The return of Marty Booker didn't give the Bears offense any additional life. In fact the unit missed several chances to takeover the game and coughed up a fourth quarter lead.
Anthony Thomas missed the match-up with the Lions two weeks ago and considering he touched the ball just five times in the first half Sunday, it seemed as if the coaching staff still thought he was in street clothes.
The lack of a running game allowed an injury ridden Lions secondary to concentrate on Chris Chandler. The quarterback hit eight different players, but overall was not sharp often throwing behind receivers. He completed 16-of-28 passes for 149 yards.
Still a third straight victory was within reach because of the defense. The Lions leading rusher was WR Reggie Swinton, who had a nine-yard gain on a reverse. In total Detroit had 17 yards rushing on 20 carries, which calculates to an average of 0.9 yards per attempt.
Joey Harrington threw the ball much better than he did against the Bears in Week 8, but failed to get in end zone.
In previous weeks it's been the defense that failed to put an opponent away, but the offense managed just 39 total yards in the fourth quarter.
The lack of ball movement forced the defense back on the field, while Greg Blache's unit held up their end of the bargain for the most part. Jason Hanson hit a 48-yard field goal to give the Lions the lead with under a minute to go, but when you hold an opponent to 12 points on four field goals there is no reason to lose.
Reliable Paul Edinger had his worst day in recent memory. After the placekicker hit a 43-yard field goal in the second quarter, he had a second attempt blocked by the Lions in three weeks.
An ill-advised fake punt by the Lions in their half of the field failed because Bobby Gray popped the ball out of the hands of Bracy Walker. The Bears took over on the Lions' 37 and couldn't move the ball. Edinger needed to get good leg on a 48-yard attempt and that gave Jared DeVries enough time to get a piece of the attempt.
In the final period Edinger missed wide left on an attempt that would have given the Bears a 4-point lead and would have forced the Lions to score a touchdown to win the game. On the drive Chicago moved forward in large part due to two penalties on Detroit that extended the possession. Waiting for a play to be called Chandler was forced to burn a timeout as the clock ticked down. Coming out of the break offensive coordinator John Shoop went to Anthony Thomas and the back failed to gain. The Bears came away with nothing on the 11-play drive.
"We had a field goal blocked and we missed a field goal and they didn't. That was the difference in the game," said Coach Dick Jauron.
Detroit tried to give the Bears another chance to win their first road game in 12 chances on a poor pooch kick by Hanson that allowed Chicago to start at the 42-yard line with 34 seconds left and a one timeout.
It looked like Edinger would get another chance to hit a game-winner against the Lions. However on the Bears first play on the drive Chandler overthrew a wide open Justin Gage and the ball landed in the hands of CB Corey Harris.
At 4-5 the Bears would have been part of a logjam looking up at the Eagles and Rams for the NFC Wildcard hunt, but at 3-6 it's time for Rex Grossman to warm up.