3 and Out: Lions demolish Bears in forgettable 41-10 loss

Detroit Lions linebacker James Houston (left) knocks the ball away from Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields during the first half, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Detroit.

The Bears surrendered over 500 yards of offense and that’s just the start of it in the Bears’ 41-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Ford Field. Here is what you need to know:

Three moments that mattered

1. Flashing the wheels: Justin Fields, who finished with 132 rushing yards, racked up more than 100 yards rushing in the first quarter alone and surpassed Michael Vick, who had 1,039 rushing yards during the 2006 season, for second all-time for rushing yards by a QB in a single season. Fields had a 60-yard gain to bring him within 100 yards of Lamar Jackson’s 2019 single-season rushing mark of 1,206 yards.

2. 34 unanswered: Lions running back D’Andre Swift cashed in – thanks in large part to some terrible tackling by the Bears – on a 21-yard touchdown catch from QB Jared Goff with 6:36 left in the third quarter to make it 38-10. It’s simply a snapshot of a forgettable afternoon for a team that appeared disinterested after halftime. The Lions later added a field goal to make it 34 straight points.

3. No words: With 6:57 left in the fourth quarter, the Lions declined two separate holding penalties on the Bears following another Fields sack. Guard Teven Jenkins, the Bears best lineman this season, left the contest early in the first half with a neck injury. Things really went downhill from there.

Three things that worked

1. No 1 pick in play: We understand players and coaches compete with the intention of winning, but a loss continues to help the Bears’ chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Whether that eventually turns into Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter, Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson or a bounty of picks in a trade-down scenario, that will help accelerate general manager Ryan Poles’ rebuild.

2. Velus strikes again: We’re very much stretching here, but Velus Jones Jr. did flash again this week with a 63-yard kick return in the final possession of the first half. While his impact in the passing game has largely underwhelmed in his rookie season, he has shown respectable value as a returner in recent weeks.

3. Hot start: The Bears scored 10 points on their first two possessions. After that, well...

Three things that didn’t

1. It’s a beatdown: The Lions shredded the Bears’ secondary with ease. We understand the unit is held together with band-aids due to injuries, but the Bears didn’t put up much a fight in any sense. Detroit had 507 total yards, rushed for 268 yards and scored 41 points. That says plenty. Meanwhile Fields completed seven passes and the Bears had no first downs in the second half.

2. OL overmatched: No one will play a perfect game, but rookie left tackle Braxton Jones was particularly overmatched by the Lions’ defensive front. On the Bears’ fourth possession, Jones surrendered two sacks in the sequence. Fields was sacked seven times Sunday. Like we said earlier, Jenkins’ absence was noticeable.

3. Where is Claypool? Injuries in previous weeks aside, Claypool’s impact since his arrival in a midseason trade has been underwhelming. With a depleted WR corps, Claypool should have had ample opportunity to showcase his talent before season’s end. Four snaps in the first half, one target and no catches is a bit alarming.

What’s next?

The Bears’ long season will draw to a close in the regular-season finale vs. the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Jan. 8.

Jacob Bartelson

Jacob Bartelson

Jake is a full-time sports reporter writing primarily for the Kane County Chronicle covering preps. His collective work is featured across several Shaw markets and platforms, including Friday Night Drive and Bears Insider. Jake began full-time in 2017.