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Detroit ends historic streak with 20-16 win

Posted: Monday, September 13, 2004

 

  AP Photo/Jeff Roberson AP Photo/Jeff Roberson Detroit Lions safety Bracy Walker (28) celebrates his interception in the end zone along with teammate Brock Marion (31) with only seconds left in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears Sunday in Chicago. The interception sealed the Lions' 20-16 victory.  

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson Detroit Lions safety Bracy Walker (28) celebrates his interception in the end zone along with teammate Brock Marion (31) with only seconds left in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears Sunday in Chicago. The interception sealed the Lions' 20-16 victory.

 

CHICAGO Bracy Walker got one of the game balls and rightfully so.

Needing intravenous fluids to fight off dehydration, Walker rescued the Detroit Lions from the NFL's longest road losing streak Sunday.

He rambled 92 yards for a TD after teammate Shaun Rogers blocked a third-quarter field goal attempt. And later he preserved Detroit's 20-16 victory over the Chicago Bears, intercepting Rex Grossman's pass in the end zone pass with 18 second left.

''It's important to end the streak for all the obvious reasons,'' Lions coach Steve Mariucci said after his team's 24-game stretch of road losses was wiped away. ''We are glad it's over, believe me.''

Detroit's victory spoiled the coaching debut of the Bears' Lovie Smith, whose team was bogged down by penalties and mistakes.

The victory was a costly one for the Lions. They lost WR Charles Rogers to a broken collarbone for the second straight year and he could miss most of the season. He got hurt going for a first-quarter pass. Rogers, the second overall pick in the 2003 draft, played only five games last season.

Pro Bowl cornerback Dre' Bly will have an MRI on Tuesday after spraining a knee ligament in the first quarter.

Joey Harrington tossed a 4-yard go-ahead TD pass to Az-Zahir Hakim in the fourth quarter and Detroit held on for its first road victory since beating the Jets on Dec. 17, 2000.

With 1:54 left, facing a difficult punt out of their own end zone, the Lions chose to have punter Nick Harris run out of the end zone for safety. It cut the lead to 20-16, but gave the Lions a free kick a strategy that nearly backfired.

R.W. McQuarters returned the free kick 37 yards to the Detroit's 47 and Grossman's 19-yard pass to David Terrell and a 15-yard run by Thomas Jones got the Bears to the Lions 9.

With no timeouts, Grossman was sacked and then had to spike the ball on second down. Scrambling on third down, he threw the ball to the corner for Terrell, but Walker made the pick.



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