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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 meetingOctober 3, 2021
Bears 24, Lions 14
Next meetingNovember 25, 2021
TrophyHeraldry Shield (since 2021)
Statistics
Meetings total183
All-time seriesBears, 103–75–5
Postseason resultsBears, 1–0

Largest victoryBears, 49–0 (1941)
Longest win streakBears, 11 (1946–1951)
Lions, 6 (1968–1970, 2013–2015)
Current win streakBears, 1 (2021-present)
Locations of the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions

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 dominated the rivalry in the early days from the 1930s to the 1950s, when they were a perenniel powerhouse team under head coach George "Papa Bear" Halas. However, since 1966, the first year the Super Bowl was played, the series has been subsequently more even, with Chicago going 55-52-1 since that time. 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 Divisional 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. Chicago leads the overall series 103–75–5.

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.
  • The Lions entered Week 17 needing one final win over a last-place Bears team to clinch a playoff spot. Despite building a 10–0 lead in the first quarter, the Lions found themselves trailing 20–17 in the fourth. The Lions tied the game at 20 with under two minutes to go, but the Bears' rookie kicker Paul Edinger secured the win for Chicago with a 54-yard field goal with two seconds left, all but eliminating the Lions from playoff contention. This proved to be a franchise-altering moment for Detroit, who hired Matt Millen in the offseason to rebuild the team.[2]
  • It was a defensive slugfest for the first three quarters, with the score 13-3 in favor of Chicago. However, starting with a Shaun McDonald touchdown pass for Detroit in the early moments of the fourth quarter, the Lions' offense caught fire, scoring an additional 27 points in the fourth quarter, while still allowing two Bears touchdowns, to stun the Bears 37-27. The fourth quarter saw an NFL-record 48-points scored.[3]
  • 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
1930s (Bears, 11–7–3)
Season Season series at Chicago Bears at Portsmouth Spartans/Detroit Lions Overall series Notes
1930 Tie 1–1 Bears
14–6
Spartans
7–6
Tie
1–1
Portsmoth Spartans began play in 1930. Spartans win the inaugural meeting to take a 1–0 series lead, the only time the Spartans/Lions would ever lead the series.
1931 Tie 1–1 Bears
9–6
Spartans
3–0
Tie
2–2
1932 Tie 0–0–2 Tie
13–13
Tie
7–7
Tie
2–2–2
1932 Playoffs Bears 1–0 Bears
9–0
Bears
3–2–2
First ever NFL playoff game necessitated by the Bears and Spartans finishing with identical records and tying both regular season meetings. Game moved indoors to Chicago Stadium, which had smaller-than-regulation dimensions.
1933 Bears 2–0 Bears
17–14
Bears
17–7
Bears
5–2–2
Bears win 1933 NFL Championship.
1934 Bears 2–0 Bears
19–16
Bears
19–16
Bears
7–2–2
Spartans move to Detroit and become the Lions. Game in Detroit is the Lions' first annual Thanksgiving home game. Bears lose 1934 NFL Championship.
1935 Lions 1–0–1 Tie
20–20
Lions
14–2
Bears
7–3–3
Lions win 1935 NFL Championship.
1936 Tie 1–1 Bears
12–10
Lions
13–7
Bears
8–4–3
1937 Bears 2–0 Bears
28–20
Bears
13–0
Bears
10–4–3
Bears lose 1937 NFL Championship.
1938 Lions 2–0 Lions
13–7
Lions
14–7
Bears
10–6–3
1939 Tie 1–1 Lions
10–0
Bears
23–13
Bears
11–7–3
1940s (Bears, 15–4–1)
Season Season series at Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Overall series Notes
1940 Tie 1–1 Bears
7–0
Lions
17–14
Bears
12–8–3
Bears win 1940 NFL Championship.
1941 Bears 2–0 Bears
49–0
Bears
24–7
Bears
14–8–3
Bears' 49–0 win is the largest margin of victory in the rivalry history for either team. Lions move to Tiger Stadium. Bears win 1941 NFL Championship.
1942 Bears 2–0 Bears
16–0
Bears
42–0
Bears
16–8–3
Bears lose 1942 NFL Championship.
1943 Bears 2–0 Bears
35–14
Bears
27–21
Bears
18–8–3
Bears win 1943 NFL Championship.
1944 Lions 1–0–1 Tie
21–21
Lions
41–21
Bears
18–9–4
1945 Lions 2–0 Lions
35–28
Lions
16–10
Bears
18–11–4
1946 Bears 2–0 Bears
42–6
Bears
45–24
Bears
20–11–4
Bears win 1946 NFL Championship.
1947 Bears 2–0 Bears
33–24
Bears
34–14
Bears
22–11–4
1948 Bears 2–0 Bears
28–0
Bears
42–14
Bears
24–11–4
1949 Bears 2–0 Bears
27–24
Bears
28–7
Bears
26–11–4
1950s (Bears, 13–7)
Season Season series at Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Overall series Notes
1950 Bears 2–0 Bears
6–3
Bears
35–23
Bears
28–11–4
1951 Tie 1–1 Lions
41–28
Bears
28–23
Bears
29–12–4
Bears win 11 straight meetings (1946–51).
1952 Tie 1–1 Bears
24–23
Lions
45–21
Bears
30–13–4
Lions win 1952 NFL Championship.
1953 Lions 2–0 Lions
35–28
Lions
16–10
Bears
30–15–4
Lions win 1953 NFL Championship.
1954 Tie 1–1 Bears
28–24
Lions
48–23
Bears
31–16–4
Lions lose 1954 NFL Championship.
1955 Bears 2–0 Bears
21–20
Bears
24–14
Bears
33–16–4
1956 Tie 1–1 Bears
38–21
Lions
42–10
Bears
34–17–4
Bears lose 1956 NFL Championship.
1957 Tie 1–1 Lions
21–13
Bears
27–7
Bears
35–18–4
Lions win 1957 NFL Championship.
1958 Bears 2–0 Bears
21–16
Bears
20–7
Bears
37–18–4
1959 Bears 2–0 Bears
25–14
Bears
24–14
Bears
39–18–4
1960s (Bears, 10–9–1)
Season Season series at Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Overall series Notes
1960 Tie 1–1 Bears
28–7
Lions
36–0
Bears
40–19–4
1961 Tie 1–1 Lions
16–15
Bears
31–17
Bears
41–20–4
1962 Tie 1–1 Bears
3–0
Lions
11–3
Bears
42–21–4
1963 Bears 2–0 Bears
24–14
Bears
37–21
Bears
44–21–4
Bears win 1963 NFL Championship.
1964 Tie 1–1 Lions
10–0
Bears
27–24
Bears
45–22–4
1965 Bears 2–0 Bears
38–10
Bears
24–10
Bears
47–22–4
1966 Lions 1–0–1 Tie
10–10
Lions
14–3
Bears
47–23–5
1967 Bears 2–0 Bears
14–3
Bears
27–13
Bears
49–23–5
1968 Lions 2–0 Lions
28–10
Lions
42–0
Bears
49–25–5
Lions' 42–0 win is the largest margin of victory over the Bears. Lions first season sweep since 1953.
1969 Lions 2–0 Lions
20–3
Lions
13–7
Bears
49–27–5
1970s (Lions, 12–8)
Season Season series at Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Overall series Notes
1970 Lions 2–0 Lions
16–10
Lions
28–14
Bears
49–29–5
Both teams placed in the NFC Central after AFL-NFL merger.
1971 Tie 1–1 Lions
28–3
Bears
28–23
Bears
50–30–5
Bears open Soldier Field.
1972 Lions 2–0 Lions
38–24
Lions
14–0
Bears
50–32–5
1973 Lions 2–0 Lions
30–7
Lions
40–7
Bears
50–34–5
Lions post an 11–1 record from 1968–73, including a 6-game winning streak in Chicago.
1974 Tie 1–1 Bears
17–19
Lions
34–17
Bears
51–35–5
1975 Tie 1–1 Bears
25–21
Lions
27–7
Bears
52–36–5
Lions open Pontiac Silverdome .
1976 Tie 1–1 Bears
10–3
Lions
14–10
Bears
53–37–5
1977 Bears 2–0 Bears
30–20
Bears
31–14
Bears
55–37–5
1978 Tie 1–1 Lions
21–17
Bears
19–0
Bears
56–38–5
1979 Tie 1–1 Bears
35–7
Lions
20–0
Bears
57–39–5
1980s (Bears, 13–6)
Season Season series at Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Overall series Notes
1980 Bears 2–0 Bears
24–7
Bears
23–17(OT)
Bears
59–39–5
Dave Williams returns opening kickoff of overtime 95 yards for a touchdown in the game in Detroit.
1981 Lions 2–0 Lions
23–7
Lions
48–17
Bears
59–41–5
1982 Tie 1–1 Bears
20–17
Lions
17–10
Bears
60–42–5
Both games played despite players strike reducing the season to 9 games.
1983 Lions 2–0 Lions
38–17
Lions
31–17
Bears
60–44–5
1984 Bears 2–0 Bears
16–14
Bears
30–13
Bears
62–44–5
1985 Bears 2–0 Bears
24–3
Bears
37–17
Bears
64–44–5
Bears win Super Bowl XX.
1986 Bears 2–0 Bears
13–7
Bears
16–13
Bears
66–44–5
1987 Bears 2–0 Bears
30–10
no game Bears
67–44–5
Game in Detroit cancelled due to 1987 NFL Players strike.
1988 Bears 2–0 Bears
13–12
Bears
24–7
Bears
69–44–5
1989 Tie 1–1 Lions
27–17
Bears
47–27
Bears
70–45–5
Bears win 10 straight meetings (1984–89).
1990s (Lions, 12–8)
Season Season series at Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Overall series Notes
1990 Tie 1–1 Bears
23–17(OT)
Lions
38–21
Bears
71–46–5
1991 Tie 1–1 Bears
20–10
Lions
16–6
Bears
72–47–5
1992 Tie 1–1 Bears
27–24
Lions
16–3
Bears
73–48–5
1993 Tie 1–1 Lions
20–14
Bears
10–6
Bears
74–49–5
1994 Tie 1–1 Bears
20–10
Lions
21–16
Bears
75–50–5
1995 Lions 2–0 Lions
24–17
Lions
27–7
Bears
75–52–5
1996 Tie 1–1 Bears
34–14
Lions
35–16
Bears
76–53–5
1997 Lions 2–0 Lions
32–7
Lions
55–20
Bears
76–55–5
1998 Tie 1–1 Bears
31–27
Lions
26–3
Bears
77–56–5
1999 Tie 1–1 Bears
28–10
Lions
21–17
Bears
78–57–5
2000s (Bears, 13–7)
Season Season series at Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Overall series Notes
2000 Tie 1–1 Lions
21–14
Bears
23–20
Bears
79–58–5
Bears win in Detroit combined with Rams win eliminates Lions from playoff contention.
2001 Bears 2–0 Bears
13–0
Bears
24–0
Bears
81–58–5
Bears first season sweep since 1988.
2002 Tie 1–1 Bears
20–17(OT)
Lions
23–20(OT)
Bears
82–59–5
Lions open Ford Field in Detroit.
2003 Tie 1–1 Bears
24–16
Lions
12–10
Bears
83–60–5
2004 Lions 2–0 Lions
20–16
Lions
19–13
Bears
83–62–5
2005 Bears 2–0 Bears
38–6
Bears
19–13(OT)
Bears
85–62–5
2006 Bears 2–0 Bears
34–7
Bears
26–21
Bears
87–62–5
Bears lose Super Bowl XLI.
2007 Lions 2–0 Lions
16–7
Lions
37–27
Bears
87–64–5
An NFL-record 48 points were scored in the fourth quarter in game in Detroit; Chicago led 13-3 after three quarters.
2008 Bears 2–0 Bears
27–23
Bears
34–7
Bears
89–64–5
Lions complete first 0–16 season in NFL history.
2009 Bears 2–0 Bears
48–24
Bears
37–23
Bears
91–64–5
2010s (Tie, 10–10)
Season Season series at Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Overall series Notes
2010 Bears 2–0 Bears
19–14
Bears
24–20
Bears
93–64–5
Lions WR Calvin Johnson appears to catch a game-winning touchdown in Chicago, but it is controversially ruled a no-catch.
2011 Tie 1–1 Bears
37–13
Lions
24–13
Bears
94–65–5
2012 Bears 2–0 Bears
13–7
Bears
26–24
Bears
96–65–5
2013 Lions 2–0 Lions
21–19
Lions
40–32
Bears
96–67–5
2014 Lions 2–0 Lions
20–14
Lions
34–17
Bears
96–69–5
2015 Lions 2–0 Lions
24–20
Lions
37–34(OT)
Bears
96–71–5
2016 Tie 1–1 Bears
17–14
Lions
20–17
Bears
97–72–5
2017 Lions 2–0 Lions
27–24
Lions
20–10
Bears
97–74–5
2018 Bears 2–0 Bears
34–22
Bears
23–16
Bears
99–74–5
2019 Bears 2–0 Bears
20–13
Bears
24–20
Bears
101–74–5
Bears record their 100th win in the rivalry, becoming the third team to record 100 wins over a single opponent (joining the Green Bay Packers who have 100 wins over the Lions and the New York Giants who have 100 wins over Washington Football Team). Thus, the Lions became the first team to record 100 losses to two different opponents.
2020s (Bears, 2–1)
Season Season series at Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Overall series Notes
2020 Tie 1–1 Lions
34–30
Bears
27–23
Bears
102–75–5
Bears come back from down 23–6 in the fourth quarter to win in Detroit. Conversely, Lions overcome 30–20 deficit with three minutes left to win in Chicago. Both games ended on game-winning stop. First time since 2000 that the road team wins both meetings.
2021 Bears 1–0 Bears
24–14
Summary of Results
Season Season series at Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Notes
Regular season Bears 102–75–5 Bears 59–29–4 Lions 46–43–1
Postseason Bears 1–0 Bears 1–0 no games 1932 NFL Championship Game
Regular and postseason Bears 103–75–5 Bears 60–29–4 Lions 46–43–1

See also

Other sports rivalries involving the same cities:

Other rivalries involving the two teams:

References

  1. ^ http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/image/history/pdfs/History/AT_Tm_v_Tm_2011.pdf
  2. ^ Schooch, Matt (November 26, 2019). "Paul Edinger's Christmas Eve 2000 kick helped change course of Lions history". The Detroit News. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  3. ^ "Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions – September 30th, 2007". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
This page was last edited on 13 October 2021, at 12:50
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