LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said Thursday he's moved on since he played a role in starting a sidelines-clearing scuffle with the Chicago Bears during a loss at Soldier Field last season.
Following an interception, Stafford grabbed Bears nickel back D.J. Moore by the back of the helmet and slammed him to the turf during Chicago's 37-13 victory. Moore got up and retaliated as both teams rushed to the scene. Moore got ejected and was fined $15,000, while Stafford got hit with a $7,500 fine.
Stafford said he won't be thinking about the incident when he and the Lions return to Soldier Field to face the Bears on Monday Night Football.
"Once the ball is put down and is whistled ready for play it's another game, it's a different game," Stafford said. "The beauty of the NFL is every week is different, and you have to approach it that way.
"Anytime you play a division game, it's an exciting one. Obviously playing on Monday Night Football brings a little edge, a little bit of emotion as well. I think both of these teams have a lot of respect for each other and what we can do on the field. Obviously it's a division game, we're rivals, we know what they are going to do and they know what we are going to do. It's just going out there and executing. That's what makes it physical and intense."
Lions coach Jim Schwartz was asked what's wrong with just saying the teams don't like each other if that is the case.
"Just because games are chippy doesn't mean teams don't respect each other," Schwartz said. "There are a lot of great players that are going to play in this game on both sides of the ball. I think these guys know each other very well. The schemes are well known. We have a good idea of what they are going to do and they have a good idea of what we are going to do. There's been consistency in both organizations, not a whole lot of changes as far as coaches and schemes and things like that.
"The more you know somebody the better opportunity there is for guys to push and shove a little bit. They know exactly who they're going against. This isn't an unfamiliar game. But I think there is a lot of respect on both sides of the ball. We certainly have a lot of respect for the Bears."
Several Lions have publicly stated the team has been lacking its nasty on-field attitude that helped propel Detroit to a 10-6 record last season and its first playoff berth since 1999. The Lions are off to a 2-3 start and have trailed in the fourth quarter of every game. Detroit came back from 17 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 26-23 in overtime last Sunday.
"I don't know, bringing intensity to every game and every play, that's the biggest thing," Stafford said. "That's when we are at our most successful as a team is when we are intense and playing with a ton of passion on every snap. That's something we know we need to bring week in and week out."