Bears Outlast Lions with Comeback Win

The Chicago Bears know how to make any football game interesting, especially home at Soldier Field. Both Kyle Orton and Mike Brown were knocked out of the contest during an awful second quarter, but Rex Grossman and the running game made plays in the second half to emerge with a 27-23 victory.

CHICAGO (AP) – Rex Grossman dove into the end zone, then ran to the side and spiked the ball. He had something to celebrate, and the Chicago Bears had reason to exhale.

Grossman came off the bench to replace injured quarterback Kyle Orton and scored the go-ahead touchdown with 5:36 left, helping the Bears rally from a 10-point deficit for a 27-23 victory over the winless Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Matt Forte had 126 yards rushing for the Bears, who lost Orton to a right ankle injury and safety Mike Brown to a calf problem late in the first half. They didn't lose the game, though.

They can thank Grossman and Forte, who ran for 40 of Chicago's 55 yards on the go-ahead drive. Forte's 19-yard dash put the ball on the 1-yard line and Jason McKie got it back there with a 5-yarder after an illegal procedure penalty, setting up Grossman's 1-yard plunge that put Chicago ahead 27-23.

Lance Briggs forced and recovered a fumble by Detroit's Michael Gaines at the Chicago 44 with 2:17 left, but the Lions got the ball back and drove to the Chicago 32. The Bears (5-3) then broke up a pass intended for Calvin Johnson in the end zone on the final play, and Detroit's search for a win continued.

After building a 23-13 halftime lead, the Lions (0-8) were in good position for their first win since they beat Kansas City on Dec. 23. Instead, it all came apart.

With Daunte Culpepper reportedly about to sign with Detroit, Dan Orlovsky made a case to keep his job after a brutal start. He was 28-of-47 for 292 yards and two touchdowns but threw two interceptions. Brown picked him off on the opening drive leading to a field goal by Robbie Gould, and Craig Steltz intercepted a pass intended for Johnson at the goal line early in the fourth quarter.

Grossman, a former starter who lost a preseason competition with Orton, was 9-of-19 passing for 58 yards in a shaky performance that drew boos from the crowd.


S Craig Steltz
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

His 6-yard TD pass to Rashied Davis midway through the third quarter pulled Chicago to 23-20, but it was clear why the Bears gave the job to Orton.

Passes by Grossman got deflected, and he was picked off by Dewayne White after Steltz's interception.

Still, the Bears won despite some scary moments. Meanwhile, the Lions lost another close game after dropping the previous three by eight points or fewer.

Jason Hanson had just kicked a 52-yard field goal to extend Detroit's lead to 10 with 1:05 left in the first half when Brown, who has a long history of injuries, walked to the locker room with a calf problem. Orton was taken from the field on a cart moments later, following a rollout to his right. He got hit by Cory Redding, and White fell on Orton as he was hitting the turf.

Orton got up and took a few steps, then crumbled to the ground. He was tended to for several minutes before being wheeled off the field. He did not return.

Orton finished 8-of-14 passing for 108 yards. He also had a 5-yard touchdown run. The Bears beat the Lions 34-7 at Ford Field last month, and it looked as though more of the same was in store as Chicago grabbed an early 10-0 lead. But the momentum shifted quickly, with Johnson's 17-yard touchdown catch giving Detroit a 13-10 edge early in the second quarter.

Chicago had starting cornerbacks Nathan Vasher (wrist) and Charles Tillman (shoulder) back from injuries but had trouble stopping Orlovsky.

The Lions' 23 points through the first two quarters were a season high for one half.

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