Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields had another incredible running game Sunday at Soldier Field, rushing for 147 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown.
But that wasn’t enough to help the Bears to a victory
Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell earned his first road win with the 31-30 victory. It was the Lions’ first victory on an opponent’s turf since beating the Bears on Dec. 6, 2020, at Soldier Field.
The Lions took the 31-30 lead on Jamaal Williams’ 1-yard touchdown run with 2 minutes, 21 seconds to play. That capped a 91-yard drive that included a 44-yard pass from Jared Goff to Tom Kennedy, who got by cornerback Jaylon Johnson.
The Bears had a chance to win it in the final two minutes, but Fields was sacked twice in their final three plays.
A week after running for an NFL quarterback record 178 yards against the Miami Dolphins, Fields ran for 147 and two touchdowns on 13 carries. He completed 12 of 20 passes for 167 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Fields went from a cringeworthy mistake to a mind-blowing touchdown in about a minute of game time. He threw a pick-six to Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah that tied the game early in the fourth quarter, then broke free for a 67-yard touchdown run.
Fields weaved through the Lions defense at the line of scrimmage and then outran four Lions defenders to the end zone. Okudah was in pursuit until making a final diving tackle attempt at the 5-yard line.
Fields’ touchdown, followed by a missed extra point from kicker Cairo Santos, gave the Bears a 30-24 lead.
The Bears looked like they were ready to cruise to a win late in third quarter when Cole Kmet got wide open behind the Lions defense.
Fields launched a pass to him, and Kmet caught it and ran the final 18 yards untouched into the end zone for a 50-yard touchdown, his second score of the day. Earlier in the third quarter, Fields hit Kmet with a 6-yard touchdown pass for a 17-10 Bears lead.
But the Lions hit back in the fourth quarter on a drive aided by four Bears penalties.
Long snapper Patrick Scales was called for holding on a punt. Kyler Gordon was flagged for unnecessary roughness for a late hit on Goff. And Johnson was penalized twice for illegal hands to the face, one of which negated a Jack Sanborn interception.
The Bears committed nine penalties for 86 yards.
Fields’ interception came on a poor decision and throw, and Okudah returned the pick 21 yards for a touchdown.
Read more coverage from Soldier Field.
Here’s how the Week 10 game unfolded.
The Bears will be without three starters when they face the Lions.
Right guard Teven Jenkins (hip), cornerback Kindle Vildor (ankle) and defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad (knee) are inactive for the Bears.
Undrafted rookie cornerback Jaylon Jones could see more time in place of Vildor, while veteran Michael Schofield could fill in for Jenkins, who popped up on the injury report midweek.
The Bears activated wide receiver Byron Pringle off injured reserve Saturday, and receivers N’Keal Harry and Velus Jones Jr. are inactive. It is the second straight week Jones, a rookie third-round pick, is inactive. He sat out against the Miami Dolphins after the Bears acquired wide receiver Chase Claypool last week. Harry wasn’t listed on the injury report all week, so it appears he was pushed out of the mix with Pringle back.
Defensive back Harrison Hand and offensive lineman Ja’Tyre Carter are also inactive for the Bears.
For the Lions, wide receiver Josh Reynolds, defensive linemen Michael Brockers and Austin Bryant, cornerback Chase Lucas, safety Ifeatu Melifonwu, offensive tackle Matt Nelson and linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez are inactive.
Halftime: Bears 10, Lions 10
Bears quarterback Justin Fields put more of his running magic on display late in the second quarter.
On third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Fields escaped a sack attempt from Detroit Lions defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs at the 10 and thundered into the end zone for a touchdown and a 10-10 tie at halftime.
His run capped a 75-yard touchdown drive in which Fields hit Byron Pringle for a 12-yard gain and Darnell Mooney for a 13-yarder that got the Bears to the 4-yard line.
Fields completed 5 of 8 passes for 51 yards and ran eight times for 69 yards before halftime. Khalil Herbert had five carries for 30 yards.
The Bears hurt themselves with penalties in the first half. Braxton Jones and Pringle were called for holding penalties, and Cole Kmet was called for a face mask.
The Lions took a 10-3 lead on Jared Goff’s 2-yard touchdown pass to Brock Wright on fourth down with 7:21 to play in the second quarter.
Goff had completions of 21, 14, 22 and 20 yards on the drive. Bears cornerback Lamar Jackson, who was filling in for Jaylon Johnson, was called for pass interference against wide receiver Tom Kennedy in the end zone, bringing the Lions to the 1-yard line. The Bears defense came up with three big stops short of the goal line, but Wright was wide open in the end zone on fourth down.
Johnson was listed on the injury report with an oblique injury during the week.
The Bears and Lions traded field goals on their opening drives. Bears kicker Cairo Santos made a 33-yarder and Michael Badgley, who filled in for the Bears for one game this year while Santos was out, made a 25-yarder.
The latest in Arlington Heights
Arlington Heights trustees laid another piece of groundwork Monday that would allow the Bears to proceed with their plans for a massive redevelopment of Arlington International Racecourse by approving a zoning change that would allow a sports betting facility in the area.
A sports betting facility is part of the Bears’ $5 billion proposal to create a new NFL stadium and a mixed-use commercial and residential district on the 326-acre Arlington Park site. Trustees also approved a “road map” agreement intended to guide further negotiations around the site, for which the team signed a $197.2 million purchase agreement in 2021.
The Fields follow-up
Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy had the same reaction as most of the rest of the football world Sunday as he watched quarterback Justin Fields’ 61-yard touchdown run unfold against the Miami Dolphins.
“Honestly? It was like, ‘Holy cow.’ But not with that type of talk,” Getsy said. “It was a pretty unbelievable play.”
There’s a balance this week at Halas Hall as Chicago buzzes about how Fields rushed for a regular-season NFL quarterback record 178 yards Sunday in the 35-32 loss to the Dolphins and as local and national talking heads forecast great things for his future.
Changing of the vanguard?
As the Bears prepare to finish their first swing through division opponents Sunday when they play host to the Lions at Soldier Field, it’s a good time to look back on general manager Ryan Poles’ bold declaration during his introductory news conference.
“The most important piece is we’re gonna take the (NFC) North and never give it back,” he said in January.
Poles and coach Matt Eberflus are 0-2 in the division so far, losing to the Packers 27-10 in Green Bay in Week 2 and to the Vikings 29-22 in Minneapolis in Week 5. At the midpoint of the season, it’s worth noting winds could be changing in the division.