Bears outlast Lions, 17-14

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Bears vs Panthers 1012
Brian Hoyer threw two touchdown passes and rookie RB Jordan Howard rushed for 111 yards in his first NFL start as the Chicago Bears did just enough to tame the Detroit Lions 17-14 at overcast Soldier Field Sunday afternoon.  The Bears and Lions both stand 1-3 on the year.

It wasn’t pretty, nor particularly easy, but the Bears got off the schneid and collected their first win at Soldier Field in nearly a year. Chicago took advantage of two Matthew Stafford interceptions and a Lions squad that self-destructed with penalties and dropped passes.

Meanwhile, Hoyer looked sharp, playing turnover free football in his second consecutive start for the injured Jay Cutler. The Bears used play-action and designed rollouts to keep Hoyer upright and allow him to spot receivers cutting downfield. Eddie Royal was especially effective, showing the reliable hands and underrated speed that was missing during an injury-plagued 2015 season. Royal caught 7 balls for 111 yards, including a 64-yard reception that set up the Bears second score and a 4-yard grab for a touchdown that opened the scoring in the first quarter.

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As the NFL season reachead the quarter pole, the Bears snapped a game of bad streaks. Sunday’s win ended a six-game home drought and the first win against Detroit in the last seven games.

Thinking about next week’s trip to Indianapolis, Bears head coach John Fox refused to tip his hand on who the starting quarterback might be. “I’d like to enjoy this for a few hours,” he said after being asked to assess next week’s starter.

Bear Tracks: WR Kevin White left in the third quarter and did not return with an ankle injury….Rookie OLB Leonard Floyd exited early in the contest with an apparent lower back strain…..CB Jacoby Glenn and rookie defender Deondre’ Hall picked off Stafford.