Green finished with a sack and a team-high 11 tackles.
The Bears had done this against the Vikings with nickel back Jerry Azumah with success in the second half.
"That's my game,'' Green said. "I get bored being in the same place all the time. I like being up in their face, challenging someone, whether it's the quarterback or receivers or backs.''
The Bears have allowed a franchise record 57 sacks after giving up two more Sunday while using their seventh offensive line this season.
Right tackle John Tait returned from a sprained knee and Marc Colombo made his first start in two years at left tackle after knee surgery. Yet the two sacks allowed equaled the fewest given up in a game since the second week of the season and the running game showed new life with those two at tackle.
"It helped to get out there against some good competition and I felt like I got a little better as it went along,'' Colombo said. "We have a lot of outstanding linemen and I think getting everybody working together -- the same group -- is going to make a difference.''
The Bears' offense started the game with eight punts and a lost fumble by running back Thomas Jones before heating up at the end.
Meanwhile, the defense yielded scores on four of the Lions' first six possessions.
"So at halftime, things weren't really looking real good for us,''Smith said. ""We challenged the guys at halftime to come out and be the team that we think we could be.''
NO GRUDGES HELD
Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said he doesn't hold a grudge against friend Nick Saban, the LSU coach who has taken the Miami Dolphins coaching job after turning down Bears' offers last year.
Saban had said last year he wanted to stay coaching college ball after winning a national title.
"It doesn't surprise me,'' Angelo said. ""Nick always wanted to get to this level. We still talk on occasion. I'll call him if I need help on something (LSU player-wise).
"Nick is a good football coach. and he'll be successful again. Of course I'm still wishing him the best.''
Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris was especially hard hit by the death of all-time great defensive lineman Reggie White.
"It was devastating,'' Harris said. "He was like a mentor to me.''
Harris had left a voice mail message wishing White a merry Christmas.
The two had become friends after Harris heard White speak at a religious service while in college.
One of his favorite remembrances of White will be draft day, after the former Packers and Eagles great saw him on television wearing a rather loud suit.
"He told me I looked like a pimp,'' Harris said.