Soldier Field...Chicago, Illinois...just a little under 40 degrees...cloudy, light snow expected...Bear Down!
This was the last game of the season, and it would be fitting that the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions would be battling it out this afternoon. You could feel the excitement in the air while both teams were on the field for pre-game warm ups. Detroit Lions star wide receiver Calvin "Megatron" Johnson was catching sideline passes, and Bears running back Matt Forte was going through drills with fellow running back Jeremy Langford while the defensive players were going through their drills and stretching exercises. The Bears won the coin toss, but elected to kick off to Detroit. Both teams provided plenty of excitement as Detroit took 10-0 lead into halftime. The Bears rallied to tie the Lions at 10 and 17, and eventually drew to within 24-20, but Detroit clinched the win when Jay Cutler's pass from Detroit's 37 yard line was intercepted by safety Glover Quin at the 12 yard line with 1:51 left in the game. Jay Cutler entered Sunday's finale without a multi-interception game in 14 starts this season, but he was picked off three times. One came on a deflected pass in the end zone and the other two occurred when he was hit while throwing the ball. Being fierce competitors and division rivals, there were a couple of "face-to-face" meetings during the game, but nothing serious came out of it. One highlight of the game came when former Chicago Bear player William "The Refrigerator" Perry was brought onto the field just outside the players tunnel for a brief interview. "The Frig" grinned proudly and waved to the fans as they cheered loudly for him during the interview. The Bears eventually lost the game by a score of 24-20. With the loss, the Bears finished the season in last place in the NFC North with 6 wins and 10 losses...a one-game improvement over last year. In what was probably his last game as a Chicago Bear, Matt Forte rushed for 76 yards on 17 carries and caught 3 passes for 34 yards. Matt also scored a touchdown on a 23-yard swing pass from Cutler, with excellent blocking from wide receivers Cameron Meredith and Marc Mariani.
At the end of the game, players from both teams joined hands and formed a circle for a group prayer. And after exchanging friendly pleasantries, some players showed love to each other and exchanged game jerseys.