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The Chicago Bears displayed their defensive dominance as they defeated their division rival the Detroit Lions, 37-13. The Bears defense went to work immediately, forcing a fumble on the Lions first offensive possession of the game.
Julius Peppers stripped the football from star receiver Calvin Johnson around midfield, and Brian Urlacher was there to scoop up the loose ball and give the Bears possession deep inside Lions territory. With the short field provided by the defense, Matt Forte was able to score the only offensive touchdown of the night for the Bears.
However, that single score would be more than enough as the Bears would go on to force a total of six turnovers and turn them into 24 points. The Bears secondary managed to pick off Matt Stafford four times, matching his season total in one game. Each interception was caused by a different defensive player, and both Major Wright and Charles Tillman returned theirs for touchdowns.
There was speculation by Fox commentator Brian Billick on what may have caused Stafford’s horrendous performance. For the first time in Stafford’s career, he had on gloves, a fact he attributed to the cold weather, but with the game time temperature around 55 degrees, another explanation seems likely.
In the Week 8 game against the Denver Broncos, Stafford’s hand collided with cornerback Champ Bailey’s helmet mid-throw. Stafford was noticeably bothered by the incident during that game, but no reports of an injury have surfaced from the Lions organization.
As Stafford reeled, the Lions tried to rely on the run game, but with Jahvid Best absent, still suffering from concussion-like symptoms, they only managed 80 yards on the ground. With the run game fairing even worse, the Lions went back to the passing attack. And just when the Lions offense would start to gain momentum, a Bears player would disrupt the play or cause a timely turnover.
The rout was on early in this game and, as is customary in divisional blowout wins, emotions started to run high. Players on both sides started to deliver hits after the whistle and, after a Stafford interception, all that hostility culminated into a team scuffle that will likely bring fines from the league office.
Between the Bears outstanding defense and team “fight” that lost in the shuffle was Devin Hesters’s 82 yard punt return for touchdown, usually the most exciting play of the game.
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