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Lions Get Another Road Victory

September 25, 2000|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — The Detroit Lions have yet to prove they're even an average offensive team, much less among the NFL's best.

But at 3-1 and unbeaten on the road, who needs to be an offensive powerhouse?

The Lions rediscovered their scoring touch Sunday in a 21-14 victory over the turnover-prone Chicago Bears.

Charlie Batch passed for two touchdowns, James Stewart had Detroit's first rushing touchdown of the season, and Kurt Schulz intercepted three of Cade McNown's passes.

"We're not going to win any beauty pageants with our offense, but we still won a tough game without really coming out yet on the offense," said Johnnie Morton, who caught one of the touchdown passes. "Hopefully . . . it will just get better and better."

"Offensively we came back a little bit," agreed Lion Coach Bobby Ross. "I think it's something that we can build on."

For the winless Bears, meanwhile, the quest to reach the playoffs after an off-season makeover appeared to end on the first official weekend of autumn. The last team to start 0-4 and make the playoffs was the 1992 San Diego Chargers, who finished 11-5 under Ross.

McNown completed 21 of 35 passes for 261 yards.

Batch threw first-half scoring passes of 13 yards to Morton and 36 yards to Germane Crowell--only the second and third touchdowns for the league's 30th-ranked offense aside from a desperation pass last week in a lopsided loss to Tampa Bay.

Then, after the Bears erased a 14-0 deficit with two third-quarter touchdowns, the Lions reeled off a 91-yard scoring drive.

Batch, who completed 20 of 37 passes for 207 yards, completed five of six attempts for 47 yards during the drive. Stewart carried nine times for 37 yards--more than half his total of 71--and plunged the final yard with 9:36 remaining.

TV replays showed he might have not reached the end zone, but the Bears did not challenge the call.

Schulz made his third interception on the next possession, stopping a drive when McNown threw deep into double coverage.

Chicago failed to capitalize on two more chances in Detroit territory--its last one ending when McNown was sacked near midfield with 16 seconds left.

Batch took early advantage of lapses in the Bears' pass coverage.

He found Morton alone behind cornerback Walt Harris with 6:30 left in the first quarter. Then, with 18 seconds left in the half, he found Crowell for a 14-0 lead.

The Bears scored when Lion safety Ron Rice fell down, and McNown lofted a pass to the wide-open Marcus Robinson, who caught it and backpedaled into the end zone on a 55-yard play.

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