Detroit Lions' legend Barry Sanders at the 2023 NFL Honors. Feb 9, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, US; Former NFL running back Barry Sanders poses for a photo on the red carpet before the NFL Honors award show at Symphony Hall. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears have been playing against each other since 1930, with Chicago holding a 104-77-5 lead all-time heading into Sunday’s game in Detroit. But the Lions had won the last two clashes between the teams, posting a remarkable 31-30 comeback win on the road last November and an emphatic 41-10 win at home in January. And on Sunday, despite the Bears taking a 26-16 lead on a Cairo Santos field goal with 4:20 left, the Lions came back with two touchdowns (and one two-point conversion, and a game-clinching safety) to win 31-26 and improve to 8-2 on the season, earning some praise from franchise legend Barry Sanders along the way:

On the Chicago side, many were despondent about the team again blowing a late lead against Detroit:

How did this happen? Well, the Lions got the ball back on their 35-yard-line with just over four minutes left after a touchback on the kickoff. Jared Goff then led them on an eight-play, 75-yard drive that only burned 1:15 of clock, capping that with a 32-yard strike to a wide-open Jameson Williams with three minutes left:

Detroit then chose to kick it deep and play defense rather than try an onside kick, and that worked out for them. The Bears started from their 25 after a fair catch on the kickoff, and they promptly had Kalil Herbert run twice for gains of zero and one yards respectively. On third and nine, Justin Fields then threw incomplete. That led to Chicago’s Trenton Gill punting, with that punt going out of bounds at the Lions’ 27. And Goff then led another 12-play, 73-yard drive that took just 2:04, with that capped by a David Montgomery touchdown inside the final 30 seconds:

The Bears then got the ball back down three with 29 seconds left. But Aidan Hutchinson sacked Fields on the first play, and the ball was kicked by a Bears’ lineman, going out of bounds in the end zone for a game-sealing safety.

That meant the Bears had to kick the ball back to Detroit, and the Lions could kneel out the clock. And that led to great reactions from many:

And this also saw the team make some history:

As for Sanders, the Bye Bye Barry Prime Video documentary on him premieres Tuesday. And it’s cool that he’s still following along with the only NFL team he ever played for. And he was clearly impressed by the Lions’ efforts Sunday.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.