Bears Show Last Week Was No Fluke, Skin Lions

Despite a 26-0 shellacking of the hated Packers last week at Lambeau Field, the Bears were still searching for believers considering many experts expect Green Bay to be the worst team in the NFL. Believers may be much easier to find after Sunday's effort, an equally-dominating 34-7 pasting of the Detroit Lions in the home-opener from Soldier Field.

Rex Grossman took yet another step toward establishing himself as a star quarterback in this league, and Roy Williams came up short on his guarantee and even shorter on his statement that the Lions offense can't be stopped.

Grossman set career-highs with 289 yards through the air and four touchdown passes, three to the previously-forgotten tight ends, to lead the Bears to a 34-7 domination of Detroit on Sunday at Soldier Field.

Slowed by a slew of unlucky injuries ever since his rookie season back in 2003, Grossman is finally living up to his first-round billing. He completed 20 of 27 passes and for the second week in a row set a career-high in passing yards. But unlike last week in Green Bay, this time he was not intercepted.

Reserve tight end John Gilmore caught two short TD tosses, including a 3-yarder just under five minutes into the game. Bernard Berrian had five receptions for 89 yards, highlighted by a diving 41-yard touchdown snare in the second quarter. Starting tight end Desmond Clark continued his reclamation project with five receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown.

A defense that handed the Packers their first shutout of the Brett Favre era held Detroit to just 245 just yards and forced three turnovers. The Lions made it even harder on themselves by committing 14 penalties on the day. A hand-to-the-face call against Jamar Fletcher negated a 24-yard TD on an interception return by Boss Bailey that could have changed the face of the game early in the third quarter.

Williams caught six passes for 71 yards after guaranteeing a win over the Bears earlier in the week. He was greeted by a chorus of boos after catching his first pass in the early going.

Jon Kitna was proficient to the tune of 23-of-30 passing for 230 yards but had very little help around him.

Chicago once again got off to a furious start and put Detroit in a hole right away.

The first time the Lions had the ball, Tank Johnson sacked Kitna and forced a fumble. Brian Urlacher recovered it at the Detroit 3-yardline, and Grossman hit Gilmore for a touchdown on a second-down play-action pass shortly thereafter.

Detroit's second possession started with a 29-yard run by Kevin Jones on a counter that put the ball on the Bears 41. But before the Lions had the chance to threaten further downfield, Alex Brown stripped Jones on the next play and recovered the fumble. That led to a 32-yard field goal by Robbie Gould.

The lead grew to 17-0 in the opening minute of the second quarter when Grossman found a fully-stretched Berrian in the end zone. Berrian appeared to juggle the ball as he slid across the ground, but it was ruled a touchdown as the young wideout jumped into the stands to celebrate with adoring fans.

Chicago's defense kept the pressure on all day, sacking Kitna six times and forcing countless hurried throws.

The Lions finally broke through for their first touchdown of the season as Kitna snuck the ball in from one yard out in the third quarter. Detroit played very well against Seattle in their home-opener last Sunday but still only managed two field goals.

The Bears are 2-0 and arguably the most impressive team in the NFL after two games. They will travel to Minnesota next week for their third consecutive NFC North matchup against the Vikings. A victory there would put the Bears in the early driver's seat for a repeat of last season's division title.

JC


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