- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 23, 2012

CHICAGO — Jay Cutler’s been seeing this all season, a rerun on an endless loop, and he’s not ready to change the channel.

Not when the defense is performing like this. And not when the wins keep piling up.

“Unbelievable,” Cutler said.

Actually, it’s the norm this season.


Cutler returned after bruising his ribs, and Brian Urlacher made a key fumble recovery to help the Chicago Bears beat the Detroit Lions 13-7 Monday night for their fourth straight win.

“Those guys are playing so well, flying to the ball, stopping the run,” Cutler said. “They’re tough against the pass, they’re tough down at the goal line. You can’t say enough about the way they’re coming together.”

It was certainly not an easy night for the NFC North leaders, particularly their quarterback, but they came away with the win after a week off and possibly buried Detroit (2-4) in the process despite getting a major scare along the way.

That happened in the second quarter when Cutler was sacked by Ndamukong Suh and wound up going to the locker room to have his ribs examined.

Cutler came back to start the second half and was 16 of 31 with 150 yards and a touchdown in the game, and although he said he was feeling “all right” afterward, he acknowledged he wasn’t at full strength during the game.

“But we had to fight through it,” he added.

They did just that, and with the defense locking down the Lions, the Bears (5-1) prevailed. It was a huge blow for last-place Detroit, a team many expected to contend for the division championship after making the playoffs last year for the first time in more than a decade.

“It’s tough,” Calvin Johnson said. “We had a great week of practice last week and it just didn’t translate. It just didn’t translate to the field today.”

Even when the Lions had chances, they blew them, turning the ball over four times. The biggest came early in the third quarter, when Joique Bell fumbled at the goal line with the Bears leading 13-0.

Urlacher recovered and Chicago hung on from there, sending Detroit to its fourth loss in five games.

Brandon Marshall caught six passes for 81 yards and scored a touchdown on Chicago’s first possession. Matt Forte ran for 96 yards, and with the defense doing its part again, Chicago never really was threatened in this one.

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