Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift had a sure touchdown in his hands in the final seconds of Sunday’s game. Until he didn’t.
Swift dropped a pass from Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford that would have likely won the game. On the next – and final – play of the game, Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson knocked away a Stafford pass to lock up the victory.
“It happens both ways throughout the course of the game,” Bears defensive tackle Akiem Hicks said. “You never know when things are gonna be on your side, but we’re thankful that it was on our side in that scenario.”
The Bears defense struggled for stretches of Sunday’s season opener, but came up with stops when it needed to. The Bears allowed 426 yards of total offense, but much of that came in the first three quarters.
Cornerback Kyle Fuller intercepted Stafford late in the fourth quarter to set up what would eventually become the game-winning touchdown.
Safety Eddie Jackson got his hand on the pass, deflecting it up into the air for Fuller.
“I would say that any time our secondary gets their hands on one, it’s changes the math for us,” Hicks said. “We’re appreciative and it gives everybody a boost because we all have a hand in taking that ball away.”
Fuller was not available for comment following the game.
Head coach Matt Nagy said in an empty stadium, the Bears’ sideline was really fueling the defense in that situation. With no fans in the stands, the players had to be loud, they had to bring the energy.
“It’s very different right now down on that sideline with no fans there,” Nagy said. “So what happens is, what we started noticing was the only way the energy was going to jump up was if we created our own.”