Marty Booker was limited to one catch Sunday, his fewest since the third game of last season, as the Lions were determined to make someone else in the Bears' receiver corps beat them.
Booker made the one count for a 14-yard touchdown just before halftime, but the Lions used a variety of defensive looks to clog his routes and the passing lanes to him.
Booker was used in the slot more than usual, with Marcus Robinson and Dez White, both outside receivers, in the lineup. This was the Bears' first game without the injured David Terrell.
"That's the most I've seen anybody 'double' me," Booker said. "They were 'combo-ing' me a lot on the inside and they were aware of where I was."
When bad is good
Penalties usually kill teams. One saved the Lions, and they know it. Detroit quarterback Joey Harrington was sacked on a safety blitz by Larry Whigham on what would have been the game's final play, but the Lions were guilty of a false start and then kicked a tying field goal.
"I've never been so happy to have a false-start penalty on the 1-yard line," Harrington said. "[Tight end Matt Murphy] saved me. ... Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.
"I was lying on the ground with a big dude on top of me for a while. He had some choice words for me. It took me a minute to realize [the penalty was called]."
Veteran tight end Fred Baxter is back from his ankle injury, but John Davis has moved into the No. 1 spot on the strength of his 12 catches this season, three for touchdowns.
Davis was yet another change in Bears starting lineups, changes that Sunday included quarterback Chris Chandler, offensive linemen Marc Colombo and Mike Gandy, none of whom were starters when the season opened. In keeping with the '02 Bears' pattern, Davis left the game with injured ribs in the first quarter and was replaced by Baxter and Dustin Lyman.
New Bears on scene
The Vinny Sutherland era as a Bears kick returner may be short-lived. Sutherland returned his first kicks as a Bear but ran his first three back for only 16, 15 and 18 yards. After a 17-yard runback late in the third quarter that was fortuitously nullified by a Detroit penalty, he was replaced by Ahmad Merritt, who returned his first NFL kick 63 yards to the Detroit 32.
Jody Littleton, signed last week to long snap while Pat Mannelly's sprained knee is treated, was perfect Sunday on six snaps, his first in an NFL game.
The numbers game
The Bears were trampled for 192 rushing yards. The 172 yards by running back James Stewart were five more than any team last year against the defense anchored by injured tackle Ted Washington.
Linebacker/defensive end Rosevelt Colvin saw his Bears-record string of consecutive games with at least one sack end at eight. Linebacker Mike Caldwell registered his first sack of the season.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times