DETROIT (AP) — Mitchell Trubisky perfectly lofted a 27-yard go-ahead touchdown pass to Anthony Miller with 1:54 remaining and the Chicago Bears held on to beat the Detroit Lions, 27-23, on Sunday.
Detroit drove to the Chicago 16 with a chance to win, and rookie running back D'Andre Swift dropped a pass in the end zone. Matthew Stafford threw another incomplete pass as time expired to complete the collapse.
Trubisky threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to help Chicago come back from a 17-point deficit. It looked familiar to Lions fans: Detroit opened last season by blowing an 18-point lead at Arizona and settling for a tie. That began a trend that saw the team fail to stay ahead during a season that ended with just wins.
Trubisky, who held off Nick Foles to keep his job, shook off a shaky start to complete 20 of 36 attempts for 242 yards with three touchdowns, including short passes for scores to Jimmy Graham and Javon Wims.
Stafford was 24 of 42 for 297 yards with a TD pass to T.J. Hockenson in the third quarter — and an interception that gave Chicago a great chance to take its only lead of the game.
Adrian Peterson ran for 93 yards on 14 carries in his Detroit debut, just four days after signing with the team.
The Lions are not allowing fans to attend their first two home games due to state restrictions on the size of crowds during the pandemic. To fill some seats at fan-free Ford Field and raise money for charities, cutouts were sold for $150 and about 500 of them filled some seats beyond an end zone.
Sound was piped into the indoor stadium, but it was much more dull than a roar because t he NFL is limiting how loud decibels can be for games. And when a player was injured and evaluated on the field, the sounds were cut off; the only thing heard was the venue's air conditioning system.
If there were fans in the stands, they wouldn't have had much to cheer about early in the game. Both teams looked rusty without exhibition games to help them prepare for the season. Late in the game, Lions fans likely would've filled the facility with a chorus of boos.
The teams took turns kicking field goals, with Matt Prater giving Detroit the lead twice before Swift scored on a 1-yard run to put the Lions ahead 13-6 late in the half.
Stafford was 4 of 4 for 49 yards with the 4-yard TD pass to Hockenson on the opening drive of the second half. He led a drive later in the third quarter that gave Detroit a 17-point cushion.
That wasn't enough of a lead.
Chicago cut into its deficit with Trubisky's 2-yard pass to Graham early in the fourth period and 1-yard throw to Wims to pull within three points with about three minutes left.
Stafford gave the Bears the ball back, trying to force a pass over the middle to Marvin Jones that was deflected to Kyle Fuller.
YOU’RE OUT OF HERE
Lions linebacker Jamie Collins was ejected in the first half when he made contact with an official, pressing his helmet against Alex Kemp's chest.
Bears: host the New York Giants on Sunday.
Lions: play at Green Bay on Sunday.
Copyright 2020 The Associated Press.