The Bears are halfway to ending their five-game losing streak, leading the Lions 23-13 at halftime Sunday.
Whether that’s because of the putrid play of the Lions or the improvements the Bears made after being embarrassed on national television against their rivals last week is up for debate. On one gray day at Soldier Field, at least, the Bears thus far have looked like a different team than the one that has gone 49 days since their last victory.
• Entering Sunday’s game, the Bears had led for a total of 26 minutes and 45 seconds during their losing streak. When they ran to the locker room at halftime Sunday, they’d led the Lions for 27 minutes and 42 seconds.
• The Bears had two rushing touchdowns in the first 20 minutes of the game. Before Sunday, they had two all season.
•They totaled 173 yards on their first three offensive positions—24 more than they had over four quarters in the Vikings loss two games ago.
•They scored 23 points, more than they did in eight full games this year.
After a week in which coach Matt Nagy begged the Bears to play for “personal pride,” the Bears looked sharp from the start. Cordarrelle Patterson returned the opening kickoff for 45 yards, and the Bears ended their first drive with a 45-yard Cairo Santos field goal.
The Bears stuffed the Lions on the next drive when cornerback Buster Skrine executed a perfect form tackle to stuff Jamal Agnew on a fourth-and-1 fly sweep at the Bears’ 29.
The Bears scored touchdowns on the next two drives behind an improved rushing attack. David Montgomery stiff-armed his way to a 13-yard score to take a 9-0 lead, after which Santos missed the extra point. The Lions’ Adrian Peterson countered with a three-yarder of his own— only for kicker Matt Prater to miss the extra point, too.
Patterson ran five yards to give the Bears a 16-6 lead with about five minutes into the second quarter. The Lions matched with 2:33 left in the half when quarterback Matthew Stafford arced a gorgeous ball up the right sideline to rookie Quintez Cephus, who caught it falling down at the front right pylon in the south end zone for a 48-yard score.
Montgomery ran for his second touchdown, a four-yarder, to cap a two-minute drill on the Bears’ last drive of the half.
Through one half, quarterback Mitch Trubisky is 11-for-15 for 147 yards and neither a touchdown nor an interception. Stafford is 12-for-21 for 196 yards.