Win makes Lions 5-0 for first time since 1956
DETROIT — Detroit Lions fans counted down the final seconds — as if it was New Year's Eve — when the franchise finished its first Monday night game in a decade.
The Motor City is hoping this party doesn't stop any time soon.
Matthew Stafford's second touchdown pass put Detroit ahead in the third quarter and Jahvid Best's 88-yard run later in the period gave the Lions a double-digit lead in a 24-13 win over the Chicago Bears.
"It was electric," Stafford said. "Our fans came out and did an unbelievable job."
The Lions did a pretty good job, too.
Detroit (5-0) is undefeated through five games for the first time since 1956 — the year before its last NFL title.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz, though, refused to be celebrate, pointing to the team's next game on Sunday at home against the San Francisco 49ers.
"We'll start on San Fran in about an hour and a half," Schwartz said shortly after midnight.
The defending NFC North champion Bears (2-3) are off to their worst start since 2007. They are three games behind Detroit and defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay (5-0) in the division.
Detroit and its fans were clearly fired up for the Monday night game.
The Lions had their largest crowd at Ford Field and the 67,861 fans created enough noise to rattle the Bears into nine false starts.
"It was unbelievable," Stafford said. "Especially early on, some of those third downs, you couldn't hear yourself think."
The Bears looked unnerved at times by the raucous crowd. Chicago committed six false start penalties in the first half — an NFL season-high for a game, according to STATS, LLC.
"We were going against a loud crowd, but that isn't an excuse," Chicago coach Lovie Smith said. "Pre-snap penalties kill you."
Chicago quieted the fans briefly by taking a 10-7 lead just before halftime.