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Team Grades: Detroit Lions Play Impressively To Finish Season With Win Over Chicago Bears

By Danny Cox

A 24-20 victory over the Chicago Bears in the season finale is exactly what the Detroit Lions could have asked for in a season that has been filled with ups and downs. After starting out 1-7, they had a second half of the season that saw them go 6-2 and play much better football overall.

Many of the early season losses were so close to victories, but no matter what, they ended up in the loss column. Changes will certainly be coming in the offseason, but for one more instant in the 2015 regular season, the Lions played well in all aspects of the game and got another win.

Offense: B+

Once again, except for the running game, this was almost a flawless performance by the Lions offense. Matthew Stafford had a great game with 298 yards and three touchdowns, but the four sacks are concerning. The rushing attack had just 67 total yards with Stafford having 10 of them and Ameer Abdullah with 44 of them.

Calvin Johnson had a great game with 10 receptions for 137 yards and one touchdown. In what some are saying could be his final game as a member of the Detroit Lions, it certainly was a great one.

Defense: A

Jay Cutler was hounded the entire day by the Lions defense and that is how he was sacked four times and threw three interceptions. He just couldn't get away from the Lions in the backfield and had trouble avoiding Detroit's secondary.

Matt Forte had a decent day with 76 yards on 17 carries, but all of his bursts appeared to be in the first half as the running game for the Bears just disappeared as the game went on.

Special Teams: B

Matt Prater hit one of two field goals with a miss of 54 yards, but he did nail a 59-yarder to end the first half and give the Lions a 10-0 halftime lead. Sam Martin had another decent day punting the ball with an average over 47 yards-per-boot.

Ameer Abdullah had some nice kickoff returns, but nothing special. Kick and punt returns are a position that the Lions really need to work on before next season.

Coaching: A-

Head coach Jim Caldwell may have just saved his job with the second half of this season, but only time will tell. Lions owner Martha Ford does have a good relationship with him, but she is leaving the head coaching decision up to whoever the new general manager ends up being. Sunday's game was a great example of how the gameplan should have been all season.

The Detroit Lions will make a number of changes in the offseason with some coming in the front office, some on the sideline, and some on the field. This victory over the Chicago Bears showed that the talent has been there this entire season, but it just took a long time to get a rhythm and have everyone on the same page.

Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on

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