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Ditka Gets the Bears Angry and They Take It Out on Lions, 30-10

November 23, 1987| From Times Wire Services

CHICAGO — Whether it was amateur psychology or frustration, Coach Mike Ditka's "We stink" criticism of the Chicago Bears seemed to work.

The Bears, stung by their coach's public criticism, responded by trouncing the Detroit Lions, 30-10, Sunday.

"I didn't like it and it didn't inspire me," middle linebacker Mike Singletary said. "But we're working to get back where we were and we'll get there."

The Bears (8-2), coming off a 31-29 loss to Denver Monday night, limited the Lions (2-8) to 179 total yards, including only 30 on the ground.

Chicago had pass interceptions by Ron Rivera and Shaun Gayle, who returned his 20 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter to get the Bears started.

Rivera's interception led to a field goal that gave the Bears a 27-10 lead at halftime.

"We needed some things to happen on defense," Ditka said. "Ron Rivera played real well and Richard (Dent) played like he's capable."

Dent ended a string of 11 quarters without a sack by nailing Chuck Long for one of his two sacks on the first play of the second quarter.

Dent was among the players angered by Ditka's remark earlier in the week but softened his tone.

"All I got to say is this is a game we had to have," Dent said. "If we win the rest of our games, we'll be great."

Ditka, displaying the enthusiasm he showed earlier in the season, called it the Bears' "best effort since the strike. This is the way we have to play. Put points on the board, play tough defense and control the ball."

Ditka's only complaint was a breakdown on pass protection which resulted in 8 sacks by the Lions for losses of 63 yards.

Jim McMahon, who threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Dennis McKinnon and directed an 80-yard drive which ended with Neal Anderson's 16-yard touchdown run, was sacked seven times and twice left the game.

He left for the final series of the first half and again the final series of the game.

"He was a little dazed, that's all," Ditka said. "He got his bell rung, but he'll be all right."

Said McMahon: "Nothing to it. I'm OK."

The Bears had the ball for 41 minutes 27 seconds to 18:33 for Detroit and the Lions were able to run off only three plays in the entire third quarter.

Although the Bears kept the ball through much of the second half, their only score came on Kevin Butler's third field goal of the game, a 29-yarder in the fourth quarter.

"They did a tremendous job of running the ball and converting third downs," Detroit Coach Darryl Rogers said. "They just flat controlled the ball all afternoon.

"We may have sacked McMahon eight times or so, but all that did was hold the score down."

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