The Lions (5-0) are undefeated through five games for the first time since 1956, the year before their last N.F.L. title. The defending N.F.C. North champion Bears (2-3) are off to their worst start since 2007.
Detroit and its fans were clearly fired up for the franchise’s first Monday night game in a decade. The Lions had their largest crowd at Ford Field, and the 67,861 fans created enough noise to rattle the Bears into nine false starts.
Chicago quieted the fans briefly by taking a 10-7 lead just before halftime and seemed to make them a little nervous by pulling within 8 points with 4 minutes 7 seconds left to play.
Best, though, made them roar again with a 43-yard run capped by a horse-collar penalty that gave Detroit the ball at the Chicago 22. He ran for another first down that took time off the clock and set up Jason Hanson’s 31-yard kick with 1:56 to go.
Stafford lofted a pass to Calvin Johnson for a 73-yard score — extending his N.F.L.-record start with nine touchdown catches in five games — early in the second quarter.
Best’s 88-yard run was the second-longest in franchise history, trailing only Bob Hoernschemeyer’s 96-yard run against the New York Yankees on Nov. 23, 1950.
Stafford was 19 of 26 for 219 yards with two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score to Brandon Pettigrew from 18 yards with 9:55 to go in the third quarter. Best more than doubled his career high with 163 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Jay Cutler was 28 of 38 for 249 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions for the Bears. Matt Forte ran for 116 yards.
LOSE WILLIAMS The Houston Texans lost outside linebacker Mario Williams for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. Williams appeared to sustain his injury while sacking Oakland’s Jason Campbell with about five minutes left in the first quarter of Sunday’s 25-20 loss.
The top overall pick in the 2006 draft, Williams moved from defensive end to outside linebacker this season in the new coordinator Wade Phillips’s 3-4 alignment. Williams was growing into the role more each week, and had five sacks and a forced fumble before the injury.
PACKERS’ CLIFTON INJURED Green Bay Packers Coach Mike McCarthy says the veteran left tackle Chad Clifton has a “significant” hamstring injury after leaving Sunday night’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. The team has not established a timeline for Clifton’s return, but Clifton seems likely to miss multiple games.
49ER NEEDS SURGERY San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Joshua Morgan will miss significant time with a broken bone in his lower right leg that requires surgery. He was injured late in the fourth quarter of San Francisco’s 48-3 victory against Tampa Bay on Sunday.
BILLS’ JONES SIDELINED Buffalo Bills receiver Donald Jones will miss four to six weeks with a sprained left ankle, and starting defensive tackle Kyle Williams’s status is uncertain for the team’s game at the Giants this weekend.