DETROIT - The Bears were their own worst enemy Saturday at Ford Field, committing a season-high 13 penalties for 97 yards in a 20-10 loss to the Lions.
Trailing only 13-0 late in the first half, dynamic rookie Tarik Cohen returned a kickoff 90 yards to the Detroit 14. But the play was nullified by a holding penalty on DeAndre Houston-Carson and the Bears started at their own 10, a difference of 76 yards.
"I held him and hurt the team," a somber Houston-Carson said in the locker room after the game.
In the first half, penalties on cornerbacks Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara on third-down incompletions resulted in automatic first downs, sustaining Lions drives that resulted in a field goal and a touchdown, respectively.
Backed up at their own 8 early in the fourth quarter, the Bears drew three straight flags—two for holding on center Hroniss Grasu and receiver Joshua Bellamy followed by a delay of game that pushed the ball back to the 1.
Jump ball: The Lions' first touchdown was set up by Matthew Stafford's 58-yard completion to receiver Marvin Jones Jr., who used a two-inch height advantage to outleap Bears safety Eddie Jackson to haul in the pass at the Chicago 12.
"It's just a jump ball," said coach John Fox. "I think Matt did a good job. We lost contain. He busted out to their bench. There's really not a whole lot you can say to Eddie other than, ‘Come down with the ball, flop it on the ground,' and they made a nice play."
Stafford completed 25 of 33 passes for 237 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 115.3 passer rating in the game.
"He is the highest-paid quarterback in the league," said defensive end Akiem Hicks. "He has great pocket awareness. He's able to get out of the pocket, throw the ball, look downfield instead of keeping his eyes on the ground and trying to run away from us. He's just a good quarterback."
Ground to a halt: The Bears running game was limited to 43 yards on 15 carries after generating 222 yards on 30 attempts against the Lions Nov. 19 at Soldier Field.
"At the end of the day we didn't run it as effectively as we have," Fox said. "When we haven't been able to do that, it's been some looks like tonight."
Jordan Howard, who rushed for 125 yards on 15 carries versus Detroit four weeks ago, was held to 37 yards on 10 attempts Saturday.
"They did a lot of run blitzing and stuff like that," Howard said, "a lot of stuff to counter our runs."
On a roll: After recording one sack in each of his first two games back with the Bears, Lamarr Houston registered two more sacks Saturday.
The veteran outside linebacker was claimed off waivers from the Texans Nov. 29 after he had appeared in five games with Houston.
"We're fortunate he was available," Fox said. "We had some big injuries at that position. He became available and we claimed him."
Catch this: Kendall Wright led the Bears in receiving with seven catches for 81 yards, while Joshua Bellamy added five receptions for 70 yards.
Markus Wheaton, who entered Saturday's game with just one catch for nine yards this season, had two receptions for 42 yards, including a 22-yarder on third-and-18.
"He's missed a lot of time," Fox said of Wheaton. "It started at training camp with appendicitis, then I believe it was a finger. It's been a little bit. It's good to see him out there getting some production."
Injury news: When right guard Tom Compton exited in the first half with a concussion, he was replaced by Bradley Sowell. When left guard Josh Sitton left in the second half with an ankle injury, Grasu entered the game at center and Cody Whitehair moved from center to right guard with Sowell moving to left guard.
Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee (shoulder) and safety Chris Prosinski (concussion) also exited the game. Safety Adrian Amos (hamstring) and tight end Adam Shaheen (chest) were inactive due to injuries.