Bears 26, Lions 24

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- Jay Cutler passed for 257 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown to Earl Bennett, and the Chicago Bears forced four turnovers as they kept their playoff hopes alive with a 26-24 win over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday.
Matt Forte rushed for 103 yards and scored a touchdown and while Olindo Mare kicked four field goals for the Bears (10-6), who needed a Green Bay victory over Minnesota later in the day to gain a wild-card berth.
Calvin Johnson came up 36 yards shy of 2,000 receiving yards in a season. Johnson, who caught five passes for 72 yards, broke Jerry Rice's single-season record of 1,848 receiving yards against Atlanta last weekend. He was targeted 14 times.
Matthew Stafford passed for 272 yards and three touchdowns for the Lions (4-12), who finished the season with an eight-game losing streak.
Will Heller's 10-yard touchdown catch with 6:31 remaining in the third quarter pulled the Lions within 20-17. But Mikel Leshoure fumbled on Detroit's next possession and safety Major Wright recovered at the Lions' 13. Detroit managed to limit Chicago to a 28-yard Mare field goal.
Mare's fourth field goal, a 20-yarder, gave the Bears a 26-17 lead with 10:47 left. Stafford responded with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Brian Robiskie. The Lions only had one more possession and the Bears ran out the clock.
Chicago turned three Detroit turnovers into 13 first-half points and grabbed a 20-10 halftime lead.
Bennett gave the Bears a 7-3 lead when he caught a pass just beyond the line of scrimmage, eluded linebacker DeAndre Levy and raced down the left sideline. Eric Weems recovered a Joique Bell fumble on the ensuing kickoff at the Lions 24, leading to Mare's 33-yard field goal.
Forte's 1-yard scoring run gave the Bears a 17-3 lead with 3:26 remaining in the half. Israel Idonije's strip sack of Stafford and Julius Peppers' fumble recovery at Detroit's 10 set up the touchdown.
Tim Jennings' ninth interception this season led to a 40-yard Mare field goal. The Lions cut the deficit to 10 with 12 seconds remaining on a 25-yard reception by Kris Durham, his first career touchdown.
NOTES: Stafford set an NFL single-season record for pass attempts with 727. Drew Bledsoe previously held the record with 691 attempts for New England in 1994. ... Hanson set a franchise record with 134 points this season. He held the previous record of 132 points, set in 1995. His 44-yard field goal in the first quarter was the 188th of his career, breaking Morten Andersen's NFL record. ... Forte surpassed 1,000 yards rushing for the third time in his five-year career. He finished with 1,094 yards. ... Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher missed his fourth consecutive game with a hamstring injury. ... Detroit has won five games or less in 14 seasons since 1986.

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