Memories Of 2011 Bears' Win Over Lions

(670 The Score) Over each of the next three Sundays, 670 The Score will air the rebroadcast of memorable Bears wins.
This Sunday at noon, you will hear the Bears' 37-13 win against the Lions at Soldier Field on Nov. 13, 2011. Click here to listen.

-- I remember 2011 as a roller coaster ride. The Bears were coming off a loss to the Packers in the NFC Championship game the season prior, and there was a hangover effect. The Bears started 2-3, then won five straight, including this victory against the Lions. This game felt daunting after Detroit had drubbed Chicago, 24-13, in Monday Night Football action five weeks earlier.

-- Still, the Bears had confidence. "We're getting better," Brian Urlacher said at the time. "No doubt about that. We're not done yet. We've still got a long way to go. But we're going the right direction, that's for sure."

-- The Bears won this game on the strength of three return touchdowns. 

-- Matt Forte’s six-yard touchdown run started the scoring and was one of three straight scoring drives to start the game for the Bears. Robbie Gould also kicked a pair of field goals.

-- Devin Hester was at it again despite a bad ankle, taking a punt back for an 82-yard touchdown, which extended his NFL record to 12 punt return touchdowns and 17 combined kick return touchdowns.

-- The Bears were coasting in taking a 20-0 by early in the second quarter. The defense had a big hand in setting the tone for the day. Defensive end Julius Peppers and cornerback Tim Jennings forced turnovers on Detroit’s first two possessions, which Chicago turned into 10 points.

-- The Bears led 20-6 at halftime, then their defense took over in the third quarter.

-- On the first two possessions of the second half, safety Major Wright and cornerback Charles Tillman intercepted Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and returned their swipes for touchdowns.

-- Tillman’s touchdown return tied him with Mike Brown and Bennie McRae for the team record with his four career pick-sixes. The best cornerback in Bears history, Tillman historically frustrated receivers like the Vikings' Randy Moss, and he did the same to the Lions' Calvin Johnson on this day. Johnson did have seven catches, but they went for only 81 yards and no touchdowns.

-- Stafford threw 63 passes with the Lions playing catchup all day, and he did so with a glove protecting a fractured finger on his right hand. The wind was howling as well at 22 miles per hour, which made it even more challenging.

-- Given the rivalry and the presence of Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, the game did devolve into an edgy affair. You might remember Jay Cutler getting his helmet ripped off by Suh after a run, and Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley also body-slammed Cutler on a late hit. Cutler felt the heat all day from the Lions and threw for just 123 yards.

-- The Bears intercepted Stafford four times, and the Lions lost two fumbles. Stafford took some frustration out on Bears cornerback D.J. Moore when he grabbed him by the helmet and threw him to the turf after he threw an interception Jennings. Moore retaliated and was ejected from the game. 

-- The Bears beat the Chargers a week later, but Cutler broke his thumb making a touchdown-saving tackle on defensive back Antoine Cason’s interception. Cutler was done for the season.

-- Caleb Hanie and Josh McCown started the rest of the season, and the Bears lost five of their final six games to finish at 8-8 and miss the playoffs. The season also included Chicago's horrible finish in Denver, where Bears running back Marion Barber ran out of bounds instead of running out the clock on Tim Tebow and the Broncos. The Bears then lost in overtime.

Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play announcer for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJoniak.