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Bears–Lions rivalry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chicago Bears–Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions
First meetingOctober 22, 1930
Spartans 7, Bears 6
Latest meetingNovember 28, 2019 (Thanksgiving)
Bears 24, Lions 20
Next meeting2020
Meetings total180
All-time seriesBears, 101–74–5
Postseason resultsBears, 1–0

Largest victoryBears, 49–0 (1941)
Longest win streakBears, 11 (1946–1951)
Lions, 6 (1968–1970, 2013–2015)
Current win streakBears, 4 (2018-present)

The Bears–Lions rivalry is a National Football League (NFL) rivalry between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions. The franchises first met in 1930 when the Lions were known as the Portsmouth Spartans and based in Portsmouth, Ohio. They moved to Detroit for the 1934 season. The Bears and Lions have been division rivals since 1933 and have usually met twice a season since the Lions franchise began. The two teams play in the two largest metropolitan areas in the Midwest. Chicago and Detroit’s home stadiums, Soldier Field and Ford Field, are 280 miles apart and both are easily accessible from I-94.

This rivalry is the longest-running annual series in the NFL as both teams have met at least once a season since 1930.[1] (Due to the 1982 strike, the Bears–Packers rivalry, which began in 1921, was not played that season.)

The Bears lead the overall series 101–74–5, however, the series since the beginning of the 1966 season (the first time the Super Bowl was played) is very close at 54–52–1 in their favor. This is despite the fact that the Bears have been far more successful than the Lions since that season, reaching the NFC Divisional Playoffs twelve times (winning five of those playoff games, two NFC titles, and a Super Bowl) while the Lions have only reached the playoffs three times, winning just one of those games, and have not won an NFC title. The Bears won the only playoff meeting between the two teams, the 1932 NFL Championship Game, 9–0.

Notable rivalry moments

  • The 1932 regular season ended with the Spartans (6–1–4) and Bears (6–1–6) tied atop the NFL standings (at the time, ties were not considered in a team's win percentage). There were no playoffs at the time and the champion was simply the team with the better win percentage with head-to-head results serving as the only tiebreaker. As both teams had the same record and they tied both of their meetings during the season, the NFL staged its first ever playoff game. The teams were set to meet at Wrigley Field, but the game was instead moved to the indoor Chicago Stadium due to severe weather, and modified rules were used because the stadium was smaller than regulation size. The Bears won the game, 9–0, to claim the NFL title. The championship game proved to be popular, so the league split into two divisions beginning in 1933 and staged a championship game between the two division winners at the end of the season. To date, this is the two teams' only playoff meeting (although the game officially counted in the regular season standings).
  • The Lions, having just moved to Detroit, decided to schedule an annual game on Thanksgiving in an attempt to draw fans. This idea proved to work as the game was played in front of a sellout crowd. The Bears entered the game with a perfect 11–0 record, while the Lions were 10–1. The Lions built a 16–7 lead at halftime, but the Bears would score 12 unanswered points in the second half to come away with the 19–16 to clinch the NFL Western Division title. The Bears and Lions have met a total of 18 times on Thanksgiving, all in Detroit, with the Bears holding a 10–8 record in the Thanksgiving meetings.
  • Lions WR Chuck Hughes collapsed on the field and was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He remains the only player in NFL history to have died on the field.
  • The Bears come back from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Bears' RB Dave Williams returned the opening kickoff of overtime 95 yards for a touchdown as the Bears left Detroit with a stunning 23–17 win. At the time, it was the shortest overtime in NFL history.
  • Lions WR Calvin Johnson appeared to catch a touchdown pass late in the game that would have given the Lions the lead, but it was controversially ruled to not be a catch after Johnson was ruled to not have completed the process of catching the ball. Johnson had the ball in both hands, got both feet down, rolled over on his backside and put his hand with the ball in it on the ground. The call was reviewed on the instant replay review, but the "no catch" ruling was upheld. The rule for what defines a catch was updated in 2015, with this play (along with other similar plays) being a large reason for the change.

Game results

Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions Season-by-Season Results

See also

Other sports rivalries involving the same cities:

Other rivalries involving the two teams:


This page was last edited on 29 February 2020, at 19:21
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