Even with the change at quarterback to Jimmy Clausen, the Bears still couldn’t come away with a win on their last home game of the season by dropping another one to Detroit, 20-14.
But this game was different. It felt like the Bears put in an effort. On Thanksgiving when they gave up 21 straight points to Detroit in the first half, this time they ended the first half with a 7-7 tie. The Bears even took the lead in the third quarter when Clausen connected with Alshon Jeffrey for a 20-yard touchdown strike.
At times, it seemed the roles were reversed as Detroit was the team making mistakes. Like the two interceptions in the red zone thrown by Matthew Stafford in the first half. Or the muffed punt return by the Lions’ Jeremy Ross, which was recovered by the Bears’ Sherrick McManis. And that led to an 11-yard screen pass to Matt Forte for a touchdown at the end of the first half.
However, the Bears reverted back to their old ways as a defensive pass interference call by Tim Jennings led to Lions’ running back, Joique Bell, pounding it in to the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown run, putting the Lions up 17-14.
It was that same old song and dance.
Despite Clausen going 1-10 as a starter in his career, he performed above expectations against the top defense in the NFL. He went 23 for 39, with 181 yards, two touchdowns and one pick.
“I went out there and competed. That’s the biggest thing I think I did and I showed I could play in this league,” stated Clausen after the game.
The defense also stepped up their game with their two interceptions in the end zone and racking up four sacks. The front four of the Bears played extremely well and were able to put pressure on Matthew Stafford the entire day.
Yet even with this game’s losing effort, the Bears didn’t give the impression that they were phoning it in for the rest of the season.
“We were in a highly competitive football game with a team that is going into the playoffs. We stood tall and played hard. But we’re not sugarcoating it. We’re here to win,” said Coach Trestman.
The Bears go up to Minnesota next to close out this insufferable season.
It should be interesting to see what plays out at Halas Hall after the Vikings game. Bears fans know the rumors about Trestman, Emery, and even Cutler. Will the Bears dump Cutler after giving him the most lucrative contract among the active NFL offensive players? Is Jim Harbaugh coming to Chicago?
So begins those famous words in Chicago sports: next year.
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