In one of the more improbable comebacks you’ll ever see, the Detroit Lions erased a 12-point deficit with three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to defeat their NFC North rival, the Chicago Bears. The offense came to life, the defense stepped up, and in the end, the Lions were able to push their record to 8-2 for the first time since the Kennedy Administration (yes, it’s been that long). Let’s take a look at some of the big takeaways from Detroit’s third straight victory.
How the Lions Come Back To Defeat Bears In Thrilling Fashion
Jared Goff Starts Slow, Finishes Fast
It wasn’t Lions’ quarterback Jared Goff‘s best game of his career. But when Detroit needed him most, he stepped up.
For just the third time in his career, Goff threw three interceptions, something he hadn’t done since 2019 when he was still a member of the Los Angeles Rams. After struggling against Chicago’s pressure for three and a half quarters, Goff and the Lions’ offense finally found their footing. Jameson Williams caught a 32-yard strike from Goff to cut into the Chicago deficit, and after the Lions defense forced a 3-and-out, Detroit had the ball back and a chance to win with 2:33 remaining. Goff then put together one of the best drives of the season for the Lions that resulted in former Bear David Montgomery scoring the go-ahead touchdown with under 30 seconds remaining in the game. In the final three minutes, Goff completed 10 of 12 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. He showed resilience and was able to put his prior mistakes behind him all while leading Detroit to another last-second victory.
Aidan Hutchinson Comes Up Big
After Montgomery’s go-ahead score, the Bears had the ball and a chance to either tie or win the game in regulation. Lions’ defensive end Aidan Hutchinson put a bow on Detroit’s come-from-behind victory after beating Bears’ rookie Darnell Wright for a strip sack, forcing a Justin Fields fumble that resulted in a safety. Hutchinson had six tackles on the day, but none bigger than his final one.
It was Hutchinson’s first sack since Week 5, and he’s now the first player in NFL history to record 15 sacks and four interceptions through his first two seasons.
David Montgomery Gets Revenge
While he insists there are no hard feelings after departing Chicago in the offseason, it had to feel good for the former Bear to score what ended up being the game-winning touchdown against his old team. Montgomery was active on Detroit’s final drive, rushing three times for 23 yards while also catching two passes for 22 yards. On the day, he had 88 all-purpose yards and came up clutch for the Lions in their comeback win.
Alex Anzalone Leads The Way
Linebacker Alex Anzalone had 15 total tackles and played well in coverage for a Detroit defense that made second-half adjustments and did just enough to get by. Anzalone, who’s a captain for the Lions’ defense, has graded out as one of the best linebackers in football this season according to PFF and is one of the most dependable players on their defense.
Lions Overcome Four Turnovers
Very rarely can a team overcome a (-3) turnover differential, but that’s exactly what the Lions did on Sunday. As mentioned above, Goff had three picks, but running back Craig Reynolds also fumbled on a kick return that Chicago took advantage of, scoring a touchdown on their ensuing possession.
It’s not a recipe for success and Detroit will have to clean things up in that department moving forward, but it showed that the Lions are what they preach: gritty and resilient. Good teams find a way to win games and overcome their mistakes, which is what Detroit did on Sunday.
The Lions will be on a short week as they welcome the 4-6 Green Bay Packers to Ford Field for a Thanksgiving Day matchup on Thursday.
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