CHICAGO – The Detroit Lions fell to the Chicago Bears 20-13 in a battle of longtime NFL rivals Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford was sidelined by a back injury and was not in uniform. He had started Detroit’s last 136 straight games since January 2011 and was replaced by backup signal-caller Jeff Driskel.
The Lions came in with a 3-4-1 record while the Bears entered the proceedings at 3-5 and in the throes of a 4-game losing streak. Chicago was a 2 1/2-point favorite.
The series between the two has seen them meet at least once every regular season since 1930, and the Bears came in leading the all-time games 99-74-5.
Detroit received the opening kickoff and Driskel immediately went to work, marching the visitors downfield until Matt Prater cracked the scoring column first with a 22-yard field goal with 8:42 showing on the clock. That margin stood through the close of the opener.
Driskel put together another drive in the second stanza, culminating in Prater’s 54-yard field goal and a 6-0 Lions advantage with 4:46 to go until intermission.
The Bears came right back and took a 7-6 halftime lead on a 17-yard TD pass from Mitch Trubisky to Ben Braunecker with just 25 seconds left in the half.
Chicago came out inspired for the second half, upping the bulge to 13-6 when Trubisky hit Tarik Cohen with a 12-yard aerial and then to 20-6 when he connected with Taylor Gabriel with 9:38 remaining. That’s the way the third frame ended.
The finale saw Driskel and Kenny Golladay combine for a 47-yard scoring pass to move to within 20-13 with 5:53 in the game. But that was as close as the Lions could get.
The pair will meet again in just 2 1/2 weeks – at 12:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day at Ford Field in Detroit.
Next up the Lions will return home to meet the Dallas Cowboys, with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. next Sunday at Ford Field.
The Bears, meanwhile, will hit the road for their next foray – an encounter with the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday night at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.