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Lions wind up with 8th straight loss

December 31, 2012
Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) - Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford fell short of the last remaining milestones within their reach - and a Detroit season that came apart several weeks ago ended with one more defeat.

Johnson was contained by the Chicago Bears and narrowly missed becoming the first player with 2,000 yards receiving in a season, and the Lions lost 26-24 on Sunday, finishing up on an eight-game slide. Jay Cutler threw for 257 yards and a touchdown for Chicago and helped seal the game with a late scramble.

Johnson, who broke Jerry Rice's record of 1,848 yards receiving the previous weekend, finished at 1,964 after catching five passes for 72 yards.

Article Photos

AP Photo
Detroit’s Calvin Johnson (81) gains 18-yards on a pass reception under pressure from Chicago cornerback Charles Tillman (33) during the third quarter Sunday at Ford Field.

"Had a good year, but there's a lot of things that could have been done better," Johnson said. "There's always room to get better."

There certainly is for the Lions, who looked like a team on the rise after making the playoffs last season for the first time in a dozen years. Now there could be changes. Coach Jim Schwartz wasn't about to discuss speculation about his job status.

"The thing I'm most concerned with is getting this team back to where we all want it to be," he said. "I'm not proud at all of our record."

Stafford went 24 of 42 for 272 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. He finished the season with an NFL-record 727 pass attempts, surpassing Drew Bledsoe's mark of 691 from 1994.

But he fell short of a second consecutive 5,000-yard season, finishing at 4,967 through the air.

"You learn from everything, the good and the bad," Stafford said. "Obviously four wins isn't good enough. I can definitely look at my play and I will and I'll work on it and get ready for next year."

The Lions turned the ball over four times. Johnson had his record streak of eight 100-yard receiving games snapped.

"It's hard to shut down Calvin Johnson, but we just put as many guys as we possibly could on him," Bears coach Lovie Smith said.

Bears took a 20-3 lead in the first half.

 
 

 

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