Lions stay in playoff picture
DETROIT — Matthew Stafford struck a balance between making plays and avoiding mistakes to keep the Detroit Lions in the playoff picture.
Stafford t hrew t wo touchdown passes and didn’t have a turnover, helping Detroit beat the Chicago Bears 20-10 on Saturday night.
“It’s just trying to be as calculated as you can with those chances that you’re going to take,” he said. “And, understanding the game situation.”
Detroit ( 8- 6) has won two straight and needs to close the regular season with two more wins to keep its postseason hopes alive.
“We’ve got to win to stay in,” said tight end Eric Ebron, who caught Stafford’s second TD pass. “If we win, we will hopefully make it to the playoffs. If not, then we get booted.”
Whether the Bears (410) win another game this season or not, they may end up giving coach John Fox the boot.
Chicago has lost six of seven, sealing a third season with double-digit losses in three years under its embattled coach.
Stafford threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to TJ Jones to put Detroit up 13-0 with 6:10 left in the first half after Fox chose to punt on fourth-and-1 from the Chicago 45.
“We were t hinking about field position,” Fox said. “It’s not a nolose situation because if we don’t make it, they’ve got the ball at our 45. Like I said, you could go for it, but you have to know that it can come back and bite you.”
Stafford was 25 of 33 for 237 yards and didn’t throw an interception for the first time since Week 11. His 8-yard pass to Ebron gave Detroit a 20-3 lead early in the third quarter after Darius Slay’s first of two interceptions .
Chicago rookie Mitchell Trubisky had season highs in completions (31), attempts (46), yards passing (314) and interceptions (three) including one to safety Quandre Diggs in the end zone early in the fourth quarter.
“We have complete confidence in Mitch,” Fox said. “And, we know that he’s going to have better days.”
Trubisky threw a 9-yard TD pass to Benny Cunningham to make it 20-10 with 2:32 left. After Fox chose not to try an onside kick, the Bears got the ball back 25 seconds later on their 6 and moved the ball to the Detroit 25 before Slay’s second interception ended their comeback hopes.
Lions receiver Marin Jones had three catches for 85 yards, including a 58- yard catch in which he raced across the field and leaped in front of safety Eddie Jackson to set up the TD pass to TJ Jones.
“When I saw him out of the corner of my eye, I didn’t think he was as close as he was,” Jackson said. “By the time I jumped, he was on to me already.”
Marvin Jones has single-season, career-high 18 catches of 20- plus yards this season.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws to tight end Eric Ebron during Saturday’s game against the Bears.