JC's Game Blog: Bears vs. Lions

Be sure to refresh this live blog every now and then for all the goings on Sunday afternoon at Ford Field in Detroit. From the field to the sideline to the press box, JC will make you feel like you're a part of the game.

Greetings, Bears fans. The Monsters of the Midway are a walking M.A.S.H. unit today, and the defense will be put to the test against a Detroit passing attack that can sling the ball all over the field with the best of them. Brian Griese makes his first start under center in place of the benched Rex Grossman, but it remains to be seen if the switch will make any difference for this struggling offense ...

Inactive today for the Bears are SS Adam Archuleta, CB Charles Tillman, OG Josh Beekman, LB Lance Briggs, FB Lousaka Polite, WR Mike Hass, and CB Nathan Vasher. Kyle Orton will serve as the third quarterback. As for the Lions, LB Alex Lewis, LB Anthony Cannon, WR Calvin Johnson, OG Damien Woody, DE Kalimba Edwards, OT Manuel Ramirez, and RB T.J. Duckett will sit this one out. Dan Orlovsky is the No. 3 quarterback. It's a little bit of a surprise that Archuleta is inactive because there were indicators all week long that he would play despite a broken right hand, and it's also a surprise that Tommie Harris will give it a go with his knee injury since it was assumed he wouldn't be healthy enough ...

The Lions have won the toss and elected to receive …

The Bears force a three-and-out on their first defensive series, but that's only because Mike Furrey accidentally stepped out of bounds on what should have been a long completion down the left sideline. Devin Hester goes all Tecmo Bowl on us with a ridiculous punt return, but he fumbles and is lucky to have the ball fall out of bounds. Let's see what Griese does with his first possession …

Bernard Berrian still has the dropsies apparently. Robbie Gould lines up for what would have been a 52-yard field goal, but it's blocked and returned all the way back into Bears' territory. Tack on a silly 15-yard personal foul by Terrence Metcalf, and the Lions are in business right now …

Harris is his old self again awfully fast, tearing into the backfield for a sack of Jon Kitna. Kicker Jason Hanson comes on to kick a field goal and gives the Lions an early 3-0 lead. Kitna certainly appeared to fumble the ball and it was recovered by Adewale Ogunleye, but I guess he was ruled down by contact because head coach Lovie Smith isn't allowed to challenge the call …

Was that screen to Adrian Peterson on 3rd-and-14 the most predictable play call in the history of football? I called that one from the press box. Ron Turner, you've got to do better than that …

That was quite an ugly series for Detroit. Yet another sack of Kitna, this one by Ogunleye. Kitna is gonna get killed in this Mike Martz offense because protecting the quarterback is not a priority by any stretch of the imagination …

Berrian has forgotten how to catch the football. He just dropped another one over the middle on 3rd-and-7. It's totally in his head right now. This is not the offense Smith had in mind when making the switch from Grossman to Griese because it's just as awful thus far. What a colossal mess on every level …

And that's the end of the first quarter, with the Lions knocking on the door in the red zone. Martz has actually shown some commitment to the run with both Tatum Bell and Kevin Jones, which is a little surprising considering how banged up the Bears are in the secondary right now. Roy Williams can't be covered today, I know that much.

Wow, what a break for the Bears. Bell fumbles the ball at about the 5-yard line, and Alex Brown pounces on it for a crucial takeaway. That was the 13th play of the drive and should have resulted in an eventual touchdown, but all of a sudden the Midway Monsters have a little momentum …

You may have just seen the end of the Cedric Benson era in Chicago. He fumbled yet again after a hard hit by linebacker Ernie Sims, although he's fortunate that the ball went directly out of bounds to save the possession. On the very next snap, Garrett Wolfe was in the backfield …

There's the third sack of Kitna, and it was an easy one since Ogunleye was unblocked. And I don't believe it, but the Bears just blocked a field goal attempt for the fourth game in a row. It's still 3-0 Detroit, although that might be enough today considering how terrible the offense looks right now …

Touchdown Bears as Griese connects with Muhsin Muhammad in the back of the end zone on a post pattern. Gould splits the uprights for a 7-3 Bears lead with just over four minutes left in the first half. As bad as Chicago has played so far, the Lions have been every bit as bad. And by the way, Benson was nowhere to be found on that drive. It was all Peterson and Wolfe, which means the Bears may have just given up on both Grossman and then Benson in consecutive weeks …

Three-and-out for the Lions on offense. They really haven't thrown the ball the way everyone was expecting them to, including me. This has been an incredible defensive effort so far, even more so with all the injuries they're dealing with right now …

And that's the two-minute warning …

Griese was putting together a beauty of a two-minute drill, but he pulls a Grossman and throws an interception on the Detroit 1-yard line. Griese threw the ball off his back foot, which gave Fernando Bryant enough time to undercut the route in front of Berrian. Costly mistake right there shortly before halftime …

And that's the half, one that deserves a big time tip of the cap to defensive coordinator Bob Babich

What is with all the dropped passes the last few weeks? John Gilmore finally gets a ball thrown his way, but he can't make the third-down catch and forces the Bears to punt the ball away on their opening drive of the second half. Benson is back in the ballgame, but you just know that Coach Smith told him in the locker room that one more fumble will effectively end his career in the Windy City …

Mark Anderson explodes around right end for a sack and forces a Kitna fumble, which is recovered by Brandon McGowan in the Detroit red zone. How did that guy last until the fifth round last year? He's so explosive off the snap …

And just like that, Griese gives it right back with another interception deep in Lions territory. What in the Sam Hill is wrong with Berrian? It wasn't a great throw by Griese, but Berrian still could have caught it instead of just tipping it into the waiting arms of Sims …

Williams should have had a first down, but he retreats after making the catch and ends up half a yard shy. These much-ballyhooed Detroit receivers have not been very impressive so far, but it's hard to tell if it's them not playing well or the Chicago secondary stepping it up today. I really thought this was going to be a shootout, but instead it's just set back the game about 50 years …

Griese puts together a nice little drive, but that sack on third down certainly makes Gould's field goal tougher. But he's good from 49 yards and extends the Bears lead to 10-3. Looks like left tackle John Tait is out for the game, by the way, as backup John St. Clair has been in there the last two series …

Anderson gets the fifth sack of Kitna on the day, ending the ensuing drive on three plays. What a performance by the defense today, especially up front. Hester just about broke yet another punt return for a touchdown, but rookie Eric Frampton manages to get an arm in there and trips him up after a 30-yard runback …

Hester's return sets up another Gould field goal attempt, this one from 41 yards. He's perfect once again, pushing the lead to 13-3 with just 49 seconds left in the third quarter. I keep thinking that Kitna and Co. will start to figure things out on offense and make this a ballgame, but it hasn't happened yet …

And that's the end of the third quarter, but the Lions are knocking on the door because Kitna is finally getting some time in the pocket …

Touchdown Lions on the first play of the fourth quarter, with Kitna hitting Shaun McDonald out of the bunch formation to his right. Hanson boots the extra point to close to gap to 13-10. That was a 70-yard drive in only four plays, so maybe the Bears are starting to get a little tired on defense …

Was that Grossman? Nope, it's Griese throwing another interception that's returned 63 yards for a touchdown by Keith Smith. All of a sudden, it's 17-13 Lions and the Ford Field crowd is rockin' and rollin' …

I can't believe it. Hester does it again and return the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. As Elaine said to Jerry on Seinfeld, "I am without speech." Just like that, it's 20-17 Bears and all the steam has been let out of the building. There are no words left to describe that guy anymore …

Touchdown Lions as Troy Walters tippy-toes a beautiful catch in the back-right corner of the end zone. It's actually reviewed after originally being called out of bounds and incomplete, but it's reversed and the points go up on the board. 24-20 Lions with 10:06 left in the ballgame …

Griese is sacked on third down, putting an end to a quick three-play drive. Brad Maynard punts the ball away, and he responds with a gorgeous angler that just falls out of bounds and can't be returned. Kitna and the Lions take over at the Detroit 38-yard line …

Another touchdown for the Lions as Jones scores from five yards away. The Bears are exhausted on defense right now, that's all there is to it. Incredibly, Israel Idonije gets great penetration once again and blocks the extra point. It's 30-20 Lions now with 3:34 left in the ballgame, although that missed point after could loom large if Griese can find the end zone quickly …

Desmond Clark eventually catches a short touchdown pass after a bizarre series that included every crazy play you can imagine, including a Griese fumble that was illegally advanced by right guard Roberto Garza. It's 30-27 Lions still leading with an onside kick upcoming. But as luck would have it in this crazy game, Casey Fitzsimmons has the kick falls right in his lap and he returns it all the way for the game-clinching touchdown …

And that's the ballgame, an ugly one at that. Lions win 37-27, and the Bears are in big trouble right about now. The Super Bowl hangover is in full effect right now …

Be sure to visit BearReport.com for all the analysis, all the insight, and all the latest from Chicago as the Bears are seeing their season unravel already at 1-3.

John Crist is the Editor in Chief of BearReport.com and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.


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