Only Justin Fields could make a 1-yard run a spectacle.
But that’s just what the Bears quarterback did with 12 seconds left in the first half Sunday against the Lions. He took a shotgun snap, pump faked, bluffed left and then right before tucking the ball to run left. He plowed into the end zone on third-and-goal from the 1.
His run, which left two Lions players injured and a third, defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs, in disbelief that he couldn’t ankle-tackle him in the backfield, tied the game at 10 before halftime.
Fields ran 34.2 yards; per NFL Next Gen Stats, it was the longest a player has run during a one-yard touchdown since former Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles ran 35.4 yards in Week 15 of 2016.
Fields started Sunday’s game with a repeat of last week’s record-setting rushing performance — a 28-yard rush. The Bears, though, weren’t as dynamic the rest of the first half. Fields completed 5 of 8 passes for 51 yards and an 80.7 passer rating. He ran six times for 65 yards.
The Bears and Lions traded field goals to start the game — Cairo Santos made a 33-yarder, his 20th-straight field goal, to cap the first Bears drive. Michael Badgley kicked a 25-yarder to cap the Lions’ first — before the Bears were forced to punt after a penalty-filled second possession.
The Lions then put together a plodding 13-play, 86-yard drive that lasted 7:26 — and almost ended in disaster. They went from first-and-goal at the 1 to second-and-four on when Jack Sanborn tackled quarterback Jared Goff. Linebacker Nick Morrow pushed D’Andre Swift out of bounds on third-and-goal from the 1, setting up fourth-and-goal at the 2. The Lions went for it and Goff found tight end Brock Wright wide open to the right for a touchdown. No other Bears defender was in that half of the end zone.
The Bears’ defense allowed 5.8 yards per play in the first half and didn’t force a punt. Cornerback Jaylon Johnson, who started after fighting an oblique injury, missed most of the Lions’ second drive while standing on the sideline in pain.