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Matthew Stafford

November 14, 2011 by staff 

Matthew Stafford, The Chicago Bears have wanted to make a mark like this all season, and their 37-13 pasting of the Detroit Lions featured plenty of black-and-blue accents.

Most were inflicted by their defense, turning four of six turnovers into 24 points and intercepting Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford four times in their most dominant performance to date. Chicago (6-3) even managed the rare feat of opening both halves with back-to-back takeaways, with Charles Tillman and Major Wright returning consecutive pickoffs for touchdowns just after intermission being the exclamation points.

Returner extraordinaire Devin Hester made it a record dozen touchdowns and counting, taking a punt back 82 yards on a day in which illness was the only thing that took him out. Robbie Gould kicked three field goals and Matt Forte ran six yards for the Bears’ first score, but that was a short walk thanks to the defense that clearly had a point to make.

“This was definitely about the defense,” said Bears coach Lovie Smith, whose team snatched second place in the NFC North away from the Lions (6-3). “We had a lot riding on this game, an NFC divisional game at home. We couldn’t afford to lose this game.”

That was clear in a chippy game that escalated into a brawl early in the fourth quarter. After Tim Jennings picked off Stafford for the second time and ran the ball back 52 yards to Detroit’s 33 – which became academic when he was ruled down by contact on the interception – Stafford and Bears cornerback D.J. Moore became entangled, with the quarterback slinging Moore to the turf by his helmet.

Moore got up and bulldozed Stafford, sparking a fight in front of the Detroit bench with several Lions surrounding a Bears player. Moore was ejected but Stafford stayed in the game, though he could face fines by the league this week.

“When you are going after my livelihood, my neck and trying to hurt me, I just can’t let that go,” Moore said.

Smith added, “That happens between divisional opponents.”

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