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Lions party like it's 1956

The Detroit Lions hadn’t appeared on Monday Night Football since 2001, the longest absence for any of the 32 NFL teams.

Detroit Lions
Since Last 5-0 Start in 1956

With a 24-13 win over the Chicago Bears, the Lions accomplished something they hadn’t done in much longer than a decade. The Lions improved to 5-0 with the win, the first time that Detroit football has started a season with that many wins since 1956. That year, the Lions started 6-0 before splitting their final six games and missing the playoffs.

The Lions also extended their winning streak to nine games. That’s ties the longest streak for the franchise since it won 10 straight games during the 1934 season.

Most Receiving TD
1st 5 Games of Season, Since 1940

Calvin Johnson did the most damage for the Lions. With a touchdown catch in the second quarter, he set an NFL record with nine touchdown receptions in the first five games of the season. He also recorded the 15th 100-yard receiving game of his career.

Matthew Stafford threw two touchdowns for the Lions, and joins Aaron Rodgers as the only quarterbacks with at least two passing touchdowns in every game this season.

Jahvid Best rounded out the attack for Detroit with a career game. He ran for an 88-yard touchdown in the third quarter, which was the second longest touchdown run in franchise history. That single run also broke his previous career high for rushing yards in a game (78), and he finished the game with 163 yards on the ground.

The first quarter did little to foreshadow the rest of the game. The two teams combined for a mere 60 yards of total offense while accumulating 10 penalties for 69 yards. Only five first downs were recorded in the quarter, and three of those came via penalties. It was the first scoreless opening quarter on Monday Night Football since November 2009, when the Ravens and Browns didn’t score until the second half.

The Bears struggled to deal with the Ford Field crowd throughout the game. They were flagged for 14 penalties in the game, nine of which were for false starts.

Highest Pct of Dropbacks Under Durress
Pass Rushes of 4 or Fewer, 2011 Season

Jay Cutler lost to the Lions for the first time in five career starts for the Bears. Even though the Lions sent four or fewer rushers on 38 of his 42 dropbacks, he was under duress over 40 percent of the time. That’s the highest percentage of any quarterback so far this season.