Quarterback Jay Cutler returned after bruising his ribs and linebacker Brian Urlacher made a key fumble recovery to help the Chicago Bears beat the Detroit Lions 13-7 Monday night for their fourth straight victory.
CHICAGO — There was a gasp going through Soldier Field as quarterback Jay Cutler writhed in pain on the turf. He got up and the defense provided a big lift.
Cutler returned after bruising his ribs and linebacker Brian Urlacher made a key fumble recovery to help the Chicago Bears beat the Detroit Lions 13-7 Monday night for their fourth straight victory.
It was not an easy game for the NFC North leaders, particularly Cutler, but they came away with the victory after a week off and possibly buried Detroit (2-4) in the process despite getting a major scare along the way.
That happened in the second quarter, when Cutler was sacked by Ndamukong Suh and eventually wound up going to the locker room to have his ribs examined.
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Cutler came back to start the second half and finished with mediocre stats — 16 of 31 for 150 yards and a touchdown. But with the defense locking down the Lions, the Bears (5-1) prevailed.
Although Cutler said he was feeling “all right” afterward, he acknowledged he wasn’t at full strength during the game.
“But we had to fight through it,” he said.
The loss was a huge blow for last-place Detroit, a team some expected to contend for the division championship a season after making the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade.
Lions receiver Nate Burleson — a former Seahawk — suffered a broken right leg when he was hit by Tim Jennings after a 16-yard reception. Burleson will miss the rest of the season.
Detroit hosts the Seahawks (4-3) on Sunday.
The Lions never got in gear — and when they had chances, they wasted them. The biggest came early in the third quarter, when Joique Bell fumbled at the goal line with the Bears leading 13-0.
Urlacher recovered and Chicago held on from there, sending Detroit to its fourth loss in five games.
Brandon Marshall caught six passes for 81 yards and scored a touchdown on Chicago’s first possession. Matt Forte ran for 96 yards.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was 28 of 46 for 261 yards. Calvin Johnson had trouble shaking the Bears’ Charles Tillman and made three catches for 34 yards. Johnson dropped a deep pass on the game’s first possession.
“We had a great week of practice last week and it just didn’t translate,” Johnson said.