Lions finally able to contain Howard in win vs. Bears

Dec 17, 2017 - 3:35 AM DETROIT -- Akeem Spence was tired of seeing Jordan Howard consistently gash the Detroit Lions' run defense.

Howard, the Chicago Bears' second-year running back, gained 125 rushing yards on 15 carries in the first meeting between the teams this season. He rushed for 86 and 111 yards in two games against them during his rookie campaign.

Spence and the Lions defenders finally took a stand against Howard and the Bears on Saturday. Howard gained just 37 yards on 10 carries as the Lions captured a much-needed 20-10 victory at Ford Field.

"Stopping the run, we took that as a challenge because the last time they ran the ball all over our defense and that's something we couldn't live with," said Spence, a six-year defensive tackle. "That was kind of eating at us. We definitely had to come prove that we could stop the run against the Bears, and I think we accomplished that today."

Howard was coming off a 147-yard, two-touchdown rushing performance against the Bengals. He had a 16-yard gain but otherwise was limited to 2.1 yards per carry. The Bears only had 43 rushing yards on 15 carries. Detroit came into the NFC North matchup ranked 20th against the run at 116.3 yards per game.

"They ran for 222 yards on us the last time, so that was extremely important," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. "I thought our guys did a good job of filling the lanes and the gaps."

Without a strong running game to support him, Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was vulnerable to the Lions' ball-hawking secondary. Trubisky passed for a career-high 314 yards but was also intercepted three times in the second half. Chicago scored its lone touchdown with 2:32 remaining.

The Bears' only field goal came in the closing seconds of the first half after a Detroit fumble.

"Obviously as a defense every week you want to pitch a shutout," Lions safety Glover Quin said. "We were able to get the run stopped and I've been saying all week, if you can stop the run game, it's difficult for them to win, difficult for them to make plays. We were able to get it stopped and put together a good performance."

The Lions will need to string together a couple more good performances to position themselves for a playoff berth. They face Cincinnati and Green Bay in the last two weeks.

"We definitely feel good about this game but it's on to next week," Spence said. "We definitely wanted to show we could stop the run against Chicago. We did that but it's every week that we've got to go out and do that. It's not just one week."

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!