Sunday, November 13, 2011
1st-quarter wrap: Bears 10, Lions 0
By Michael C. Wright
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears capitalized on two first-quarter turnovers to storm to a 10-0 lead over the Detroit Lions on a 6-yard touchdown run by Matt Forte and a 43-yard field goal into 20 mile-per-hour winds from Robbie Gould.
Based on past history, the turnovers forced by the Bears could play big in this game.
Sitting at plus-2 already in turnover margin, the Bears are 9-1 over the past two seasons when they finish games on the positive side of the turnover ratio, and 40-8 since 2004 under those conditions.
Bears defensive end Julius Peppers kicked off the turnover party by stripping the ball away from Lions receiver Calvin Johnson with a clothesline move reminiscent of professional wrestling at the end of a screen pass. Linebacker Brian Urlacher scooped up the loose ball, giving the veteran his 13th fumble recovery -- which ranks second among NFL linebackers since 2000 -- and returned it 17 yards to the Detroit 30.
A Kyle Vanden Bosch unnecessary roughness penalty two plays later moved the ball down to the Detroit 12. Two plays later, Forte punched the ball in, giving the Bears a 7-0 lead with 10:34 left after Gould’s extra-point kick.
Rookie safety Chris Conte forced Chicago’s second turnover of the quarter, when he stripped Lions receiver Nate Burleson at the end of a 20-yard completion with Tim Jennings recovering for the Bears.
Eight plays later, Gould’s field goal extended the lead to 10-0.