Quarterback left the game with a serious looking ankle injury.
Detroit battered Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler Sunday in a 21-19 defeat that put the Lions atop the NFL’s National Conference North division.
Matthew Stafford passed for 219 yards, connecting on 18-of-35 attempts with one interception. The numbers weren’t gaudy, but he threw three touchdown passes — two of them to Calvin Johnson — as the Lions notched a key victory over a Bears team that went into the day tied with Detroit and Green Bay atop the division.
The Lions improved to 6-3, and with Green Bay’s 27-13 loss to Philadelphia assumed the outright led in the NFC North.
Worse for Chicago and Green Bay, both saw quarterbacks depart with injuries.
Chicago’s Jay Cutler, looking less mobile in his return from a groin injury, was hit all day and sat out the last series with what the Bears said was a left ankle injury.
“He was rolled up on in the second quarter and was taped up at halftime,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “I didn’t want to take him out unless he failed the job.”
The Packers, already missing starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has a broken collarbone, saw backup Seneca Wallace depart after one series of downs with a groin injury.
Scott Tolzien, signed to the active roster from the practice squad this week, threw two interceptions and finished 24-of-39 for 280 yards in the defeat.
The Packers have now lost two straight at Lambeau Field after a 10-game home winning streak.
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning was also hurting after a 28-20 victory at San Diego.
Manning passed for 330 yards and four touchdowns for the Broncos, who were playing under interim coach Jack Del Rio as John Fox continues to recover from heart valve surgery.
But the superstar quarterback took a bevy of big hits that left him “pretty sore” and appeared to be favoring his right ankle at one point. He said he’d have an MRI this week to assess the damage.
In other games, the Jacksonville Jaguars nabbed their long-awaited first win of the season, edging the Tennessee Titans 29-27.
Maurice Jones-Drew and Jordan Todman both ran touchdowns for the Jags. The difference-maker was a safety on a Tennessee holding penalty in the end zone midway through the fourth quarter.
Jacksonville snapped a 13-game losing streak dating back to last year.
“Obviously it’s a really good feeling,” Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said.
In Baltimore, Justin Tucker’s 46-yard field goal in overtime helped the Ravens overcome a late-game defensive mistake and beat division leaders Cincinnati 20-17 in an AFC North contest.
It was another close one in San Francisco, where the Carolina Panthers edged the 49ers 10-9 in a tight, defensive battle.
However in New Orleans, Drew Brees threw for 392 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Saints to an emphatic 49-17 victory over Dallas.
Brees and the Saints had their way with the Cowboys defense, setting a an NFL record for first downs in a game with 40 and piling up a massing 625 yards of total offense.
In other games, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Seahawks to a fifth straight victory, 33-10 over Atlanta.
St. Louis rookie receiver Tavon Austin scored three touchdowns as the Rams surprised Indianapolis 38-8. He became the third player in NFL history with three touchdowns of 55 yards or longer in a single game, joining Cliff Battles and Chris Johnson.
The New York Giants beat Oakland 24-20, Pittsburgh beat Buffalo 23-10 and Arizona downed the Houston Texans 27-24.