Highlights from the Detroit Lions 24-20 win against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday, January 3, 2016.
By finishing the season 6-2 over the final 8 games, Detroit became the fourth team since 1991 to start a season with 1 or fewer wins in the first 8 games (1-7 or 0-8 record) and finish with a 6-2 record. A 6-2 finish is the best record by any team since 1991 to start the season with a 1-7 or 0-8 record.
With the win at Chicago, the Lions tied a franchise-best 6 game-winning streak against the Chicago Bears. The team also defeated the Bears 6 games in a row from 1968-70. It also marks the third-straight win at Chicago, which is the longest road winning streak against the Bears since Detroit won 6-straight from 1968-73.
K MATT PRATER
K Matt Prater connected on a 59-yard field goal to end the first half, setting a new team record for the longest field goal in Lions history. Prater’s 59-yarder surpassed the previous record of 56 accomplished twice by K Jason Hanson (Cle 10/8/95; at Car 11/16/08).
Prater’s kick was the longest in the history of Soldier Field. Bears K Robbie Gould made the previous long of 58 yards.
With his 59-yarder, Prater joined K Jason Hanson (8 in 2008 and 5 in 2011) as the only kickers in team history to make five 50-yard field goals in a season. Additionally, Prater has now tallied five 50+-yard field goals in a season for the third time in his career (5 in 2008 and 6 in 2013).
With 6 points (1 FG, 3 PAT) at Chicago, Prater finished the season with 102 points and surpassed the 100+-point mark for the fifth time in his career. Prater is the sixth player in team history with 100+ points in a season and the first since K Jason Hanson in 2012 (134). He joins Hanson (12 seasons), K Eddie Murray (4 seasons), K Errol Mann (3 seasons), RB Doak Walker (2 seasons) and RB Barry Sanders (1 season) as the only players in team history to score 100 points in a season.
QB MATTHEW STAFFORD
QB Matthew Stafford led the Lions to a 24-20 victory over the Chicago Bears as he completed 28-of-39 passes (71.8 pct) for 298 yards with 3 touchdown passes. He finished with a passer rating of 119.4.
On the Lions’ opening drive, Stafford connected with TE Tim Wright on a 9-yard touchdown pass for his 30th of the season. Stafford became the first player in Lions history to reach 30+ touchdowns in two different seasons (41, 2011).
With 3 touchdowns against the Bears, he finished with 32 and tied QB Scott Mitchell (1995) for the second-most by a Lions quarterback in a single season.
Stafford compiled a +16 touchdown-to-interception margin in 2015 and finished with the third-highest single-season ratio in team history. He now holds two of the Top-3 seasons in Lions history along with his franchise record +25 (41 TD, 16 Int) in 2011. In the final eight games of the season, Stafford’s TD-to-INT margin was +17 (19 TD, 2 Int).
By throwing 3 touchdowns against the Bears, Stafford threw 3+ touchdowns in a game for the 23rd time in his career. Earlier this year, Stafford threw 5 touchdowns on Thanksgiving vs. Philadelphia (11/26), 4 touchdowns vs. Chicago (10/18) and 3 touchdowns at New Orleans (12/21). Against Chicago, he has now thrown for 3+ touchdowns in a game four times (3 vs. Chi 12/30/12; 3 at Chi 11/10/13; 4 vs. Chi 10/18/15; 3 at Chi 1/3/16).
With 298 passing yards at Chicago, Stafford become the second quarterback in NFL history to record 4,000-yards five times in his first seven seasons. He finished with 4,262 yards on the season and became the fifth quarterback (six times) in NFL history to reach 4,000 yards in five consecutive seasons.
His 4,262 yards in 2015 rank fifth in team history. Stafford now claims five of the Top-8 highest single-season totals in franchise history.
With a passer rating above 115.0 at Chicago, Stafford (119.4 at Chi 1/3/16) became only the second Lions quarterback since 1950 to register a passer rating of 115.0+ in three consecutive games. He is the first to accomplish this since QB Charlie Batch in 1998 (131.6 vs. Chi 11/15/98; 117.1 at TB 11/22/98; 117.3 vs. Pit 11/26/98).
By attempting 25+ passes in each of the past three games, he became the first player in Lions history to record three-straight games with 115.0+ passer rating while attempting 25+ passes in each game. Stafford’s 128.3 passer rating and 78.2 completion percentage over the past three games is a team record for a three-game span.
PAST 8 GAMES
In the last 8 games of the 2015 season, Stafford accumulated the highest passer rating (110.1) over 8 games by a Lions quarterback as he surpassed the 106.7 rating registered by QB Greg Landry over an 8-game span in 1976. He also set the franchise’s 8-game record for completion percentage (70.0 pct) by surpassing the 68.9 completion percentage tallied by QB Jon Kitna over eight games in 2006-07.
Stafford (67.2 pct; 398-of-592) re-set his own franchise record for the highest completion percentage in a single season in Lions history, breaking his record set in 2011 of 63.5-percent.
Stafford’s 97.0 passer rating in 2015 fell just shy of the team’s all-time single season record of 97.2 in 2011.
WR CALVIN JOHNSON
WR Calvin Johnson caught 10 passes for 137 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown, in the Lions’ 24-20 win at Chicago. Johnson finished the season with 1,214 yards and surpassed 1,200 yards in a season for the fifth time in his career.
With 137 yards, Johnson recorded his 46th career 100-yard game and tied WR Randy Moss and WR Torry Holt for the second-most 100-yard games by a player in his first nine NFL seasons. By reaching 46 career 100-yard games, he tied WR Jimmy Smith (46) for 10th on the NFL’s all-time 100-yard receiving games list.
Johnson now has recorded six career 100-yard games against Chicago, including 166 yards earlier this season against the Bears.
With 10 receptions at Chicago, Johnson registered 10+ receptions in a game for the 13th time in his career. He is now tied for the ninth-most 10-reception games in NFL history since 1960.
RB THEO RIDDICK
With 4 receptions at Chicago in the Lions 24-20 win, RB Theo Riddick set a new franchise record for the most receptions (80) by a Lions running back in a season. He broke the previous record of 77 set by FB James Jones in 1984. He is the first Lions running back ever to catch 80+ passes in a season.
WR GOLDEN TATE
WR Golden Tate caught 4 passes for 34 yards at Chicago and finished the year with 90 receptions to become the fourth Lions player to record 90+ receptions in consecutive seasons (99, 2014). Tate (189) also joined WR Herman Moore (1994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98), WR Brett Perriman (1995-96) and WR Calvin Johnson (2011-12, 2012-13) as the only players to record 180+ receptions over two seasons.
Tate’s 90 catches ranks 10th all-time in the franchise’s list for single-season receptions.
With WR Golden Tate (90), WR Calvin Johnson (88) and RB Theo Riddick (80) each reaching 80+ catch mark this season, this marks the first time in team history that three teammates each finished with at least 80 catches apiece. The Lions accomplished this feat for the fifth time in NFL history, joining the 2000 St. Louis Rams, 2002 Oakland Raiders, 2011 New Orleans Saints and 2014 Chicago Bears.
With 349 total offensive yards in the season finale at Chicago, the Lions tallied 5,547 yards this season and reached 5,500 total yards in a season for the eighth time in team history. It is the seventh-highest single-season total in team history.
The Lions reached 5,500 total yards for the fourth time in the past five seasons (since 2011).
With the Lions netting 282 passing yards at Chicago, the team finished with 4,212 yards on the season and reached 4,000+ for the fifth-consecutive year. Detroit is the sixth team in NFL history with five-straight 4,000-yard net passing seasons.
Detroit’s 2015 total of 4,212 net passing yards ranks as the fifth-best in franchise history.
DE EZEKIEL ANSAH
DE Ezekiel Ansah registered 1.0 sack at Chicago in the Lions’ 24-20 win. It was the 11th game this season Ansah has registered a sack, and he tied a franchise record for the most games (11) in a single season recording a sack statistic (since 1982). He tied Porcher’s previous franchise best that he set in 1999.
Ansah’s career high 14.5 sacks rank as the second-highest single-season total (official since 1982), trailing only Porcher’s 15.0 sacks in 1999.
Through his first three NFL seasons, Ansah has registered 30.0 career sacks, including 14.5 this year, to become the first Lions player (since 1982) to reach 30.0 career sacks in his first three NFL seasons.
With three quarterback hits at Chicago, Ansah finished 2015 with 33 QB hits and surpassed DT Ndamukong Suh (32, 2012) for the most by a Lions defensive player since 2007. Ansah has registered at least 26 QB Hits in each of the past two seasons, and is just the second Lions player to record 30 QB hits in a season since 2007.
ANSAH-TAYLOR COMBINED SACKS
With 1 sack by DE Ezekiel Ansah (14.5) and 1 by DE Devin Taylor (7.0) in the finale at Chicago (1/3/16), together they accumulated over 20 sacks on the season (21.5). They became the first pair of Lions teammates to combine for 20+ sacks since DE Robert Porcher (15.0) and DE Tracy Scroggins (8.5) together recorded 23.5 in 1999. This marks the sixth time since 1982 that a pair of Lions teammates combined for 20+ sacks.
S GLOVER QUIN
S Glover Quin sealed the Lions’ 24-20 victory over Chicago in the fourth quarter when he picked off a Bears pass to stop a potential go-ahead drive with 2:00 left to play. With four interceptions this season, Quin became the first Lions defensive player to tally 4+ interceptions in back-to-back seasons since CB Dré Bly accomplished this three-straight years from 2003-05 (6 in 2003, 4 in 2004, 6 in 2005).
Quin now has 11 interceptions over the past two seasons (second in NFL) and 14 since joining the Lions in 2013 (tied for first in NFL).
S JAMES IHEDIGBO
S James Ihedigbo stopped the Bears opening drive of the game with his first interception of the season that resulted in a touchback. Ihedigbo’s interception was his fifth since joining the Lions in 2014 and eighth of his career.
LB STEPHEN TULLOCH
LB Stephen Tulloch recorded a team-high 8 tackles (7 solo) in the season finale at Chicago and finished the 2015 season with 107 total tackles, marking the sixth time in his career (fourth with the Lions) that he has garnered 100+ tackles in a season.
LB TAHIR WHITEHEAD
LB Tahir Whitehead intercepted his first pass of the season (third of his career) with :23 left to play in the first half at Chicago. He intercepted the pass at Detroit’s 36-yard line that not only stopped a potential Bears scoring drive, but also set up the Lions’ 59-yard field goal that went through the uprights as time expired to give the Lions a 10-0 at the half. Whitehead also contributed 6 tackles (4 solo) and had 2 TFLs.
LIONS PUNT TEAM
By registering a 44.7 net punting average in the season finale at Chicago, P Sam Martin re-set the team’s single-season record by completing the season with a 42.0 net punting average. He broke his previous record of 40.4 that he established in 2013. Martin is the only Lions punter since net punting became an official statistic in 1976 that has finished with a 40.0+ net punting average in a season, and he has accomplished this in each of his three NFL seasons.
The Lions punt team allowed 6.1 yards per punt return this season (sixth in the NFL), the club’s lowest average since 2002 (4.5 yds). Combined with just 3 touchbacks, the lowest since 2012 (1), and a punting average of 46.0, the Lions’ 42.0 net punting average set a team single-season record. It marks the first time since net punting became an official statistic in 1976 that the team has finished with a 40.0+ net punting average in three-straight seasons.
S DON CAREY
S Don Carey registered 2 special teams tackles in the 24-20 win at Chicago, which marked his third game this season with 2+ special teams tackles. He recorded a special teams tackle in 11 of the 16 games this season. With 16 special teams tackles, he led the Lions and had the highest total since S John Wendling in 2011 (17).
RB AMEER ABDULLAH
Rookie RB Ameer Abdullah’s 29.1 kickoff return average in 2015 set a new single-season franchise record, breaking the previous high of 28.4 by WR Mel Gray in 1994. Abdullah finished second in the NFL in kickoff return average this season.
With 115 all-purpose yards (44 rushing, 7 receiving, 64 kickoff returns) at Chicago, Abdullah became the third rookie in team history with 1,800+ all-purpose yards (RB Billy Sims, 1,907 in 1980; RB Barry Sanders, 1,870 in 1989). His total of 1,857 is the third-most by a rookie in franchise history. In total, he gained 780 yards from scrimmage (597 rushing, 183 receiving) and 1,077 on kickoff returns.
In the season finale at Chicago, S Glover Quin started his 100th consecutive game, including his 48th straight start since joining the Lions in 2013. Quin has the longest active streak of consecutive starts among safeties and is second to Dallas CB Brandon Carr (129) among defensive backs.
By playing at Chicago in the 2015 season finale, LS Don Muhlbach played in his 180th career game and became the eighth player in team history to appear in 180+ career games.