Detroit Lions

Stafford-led Lions beat Bears 20-10, stay in playoff picture

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Stafford-led Lions beat Bears 20-10, 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 threw two 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 (4-10) 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 thinking about field position," Fox said. "It's not a no-lose 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.

GOING DEEP

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.

GROUNDED GAME

The Bears ran for just 43 yards on 15 carries after having a season-high 232 yards rushing in last week's 33-7 win at Cincinnati, forcing them to throw a lot with Trubisky.

DANCING IN DETROIT

When TJ Jones scored, he and some teammates celebrated with a Rockettes-like kick line . Detroit's Golden Tate got turned around after making a catch later in the game, and kept spinning with his hands over his head as if he was a ballerina.

"I didn't practice it," Tate said. "Never even thought about it. It seemed like it was just a moment to do something crazy."

INJURIES

Bears: S Chris Prosinski, who started in place of injured starter Adrian Amos, and OT Tom Compton went into concussion protocol. LB Pernell McPhee left the game with a shoulder injury, an ailment that kept him out of the previous game. OT Josh Sitton had an ankle injury.

Lions: OG T.J. Lang left the game with a foot injury, which limited him in practice and led to him being listed as questionable to play. Lang left a line that began the game without two injured starters: center Travis Swanson and right tackle Rick Wagner. TJ Jones hurt his shoulder while covering a punt.

UP NEXT

Bears: Host Cleveland on Sunday, Dec. 24.

Lions: At Cincinnati on Sunday, Dec. 24.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Ravens continue climb in AFC playoff standings with 44-20 thumping of Lions

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Ravens continue climb in AFC playoff standings with 44-20 thumping of Lions

BALTIMORE -- Joe Flacco threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns, and the Baltimore Ravens survived a strong comeback bid by Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions in a 44-20 victory Sunday.

After relying heavily on their opportunistic defense for much of the season, the Ravens (7-5) finally received an ample contribution from the league's 31st-ranked offense. As a result, Baltimore is in the middle of the AFC wild-card race.

Flacco helped Baltimore take a 20-0 halftime lead and directed three scoring drives in the fourth quarter to keep the Ravens in front.

Flacco completed 23 of 36 passes while guiding an offense that did not commit a turnover.

Stafford completed a team-record 20 straight passes in the second half, twice getting the Lions within a touchdown. But Detroit (6-6) lost a second straight following a three-game winning streak.

Stafford left late in the fourth quarter with a right hand injury. He went 24 for 29 for 292 yards.

The Ravens came in with three shutouts and an NFL-best 26 takeaways.

They forced three more turnovers, all of them pivotal: A strip-sack of Stafford by Eric Weddle led to a touchdown in the second quarter; a fourth-quarter interception set up a game-clinching TD run by Alex Collins with four minutes to go; and a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown by Weddle against Jake Rudock with 2:26 remaining.

Baltimore's third straight victory came at a price. Standout cornerback Jimmy Smith left with an Achilles tendon injury and is likely lost for the season.

Smith went down without being touched in the second quarter, was helped off the field and ruled out after being examined in the locker room.

Smith has been bothered by a sore Achilles for much of the season. The seven-year veteran has missed several practices, but started all 12 games and is second on the team with three interceptions.

He was replaced by rookie Marlon Humphrey, Baltimore's top draft choice. Humphrey intercepted Stafford in the fourth quarter.

PRATER PULLS IT

Detroit kicker Matt Prater missed a 43-yard field goal in the second quarter and was wide left on a conversion kick after Detroit's second TD.

INJURIES

Lions: Former Ravens DT Rick Wagner (ankle) was carted off the field in the second quarter and did not return. ... DE Ezekiel Ansah left with an ankle injury and returned. ... G T.J. Lang was sidelined with a foot injury and returned. .... DE Cornelius Washington left in the third quarter with a shoulder injury.

Ravens: Smith has battled injuries throughout his career. Only twice has he played 16 games in a season. ... LB C.J. Mosley underwent concussion protocol early in the second quarter and was quickly cleared.

UP NEXT

Lions: At Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Ravens: Sunday night showdown against AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers, who beat Baltimore 26-9 in the first meeting.

Vikings hold off Lions 30-23 to extend win streak to 7

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Vikings hold off Lions 30-23 to extend win streak to 7

DETROIT = Case Keenum threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score in the first half to give the Minnesota Vikings a double-digit lead and they went on to win a seventh straight game, 30-23 over the Lions in the traditional Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit. Click here to read more.