There have always been doubts as to whether Reggie Bush is good enough to be a feature back on a good NFL teams, but he’s been erasing those so far in an impressive start for him and the Detroit Lions, making the Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson connection not look all that important.
Maybe it was about getting inside tips from Israel Idonje, formerly with the Chicago Bears, who helped Reggie Bush and the offense prepare for the Bears’ power stunt, which completely failed in holding firm and keeping Bush from bursting through. The former Dolphin ran for 139 yards, including 112 in the first half, adding a touchdown and 34 more yards as a receiver, with the Lions making the most of Jay Cutler’s interception show (3 times), winning 40-32.
Jay Cutler threw an interception in each of the first three quarters, which made his impressive comeback attempt; tossing two touchdown passes to Bennett and Jeffery, redundant. Cutler turned the ball over another time as he was sacked by Ndamukong Suh, which led to Nick Fairley picking up the fumble and scoring a touchdown that gave the Lions a 37-16 lead. There were plenty of heroics by the defense, but Reggie Bush carving through a defense that has scored so many points so far this season was the real big deal of the afternoon.
The Bears struggled in tackling him, as Bush and the offensive line seemed very confident and poised in where plays would develop. He was stopped for a no-gain on the first play he had, but then burst for runs of 9, 11 and 17 yards, which continued into the second quarter as the Bears couldn’t tackle him and their offense kept giving up the ball.
Matthew Stafford turned the ball over himself, throwing an interception and fumbling the ball once. The Bears had their chances through turnovers. But one of the things that hurt them was Henry Melton’s injury, as Bush referred to the fact that he and the Lions felt the Bears are exposed, whether it’s in their nickel packages or by simply missing key personnel in the front line that was supposed to contain him.
It was a big division win for the Lions who have gone a very long time without one, trying to erase the embarrassment of last season. They’re now 3-1, and are finding out they can win without Stafford forcing the ball to Calvin Johnson, who finished with 4 catches for 44 yards and a touchdown.
Let’s make no mistake about it. Division game, they’re undefeated. They are on top of our division feeling pretty good and we had to handle business. We’re at home, you’re supposed to win your home games, but this is a big game. Not taking anything away from them, they are a great team, but it was a total team effort. Turnovers. And we still didn’t play our best game. But it’s going to be a weekly proving ground for us. You have that one week where you slip up and guys will be like, ‘Oh, here they go. We have 21 over there. That dude does special things out there every week. As long we can give him good support in the blocking game and we do our thing on the outside, we’re going to be all right.
There’s more to winning than letting Reggie Bush run wild, but it doesn’t hurt as it finally gives the Lions an extra dimension they’ve been missing for a long time. If this also helps open up defenses who no longer put a minimal emphasis on stopping the run, the Lions might turn this positive start into something quite special.