DETROIT – The Bears' special teams unit provided a much-needed spark in the second half Sunday against the Lions, recovering a pair of muffed punts.
With the Bears trailing 21-13 midway through the third quarter, Joshua Bellamy recovered a punt at the Detroit 19 that T.J. Jones had juggled and dropped. The turnover set up Robbie Gould's 38-yard field goal, closing the gap to 21-16.
Then early in the fourth quarter, a Pat O'Donnell punt rolled into the foot of the Lions' Corey Fuller and the Bears' Chris Prosinski recovered at the Detroit 21. Three plays later, Jay Cutler's 11-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery cut the deficit to 24-23.
The Bears also made a blunder on special teams in the second half, however, allowing the Lions' Isa Abdul-Quddus to run for 30 yards on a fake punt to the Chicago 32. The drive resulted in a field goal that drew the Lions to within 31-27 with 2:46 to play in the fourth quarter.
First pick:** After a replay reversal late in the first half cost Jonathan Anderson his first career interception, the undrafted rookie picked off a Matthew Stafford pass in the fourth quarter.
Pressured by Jarvis Jenkins, Stafford flipped the ball to running back Theo Riddick. But the pass deflected off Riddick's hand and Anderson made a diving interception at the Detroit 24.
The pick set up Kyle Long's 2-yard TD run and two-point conversion catch from Cutler, which gave the Bears a 31-24 lead with 7:50 left in the fourth quarter.
Anderson's apparent interception in the end zone late in the first half was reversed to a 2-yard touchdown catch by Golden Tate after a replay review.
On the ground: Leading 31-27 with 2:46 to play in the fourth quarter, the Bears took over at their own 19. They called three straight Forte runs that picked up 5, 1 and 1 yards and were forced to punt. The Lions called timeouts after each of the three plays.
"I think it's pretty standard," Cutler said. "You want to get them to burn all their timeouts. We felt good about the runs. We had a really good first-down run and a third-and-manageable."
Aches and pains: While Jeffery and fellow receiver Eddie Royal returned to action Sunday, cornerback Terrance Mitchell (hamstring), safety Antrel Rolle (ankle), linebacker Shea McClellin (knee) and tackle Jermon Bushrod (concussion) sat out with injuries.
Running back Antone Smith, guard/tackle Nate Becton and defensive lineman Bruce Gaston also were inactive. Gaston was signed off the Packers practice squad Saturday.
Defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff exited late in regulation time with a neck injury. Defensive end Jarvis Jenkins was evaluated for a concussion, but he returned after being cleared.
The Lions played without safety James Ihedigbo (quad), running back Joique Bell (ankle), linebacker DeAndre Levy (hip), tight ends Eric Ebron (knee) and Brandon Pettigrew (knee), and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (calf).
News and notes: Forte's 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarterback was the 60th TD of his career, breaking a tie for third-place with Rick Casares on the Bears' all-time list behind Walter Payton (125) and Neal Anderson (71). ... Rookie Jeremy Langford rushed for 10 yards on five carries and scored his second touchdown of the season on a 1-yard run. ... The Bears have now lost five straight to the Lions for the first time since they dropped five in a row from 1971-73.