There have been many tumultuous years for the Lions since that week, but they now control their own destiny as they move to 6-3 while the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers both fall to 5-4. The Lions also swept the Bears for the first time since 2007.
Detroit made its fans sweat out another win, but a win is a win. Here are four things we learned in the Lions' 21-19 win against the Bears:
Lions need to stop giving teams second chances
The Lions were forced to stop two two-point conversion attempts due to a late hit by Willie Young on Bears quarterback Josh McCown. Luckily for the Lions, Nick Fairley sniffed out running back Matt Forte on the second opportunity, tackled him in the backfield and put any hopes of a comeback by the Bears on hold.
It's penalties like this that the Lions continue to commit and, up until this point, hasn't cost them a game. Fairley had an unnecessary roughing penalty earlier on that same drive. Instead of third-and-2 on Chicago's 34-yard line, it was first-and-10 on Chicago's 49-yard line. Two more stops ends the game. Instead, the Bears scored a touchdown, and the Lions needed to stop a two-point conversion attempt.
This team is more disciplined in years' past, but they need to limit the amount of personal fouls they commit if they want to take the next step. The Bears couldn't take advantage of the mistakes, a better team can. I know I say that week after week, but it's only a matter of time before it comes back to bite the Lions.
Calvin Johnson breaks franchise touchdown record
Coming off a 329-yard performance against the Dallas Cowboys, Calvin Johnson picked up where he left off after the bye week with an 83-yard, two touchdown performance against the Bears.
With his second touchdown catch of the game, Johnson broke the Lions record for career receiving touchdowns (63), the record once held by Herman Moore.
Johnson was matched up against Charles Tillman, one of the better cornerbacks in the league. Granted, Tillman wasn't 100 percent, but at this point in the season, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who is 100 percent.
Johnson was targeted a team-high 17 times and made the big plays when his team needed it. Sorry, Dez, Calvin is in a completely different league right now.
Reggie Bush cuts up Bears defense
The last time Reggie Bush ran for more than 100 yards was in the Lions' Week 4 win against the Bears. He put on a repeat performance as he had 14 carries for 105 yards, including a 39-yard run that set up Johnson's first touchdown of the day and put the Lions up 14-7.
It wasn't the outside where Bush did his damage either, it was up the middle. He got good blocks from his lineman, and made linebackers miss to get into the secondary.
The running game was a key factor in the win as Matthew Stafford wasn't consistent with his throws. He completed just 51 percent of his passes.
However, good teams find ways to win when one aspect of their offense isn't working. The Lions' Achilles heel in recent years has been relying too much on the passing game. Now, Bush gives them another dimension to their offense, and they have more than one way to move the ball down the field.
Josh McCown should have started the game
It was apparent Jay Cutler was not the same Jay Cutler we are accustomed to seeing. Early on, he was completing passes and running the offense efficiently but, after he took a couple of shots from Lions defenders, he started to struggle. It was later revealed Cutler suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter.
Josh McCown entered the game on the Bears' final possession and ran an efficient two-minute offense, but he was passing against a prevent defense.
If I were Bears coach Marc Trestman, I would have sat Cutler against the Lions. You can make the argument that an 80 percent Cutler is better than a lot of quarterbacks at 100 percent, but McCown proved last week against the Packers that he is a more than capable backup.
Now, instead of a healthy Cutler going into Week 11, you have a banged-up Cutler who could miss the next couple of games. He definitely will miss next week's game against the Baltimore Ravens and is considered week to week.
The Lions picked up a big win on the road against a divisional opponent. They control their own destiny now. They travel to Pittsburgh next week and have an opportunity to get a tighter grip on the division with a win against the Steelers.
Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who covers the Detroit Lions for the Yahoo Contributor Network. He also is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can follow Tom on Twitter.
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