Wild finish results in Lions’ first win of the season and pushes Bears to the brink (Shutdown Corner)

For a few fleeting moments, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and wideout Alson Jeffery bailed out linebacker Pernell McPhee in the final seconds of the fourth quarter and seemed to have saved Chicago’s season. After Lions QB Matthew Stafford missed wide receiver Lance Moore, the Lions should’ve faced a fourth and goal from the 12-yard line at the tail end of the fourth quarter, but McPhee’s roughing-the-passer penalty gave them a first down at half the distance. Stafford found All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson on the ensuing play, giving Detriot a 34-31 lead with 21 seconds remaining. Game, set and match, right? Not so fast. After a touchback, Cutler found Jeffrey on consecutive deep pass plays of 25 and 24 yards, and a pass interference penalty set up Bears kicker Robbie Gould’s easy game-tying 29-yard field goal with four seconds left in regulation. But Chicago punted on two overtime tries to erase McPhee’s mistake completely. In the end, Stafford’s 57-yard connection with Johnson in the final minutes of OT set up Matt Prater’s 27-yard field goal that delivered Detroit’s first win of the season, 37-34, avoiding the first NFL tie since a 37-37 finish in Panthers-Bengals almost exactly a year ago. And that might’ve been the backbreaker for Chicago. After an 0-3 start to the season, the Bears had a real shot to even their record at .500 with Sunday’s game against the once winless Lions. And it sure looked like that was the case before McPhee’s ill-advised, just-too-late hit on Stafford toward the end of regulation. Doubly frustrating for Chicago fans was Detroit’s controversial Golden Tate touchdown that could’ve easily been called an interception before the half. Now the Bears have to climb out of a 2-4 hole with games against the Packers and Broncos still looming. Meanwhile, a week after being benched at the end of a 42-17 loss to the Cardinals that dropped Detroit to 0-5, Stafford finished 27-of-42 for 405 yards and four touchdowns against one interception. Johnson and Moore both went over 100 yards receiving, and four different Lions caught touchdown passes from Stafford. – – – – – – – Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don’t Lie and Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach

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