Melton.
The Bears also intercepted a fourth-down pass by Stafford at their 5-yard line with two minutes, 39 seconds left.
“Chicago is a really good defense and they made it hard on us,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said at his post-game news conference. “But if we don’t have those turnovers, there were plays to be made.”
Stafford, who completed 28-of-46 passes for 261 yards, is the only NFL starting quarterback without a first-half touchdown pass this season. Chicago’s Cutler, who returned after a second-quarter rib injury, was 16-of-31 for 150 yards.
Matt Forte rushed for 96 yards on 22 carries for the Bears, who have won eight of their past nine games against the Lions.
To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at firstname.lastname@example.org